I must admit, I wasn’t sure whether Antarctica was the North or South Pole. So much for elementary school geography.
Yet thanks to the multidisciplinary artist Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky, now I will forever know. He has just published The Book of Ice (Mark Batty Publishers), part art, science, environmental manifesto and socio-political analysis of the one place in the world that is not the property of any nation or state — Antarctica.
This smartly designed volume (which launches here on July 13), follows in the Utopian/dystopian literary and art tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Miller charts out territory that becomes a microcosm of our world and starts from zero. He envisions a future revolution sparked by “The Manifesto of the People’s Republic of Antarctica.” To support this revolution, Miller speculates on Antarctica’s future history with its own visual, verbal and sound language promoted through essays, music, photographs, interviews, architectural plans, and propaganda.
In addition to Russian Constructivist-inspired posters in all the world’s tongues (shown here), Miller employs images from his journey to the bottom of the world, original artwork, and re-appropriated archival materials. Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, writes in his foreword, The Book of Ice is:
“infused with Paul D. Miller’s iconic imagination…. [It] casts a new and different light on this frozen terrain that has long been Earth’s most mysterious region. The book amplifies Antarctica’s frozen isolation, punctured now with ever greater frequency, and reveals its own set of hidden connections, remixing ice anew.”