Watching climate change

9 April 2010

Cool(e)motion artwork wanders with Arctic ice to show the effects of global warming on Greenlanders.

Two abstract Dog Sled Riders created by Dutch sculptor Ap Verheggen have been installed on an iceberg near the village of Ummannaq on the coast of Greenland. Projected to be the first of a series of installations in the Arctic, the Cool(e)motion sculptures will travel on the melting polar ice until they fall into the sea—a visual representation of the effects of climate change on the natural landscape and the people who depend on it.

The sled riders were inspired by the island village, which is home to 1,000 inhabitants and twice that number of dogs. Normally, the dogs and sleds are the basic transport for six months of the year but warmer winters have limited their use. As the snow disappears, so may the culture that has adapted so perfectly to ice.

Made of thin steel, the sculptures will eventually sink into the ocean. If it is feasible, they will be recovered. Otherwise, they will slowly decompose into iron oxide, offering first an artificial reef and finally nutrients to the marine system.

Follow the journey of the Dog Sled Riders on the Web site www.coolemotion.org.

Sled riders by Ap Verheggen.