Arctic States

An exhibition and symposium at the UVa School of Architecture (under Arctic Design Group)


Spring 2015

The Arctic States symposium brought together established and emerging scholars of design in the far North. I assisted the principals of the Arctic Design Group in authoring and distributing a call to graduate students across disciplines pursuing research on Arctic topics. Participants were selected from architecture, landscape architecture, history, sociology, anthropology, and art history, and represented a range of countries in the United States and Europe. The participating scholars attended the symposium and presented their findings to lecturers, faculty from the University, and members of the general public.

At the opening event, research posters were displayed alongside a curated selection of film and video depicting the far North: Robert Flaherty’s problematic 1922 proto-documentary “Nanook of the North”; Werner Herzog’s 2010 documentary “Happy People”; Howard Hawks’s paranoid 1951 science fiction film “The Thing from Another Planet”; and Francis Alÿs’s 1997 video work “Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing” supplemented the scholarly investigations into Arctic topics. The result is a cool and campy meditation on the place of the far North in contemporary visual culture.


installation and event photographs by Jake Fox
©Ben Barsotti Scott 2019