“The Art of Recycling in Antarctica : The Long View” is a project conceived by artist Michael Bartalos and supported by an Antarctic Artists and Writers Program grant from the National Science Foundation.
This award allowed Bartalos to access the U.S. Antarctic Program’s waste management system throughout January 2009 to collect recyclable and reusable material from McMurdo Station, South Pole Station, and Lake Hoare, a Dry Valleys field camp.
Now back in California, the artist is using this found material to create a sequential sculptural work intended to raise international awareness of resource conservation and eco-preservation practices in Antarctica, and by extension, to promote and inspire sustainability worldwide.
100 sculptural vignettes will form a continuous, free-standing structure which represents the U.S. Antarctic Program’s rigorous refuse-removal protocol as well as the centenary of an early instance of polar recycling in which Ernest Shackleton fashioned wooden covers from provision crates to bind Aurora Australis, the first book ever published in Antarctica.
Bartalos’s introductory post provides more detailed project descriptions and objectives, followed by posts from Singapore, New Zealand, Antarctica, and most recently from his San Francisco studio where the artwork progresses.