Tag Archives: antarctica

Antarctic Anticipation and Nostalgia. – pt. 2.

Some of you may be wondering what we were doing on Antarctica in 2009, and how exactly we could claim it was a business trip. So let me tell you…

We unintentionally (and that’s a whole story of its own) became the main sponsor of an all-woman skiing expedition to the South Pole. Now, some time before the expedition itself, some colleagues and I were in Singapore. One evening in a restaurant we all admitted we were rather worried for the ladies on the 40-day (forty-day!) ski across the most inhospitable land on the planet. And that’s when we had a eureka! moment: “Why don’t we go too?!” Ok – not on skis, but to at least be there at the finish to meet and greet and celebrate with the intrepid adventurers. And that’s just what we ended up doing. Then we figured such an ambitiously adventurous jaunt would be interesting not only for us but also for the press – so we invited journalists along too!

So. There was me. There was our then-APAC-director, Harry Cheung (who was the main organizer of the project). There was Aleks Gostev (one of our top experts on cyberthreats, interviewee-extraordinaire, plus a mandatory member of any exotic expedition involving mountains or glaciers or both). Then there were three journalists – two with video cameras, the other – a professional photographer: Alexander Blotnitsky (France Press), Marina Ten (Associated Press), and Denis Davydov (Izvestiya).

We landed at the South Pole at precisely midnight (Moscow time) – on New Year’s Eve! Oh my glacier! New Year’s Eves don’t come more memorable than that :).

Read on: Antarctic nostalgia! …

Antarctic Anticipation and Nostalgia.

While making preparations for my upcoming creative Antarctic expedition I started to recollect my previous trip to the sixth continent, so had a delve into my photo-archive thereof. Ahhhhh, the nostalgia: I was reminded of how it was one of the most… OMG/ unforgettable/ outstanding adventures of my life; but, then, it would be. How could a trip to the South Pole itself not be? What’s more – a business trip there!!!

I took that many photos, and wrote that many words describing my polar adventure, that eventually a whole photo-travelogue book was published, an electronic version of which can still be downloaded from my blog (along with other books penned by me).

What you might not know is that practically anyone in good health and with sufficient (minimal) training can go to the South Pole. Ok, it will cost you quite a bit – say, that same as you’d pay for a brand new large Mercedes – but, well, extreme tourism always costs a lot more than beach holidays. So if you fancy it – get in touch with the company ALE, and off you pop (between November and February every year).

So how does it all happen – getting to the South Pole?

Read on: First you get to Punta Arenas…

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Ask the Audience: Antarctic Creativity Ideas Needed!

Hi all!

As you already know, we’re off to Antarctica! And it’s no ordinary trip to Antarctica – if there can be such a thing – but a very extraordinary one, with an extraordinarily creative international delegation of modern-art adepts aboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov research vessel; route: UshuaiaMarguerite Bay and back.

The Antarctic Biennale line-up will consist of 17 multidisciplinary artists; among them: Zhang Enli (China), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Joaquin Fargas (Argentina), Gustav Duesing (Germany), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Julius von Bismarck (Germany) and Julian Charriere (France/Switzerland). There are others too, but I don’t know their names yet. This multinational modern-art contingent was put together by the maestro of modern art, installations and performances, Alexander Ponomarev. Here are some of the latter’s works, btw:

So, led by the maestro, the artists will board the ship and for a week create some contemporary, unforgettable and fundamental modern art; then they’ll install their fresh masterpieces on the sixth continent. Yeah, that’s the plan.

Read on: how do I fit in among all these artists?…

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Antarctic Modern Art Biennale!

Ferrari and F-1, all-women skiing expeditions to the South Pole, snooker, archaeological digs of ancient Minoan ruins, chess, and a lot of other stuff. I think the word is eclectic for all that lot. And for those at the back not listening – this eclectic selection is what we sponsor, support, help, assist, admire, and are proud of! But something was missing. Something that would make it even more diversified. We needed to add an ingredient of a perfectly… perpendicular nature – perpendicular to that lot (is that even possible?). So that’s just what we did: we added… modern art to the mix!

Drum roll……………………….. crash cymbal! We have another announcement!

We’re taking part in a project of the most unusual and original kind (drum roll still going, getting louder – just like pulses and breathing!). Like I say, it’s about modern art. But not simply ‘modern’, and not simply ‘art’; add to it the following, and that’s what we got!: a ship (research-vessel), the ocean, and Antarctica! It all adds up to the must uniquely uncommon project in the world in the field of modern art – the Antarctic Biennale!

The essence of the project is as follows: artists from all around the world take long flights to Ushuaia in southern Argentina. There they’ll board a ship and sail to Antarctica, all the while intensively gaining inspiration and creating. The floating creative laboratory, exhibition deck, and ocean-faring platform for dialog will be the Akademik Sergey Vavilov research vessel. And it’s going to happen in the second half of March of this year!

And the project was officially announced last Saturday evening in Room 15 (the Italian Courtyard) of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

Read on: Why?…

The Santiago–Sydney Antarctic ‘Smile’: QF28

Hola amigos!

Not long ago I flew one of the most unusual commercial air routes I’ve ever taken.

It was the Santiago–Sydney-route on Qantas QF28 in a Boeing 747. The route forms a smile shape as it curves downwards and flies past… Antarctica! It felt a bit eerie flying – for 14 hours! – over a part of the world where there happens to be absolutely nothing at all! No islands, no ships, no folks, no hamburger stands… the very definition of ‘godforsaken’! Even submarines don’t bother with these remote southern reaches. Curiously, there’s one thing that features relatively prominently here: deceased satellites! They have them fall out of orbit and give them a marine burial here, well out of the way so they do no harm to Homo sapiens.




Read on: Antarctica!!…

Punta Arenas nostálgico.

Greetings all!

Punta Arenas – Sandy Point in English – is right at the very bottom end of Chile. It’s on a bank of the Strait of Magellan, across from the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. In other words, quite literally, the middle of nowhere. Unless, one day, you might fancy flying down to Antarctica… then it’d be where you’d want to be in the middle of, as flights down there leave from here. Actually, you’d need to be a little to the south of Punta Arenas, not in the middle of it, but that wouldn’t have given me the pseudo-witty play on words.

Punta Arenas, Chile

Read on: This was not my first time in Punta Arenas…