In september visual artists Ferdinand Krag and Frans Jacobi, poet Theis Ørntoft and filmmaker Frederik Jacobi are travelling to the furthest Siberia, the Yamal Peninsula, to investigate and film some deep craters, that has been found in the tundra during the last year.
Scientists suggest that the deep holes are created by severe explosions of methane gas – as a consequence of increasing temperatures caused by global heating. By the explosions large amounts of methane gas are released, which adds further damage to the ozone layer. These releases might create a so-called climatic feedback loop, that has the potential of starting a chain of catastrophic events. As can be seen in the images, the holes have dramatic visual and aesthetic appearances, that matches the apocalyptical connotations of the scientific theories.
The area where these craters are found is populated by the nomad-people the Nenets, a ancient shamanistic culture. On our journey to the mysterious holes – the last part of which will be by helicopter – we will be based in a Nenet-camp. Here we will investigate the creational myths of the Nenets and try to figure out how they relate to the possible ’end of the world’ suggested by the scientific tale of the methane explosions.
In the cosmology of the Nenets the terms si and nio, both defines a hole or a passage:
The primordial ‘hearth’, which was the source of the notions haehae and haeywy, as well as of hae’ (thunder) and hae (deep/whirlpool), was most likely a symbol of some ‘living force’ that filled all space – from the female ‘bottom/low place’ and the male ‘top’ to the very limits of the sky and the waters.
With the film SIBERIAN HOLES we attempt to use the images of the methane-gas-holes as a metaphor for the potential passage thru the limits of the sky and the waters that is now suggested by a unified international scientific community as a possible consequence of capitalist culture’s all encompassing influence on the globe (anthropocene).
SIBERIAN HOLES will be presented to the public at a 3-day entry into Meteor Festival in Bergen, october 16th to 18th. This event, called BURST, will be the first of 7 events in the artistic-research project SYNSMASKINEN, contemplating various manifestations of what can be termed as a global hyper crisis. SYNSMASKINEN is funded by the norwegian Program for Artistic Research and Bergen Academy og Art & Design, KHiB.
This entry is written on the flight from Copenhagen to Moscow. From Moscow we will travel 48 hours by train to Salekhard in Siberia. From Salekhard we will fly 3-4 hours by helicopter to Yamal Peninsula, where the holes are situated. I will write the next entry on the flight back from Moscow. In between we will visit Symsy, the symbolic axis of the universe in the Nenet cosmology, follow the holy smoke into whatever other world the siberian holes might be a portal to.