In 2009 and 2010, Janet Biggs traveled to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard with a crew of artists and scientists to document the changing Arctic landscape. As the subject of centuries of exploration, the Arctic was once seen as indifferent to human enterprise, so vast and inhospitable as to be immune to any imposition. Today, scientists expect climate change to leave Arctic summers ice-free as early as the next decade, and Svalbard, located halfway between Europe and the North Pole, finds itself at the epicenter of this metamorphoses. Using footage compiled on her voyages north, Biggs explores this history and the alarming consequences of human enterprise in three videos: Warning Shot (2016), Brightness All Around (2011), and Fade to White (2010). Shown together, these works are a clarion call for a heroic landscape that will completely transform within our lifetimes.

Janet Biggs: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape is organized by the Barry Lopez Foundation for Art & Environment. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Barry Lopez Foundation works with contemporary artists to organize exhibitions addressing climate change, biodiversity, habitat loss, and our relationship with the land in a time of environmental crisis.

Janet Biggs

Fade to White (video still), 2010
Single-channel HD video with sound, 16×9 format, running time 12:28
Courtesy the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York