Steve Rowell

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© 2020 Stéve Röwëll

Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the Cold Coast Archive

The Cold Coast Archive is a collaboration with Signe Lidén and Annesofie Norn that begins with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) – a starting point for investigations into, and extrapolations from the broader meaning of a remote landscape of survival, contingency, and preparedness. Buried in a frozen mountainside on the arctic island of Spitsbergen and hardened to survive a nuclear assault, the SGSV (nicknamed the “Doomsday Vault”) is the most robust seed vault in the world. It is designed to protect its contents from all imaginable worst-case scenarios, including climate change, asteroid impact, and nuclear war. Deep time, Disaster planning, Geopolitical speculation, and climate prediction are recurring themes for both the place and the project.

NEWS: The video from this project, In the Best of All Possible Worlds, has shown at the following screenings/exhibitions:

May 2016: one of my interior vault photos appears in "Archives of the Present-Future: On Climate Change and Representational Breakdown", The Avery Review, issue 16, Emily Eliza Scott, Columbia GSAPP Books on Architecture, 2016
July 18, 2015: The Velaslavasay Panorama Summer 2015 polar film series (in conjunction with the Los Angeles Film Forum), Los Angeles
August 15 & 22, 2014: Presentism film festival, WhiteSpace, Atlanta
September 13 - October 11, 2014: Trans-Farm, Detroit

Explore the temporal, spatial, and media dimensions of Cold Coast Archive at the project website.
More photos, text, and a map at we-make-money-not-art.

A version of this project was exhibited at Røm8 in Bergen
A version of this project was exhibited at the Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh in 2012.
My video from this project, The Best of all Possible Worlds, was screened at one the Long Now Foundation's SALT events at Fort Mason, San Francisco in 02012.
My audio piece, Incidental Soundscapes: High and Low, was "performed" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in conjunction with a series of events curated by the Long Now Foundation, in 2011
A sound installation, Hollow Earth, using recordings from my trip to Svalbard, was exhibited at the Eternithaus, Hansaviertel in Berlin in 2011, curated by Ellen Blumenstein of The Office.