Balloons along traditional hunting trails act as way-finding devices and suggest a soft network between remote communities while simultaneously collecting widespread data
By Claire Lubell and Virginia Fernandez
Buoyant Light frames light as a constant in the rapidly changing Canadian Arctic climate where the solar path has become a datum against which to track changes in other seasonal cycles. Recognizing that in this fragile environment any physical changes can have powerful implications, the project proposes an almost ethereal intervention that would improve the life of the Inuit through light. Buoyant Light consists of a balloon and a buoy which serve a dual function: to harvest solar energy, providing Igloolik with light in the long winter; and to make data visually accessible to the community.
A cluster activates the space outside the Northern Store while also measuring changes in permafrost around building foundations. New street lighting improves safety at night.
Community members gather on the ice on a winter night to watch the youth of Artcirq perform.
The visual impact of the balloon begins to disappear in spring. Fisherman can access the equipment for maintenance checks after the long winter.