Argentinean artist Joaquin Fargas does not doubt that art can change the world. Since he was nine, when he tried to recharge a battery and was not only about to get electrocuted, but also caused an outage in his house, he has done experiments with unexpected results. Today he is 66 years old and he continues doing it.
He presents his most recent work as ‘Glaciator.’ It is a robot he built in his workshop in Argentina and then took all the way to Antarctica so that, powered by solar energy, it would walk on that cold and remote continent.
The objective of ‘Glaciator’ is to compact and re-crystallize the snow with its steps so that eventually it will turn into ice and adhere to the glacier mass.
In the last 50 years, the ice mass of Antarctica has diminished dramatically. The practical solution to this problem is not yet known, although Fargas doesn’t falter in the importance of finding it.
“We must do something, though we may not know the results,“ Fargas said in a TED talk about the symbiosis between art, science, and technology, three fields of knowledge where he doesn’t see any borders.
“The good thing about art is that it does not expect an immediate, concrete result. Art is a little bit more patient,” he told us.
With recyclable aluminum pieces, some plastic parts and solar panels, he built four Glaciators. Today, one of them is in the Biennale of Venice, another in Moscow (at the Kaspersky Lab company, which financed part of the project), and two in Argentina.
His previous work, Utopia Project, consisted of windmills that sought to cool the glacier. On that occasion he invited other artists to propose all sorts of projects to fight against global warming.
“It is up to us to fight against the current and to face tasks that seem to surpass us by appearance,” he said.
The images in this documentary were made by Nico Muñoz, a filmmaker for Omtv.media Broadcast Solutions.
This article and video were supported by Participant Media, maker of an Inconvenient Sequel.