FREEZE. It’s a celebration of Alaska and life in the North. It’s the sixties, latitudinally speaking. It’s promoting, improving and exchanging ideas about the hyperborean lifestyle. It’s a January slate filled with conferences, performances and exhibitions. It’s a showcase for themes of energy, design, health, transportation and art. It’s a bold series of large-scale, outdoor installations that will be erected along the Park Strip. It’s teams of artists, architects, sound performers and designers from Alaska and around the world. It’s creating experiences that highlight the exquisite northern elements of snow, ice and light. It’s a gathering of enthusiasts committed to perpetuating the Northern spirit. It’s hot. It’s cool. It’s FREEZE.

FREEZE installations will be located on the Delaney Park Strip, Elderberry Park and Anchorage Museum Plaza in downtown Anchorage from January 10 – February 2, 2009. Public lectures and programs will be held throughout January 2009 at various locations in Anchorage, including the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

Rooted in the Arctic

Polar regions are receiving increasing attention in these times of climate change and environmental awareness. People have lived in the Arctic since at least the peak of the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago, and the top of the world has been the first part of Earth to show dramatic effects from the heating of the atmosphere and oceans. The polar region appears to be warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. The current rate of loss of sea ice is likely to push the Arctic system into a climatic state not seen for at least a million years.

But, for a warming place, the arctic is still cool. The people living here do not shun the cold. Rather, they have learned to thrive in it and even celebrate it, with winter carnivals dating back to 1918 in Anchorage. FREEZE will serve as a continuation of the celebration of winter. The installations will be ephemeral but will have a lasting impact.

Reaching Beyond Alaska

The designers come from around the globe, including Alaska, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Germany, England, California, Arizona and Washington. While participants or organized, into “teams,” this is not a competition, but rather a collaboration between individuals and disciplines and a sharing of ideas and perspectives.

FREEZE is organized and hosted by the Alaska Design Forum in association with the International Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Anchorage Museum. The exhibition is curated by Julie Decker, Ph.D., author, artist, independent curator and gallery director, in association with Brian Carter, Dean of Architecture and Planning for SUNY Buffalo, an architect and award-winning author of numerous books on modern architecture.

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