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Day 2 of Test Shots (Swept Away)

Posted: February 15th, 2012

Today we woke up to a foot of freshly fallen snow. If there is one thing that we are realizing, consistency is nearly impossible with shooting in this climate and season. The light can change drastically in 5 minutes, and the appearance of a river can turn into a field with a fresh snowfall.

Our day of tests shots was not what we had planned. We had expected to be drilling into the ice and making pools of water along the inlet. Instead we realized that in order to do this, we had to first uncover the snow to reveal that the ice was even there for the camera. This act of clearing proved to be more interesting than expected.

sweeping action 1

There is something strange about walking on the ice in the snow. The snow gives a confidence- mentally the ice becomes more like land, and you are willing to travel further than you would otherwise. At the same time, the snow adds an insecurity, there is no way to see what is under your feet. There is a constant negotiation between these two states.

We grabbed a broom off of Helena’s porch to sweep the snow off the ice in the spots we were planning to drill. Intuitively Mary started using it to poke at the surface, to listen for the density of the ice.

Sweeping the Floor

When we went to drill the holes we found that our ice drill (isborr) was not working properly. It just wouldn’t cut in the ice. We can’t understand why, it was working fine 2 days ago. The only thing that has changed is that there is much more snow on the ice.

For the first time today we also saw a ship passing by on the horizon. Further out on the ice, (closer to the open sea) there are carved shipping lanes for the ships to travel back and forth from the harbor. We realized that we could get the schedule of the ships crossing, and also potentially incorporate that into our piece. Tomorrow we will talk to the Harbor Master!

So we weren’t able to drill today, but we did discover a new component to the action that we didn’t expect. The act of clearing snow is also a kind of mark making- it is also a kind of investigation of the surface, and claiming a space for action.

Making Paths

Tomorrow we are going to try to locate another isborr from a local fishing shop, to see if it is the tool that is the problem. We feel like it is necessary to see the water come to the surface for us to make a plan. Overall though, today we found shots we like and a direction that we are excited about.

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