3 Channel Video, Stereo Sound, LED Digital Signage Monitor, 10’ 25”, 2019
2048 (2019) is a story about a virtual territory “G” based on a true story about the pure-white land of Antarctica covered with snow. Antarctica is a place on Earth where mankind set foot the latest and had been a continent of mystery until the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) reached the South Pole at the beginning of the 20th century. Recently the beautiful white nights and aurora, the vastly unfolding landscapes of glaciers, and the images of penguin as mascot for Antarctica have become subject to consumption of contents in various games and illustrations, coming as something familiar to the public. However, it is still remaining as a place of fantasy whose access is rather difficult for ordinary people.
Antarctica is known to be the least polluted place on Earth, referred to as a utopia for scientists, serving as a natural testbed for studying all scientific disciplines and global warming. In 1959, 50 countries around the world, by signing the ‘Antarctic Treaty’, banned the military use of Antarctica’s land and waters and allowed only its peaceful use to ensure everyone’s freedom in conducting scientific study and research. Therefore a total of 29 countries built bases in Antarctica to conduct R&D activities. In fact, the treaty was also conceived to ban the territorial claims of individual countries; however, many countries for the sake of “science” have rushed to make their ways into Antarctica, as this intact land holds a reserve of some 150 billion tons of various natural resources and minerals like coal, oil, copper, iron, gold and silver. The territorial disputes surrounding this no man’s land with immense potential are still on going, but in more silent and fierce form than ever before. 2048 is based on a time point when the Antarctic Treaty expires. Three huge screens with 12 signage monitors combined as one screen are installed across the fourth floor;
therefore, regardless of the position of the audience, a blind spot is inevitably created. Images in the video are the actual footages the artist filmed during the stay in Antarctica as part of a two-week residency program. These footages are mixed with virtual landscapes produced as a graphic program to travel in between documentary and fiction. The image of “G” facing 2048, rather than presenting a utopia for mankind, shows a dystopia, a center for territorial disputes shattered into pieces. As the visitor feels having watched a short sci-fi film, a somewhat familiar electronic melody comes along, overlapping with the nostalgic arcade game of the 1980s Antarctic Adventure, unfolding in the devastated snow-covered field featuring images of penguins having conquered the south pole, culminating in a very sweet and lovely ending.