Amphibious Trilogies

A new terella for dark times

We have been working between worlds – technical and communicative – with Anthony Rowe a former colleague and PhD graduate at AHO. We’ve wanted to collaborate on a light related project, and an Arctic one for some years now. We have been discussing this over the past few months and working to find a connect between Amphibious Trilogies and Anthony’s ongoing work in luminous installations. We’ve been discussing how to conjure up an mediational and physical-digital space to think about the future as part an extended choreographic imaginary. Recently, we chose to call this experimental work ‘Aurora Imaginaris’.

The work of Birkelund on the magnetics of the aurora borealis has been inspirational and his work with fashioning an experimental terella or globe.

We’ve submitted an abstract to the Darkness conference to be held in Svalbard in January 2019. This is give us an opportunity to focus and to locate the work in the Arctic and on an island. However, Aurora Imaginaris falls within the Passage part of the project. It’s a device to conceptualise a passage and a space to think into the future, beyond our current ‘dark times’.

We will do this is the mid-winter darkness of Svalbard, as far north as habitation happens. We will need to create an aurora, a manifestation of an imaginary light, a lit passage for conceptualising an extended choreography of climate change, a volume of another terella, manifest through the expression of art not scientific experimental proof. And we will reveal the actual work, not just images of it. As with abstracts, work remains to be done to meet its pitch ….

Title: ‘Discovering a new Terella for Dark Times: Aurora Imaginaris Revealed’


We analagously present the co-creation of Birkelund’s laboratory discovery of the electromagnetics of the Aurora Borealis in his Terrella machine with the generation of the Aurora Imaginaris by the Amphibious Trilogies (AT) transdisciplinary practice-based art research team. AT seeks to investigate new choreo-topographies for engaging in artistic knowledge creation in contexts and times of increasing complexity. Part of the project’s practice is to investigate speculative design as a mode of performative querying ‘dark times’ of contested truth and turbulence. As part of the DARKNESS event we enact – technically, mediationally and dramaturgically – the first public appearance of a new cultural imaginary that appears in the deep arctic darken winter of Longyearbyen. The phenomenon takes the form of an experimental occurrence realised through projection mapping and via aerogel. Aurora Imaginaris as a metaphorical means to think through the incontingencies, shifting conditions and indeterminacies of changing arctic environments is achieved through its limnal qualities. Aurora Imaginaris confronts us with a new Terrella for perceiving the changing conditions of arctic environments and thinking through darkness.

Authors: Morrison, Andrew; Steggell, Amanda; Rowe, Anthony; Bandlien, Brynjar Åbel & Wallin Weihe, Hans Jørgen

Event: Island Dynamics Conference: Darkness. Svalbard, 13-17 January 2019.

Panel 20: Architecture and design.


Click & Drag: Rotate the view.
Right Click & Drag: Pan the view.