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The White Continent, 2001

Twelve acrylic and toner transfer paintings on credit cards.

The images are from photos I took in 2000 on my third trip to the South Pole. My intention was not to illustrate Antarctica as it appears to the traveler or researcher, but rather to point to its otherworldliness and the bleak, thrilling, science-fictionesque associations that the terrain, structures and vehicles generated in my mind. The small credit cards provide a convenient and intimate support for the images. They also provide an ironic contrast, as mundane objects of daily commerce, with the inaccessible wastelands of Antarctica where there is nothing to buy save souvenirs or drinks on a few lonely bases.

The paintings are meant to be shown, and sold, as a set. They are mounted on interchangeable brackets so that they can be easily rearranged to the owner’s taste. An instruction sheet (PDF) explaining the straightforward installation is available.

The work, currently in the collection of Dr. Barbara Seabridge, Berkeley, California, is described in Terra Antarctica: Looking into the Emptiest Continent by William Fox, who traveled to Antarctica on an NSF Artists and Writers Grant.

(Please don’t waste your time trying to decode the credit card numbers – they are all scrambled and canceled.)