Creating Art in a Blizzard

On a sunny September day in Bolzano, Italy, Peter Senoner creates his art. When Senoner made the statues and drawings, the temperature control panel in his study showed -9.5 degrees Celsius. The artist is in the terraXcube room at the Eurac Research Center, a private research facility that specializes in simulating extreme climates.

For the past two days, eight hours a day, Senoner has been trying to create his art at an altitude equivalent to 4,000 meters.

For him it was a unique way to test his artistic creativity. “What is more important is to create works of art. Creating art in terraXcube gives us unique new possibilities, which cannot be found in museums, galleries or exhibition spaces, for us,” explains Peter Senoner.

While his main purpose was to test Senoner’s imagination, the artist’s body was also put to the test. Prior to starting this project, the artist’s health was closely monitored to ensure that he was fit enough to withstand the extreme climate created in the workspace.

Peter Senoner and his work in "An Antarctic expedition" of terraXcube.  (Photo: @ tiberio_sorvillo / IG @festivaltransart)

Peter Senoner and his work on “An Antarctic expedition” on terraXcube. (Photo: @tiberio_sorvillo/IG @festivaltransart)

The TerraXcube climate chamber is commonly used to study the effects of climatic conditions in various situations.

The center is headed by Christian Steurer. “This room produces a temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius, and that’s where we started. We then fill it with snow by activating the snow channel. We also did a little experiment by covering the statue with ice. These are all elements that we can provide in terraXcube, but then the artists make it happen.”

“We have agreed on various experimental things with the artist. He needs to experiment with all of that as well. The main concept is that we put an artist working in an extreme environment and he tries to do his job there,” added Steurer.

Several posts are pre-prepared so Senoner can work on various projects over time.

Peter Senoner's workspace in "An Antarctic expedition" di dalam terraXcube.  (Photo: @ tiberio_sorvillo / IG @festivaltransart)

Peter Senoner’s workspace on “An Antarctic expedition” on terraXcube. (Photo: @tiberio_sorvillo/IG @festivaltransart)

“I will work against the extreme elements, and I try to clear the statues of snow and ice. We’ve set up a wooden table, and there I’m also going to be working on botanical drawings, plants, which are very thin and perishable using graphite because graphite is the only material I can use in there, at very low temperatures, and graphite is like a link to my brain and body,” added Peter Senoner.

Senoner’s temporary use of the terraXcube is part of the Transart Festival, a well-known multidisciplinary festival in contemporary culture in Italy that seeks to engage its audience in the exploration of the new frontiers of contemporary art.

On the second day of the experiment, Senoner said he was relieved that the setting in the experiment room allowed him to complete many works of art.

The Transart Festival takes place from September 6 to September 24, 2021 at various locations in Alto Adige, including the Noi Techpark, the innovation hub where terraXcube is located. [lt/uh]

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