From Iceland — Anna Diljá Designs A Hotplate That "Melts"

Anna Diljá Designs A Hotplate That “Melts”

Published March 13, 2015

As part of DesignMarch, artist Anna Diljá Sigurðardóttir is presenting her exhibition ‘Hofsjökull Hitaplatti’ (‘Hofsjökull Hotplate’) at Loft Hostel. The work shows how the glacier Hofsjökull will shrink over the next 300 years due to climate change. In anticipation of the event, we asked Anna a few questions about her project.

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
I was born in 1993 and grew up in Kópavogur. I studied art at Fjölbrautaskólinn in Garðabær and graduated in December 2012, and then took a break from studying to realise what I wanted to do. I spent four months travelling through Southeast Asia and Oceania. When I got home I immediately wanted to go back to school, so I applied for studies at The Reykjavík School of Visual Arts, where I will graduate from the this spring. I plan to further my arts education next fall.

How did you get the idea for this piece?
Climate change has been over much debate in the past years. My dad is a Geochemist and these issues are often discussed at home, so I have long been aware of the effect climate change may have on the environment, including on glaciers.

“As more and more people become aware of the risk, the chances that something can be done to counteract this development grows.”

I got the idea for the hotplates a year ago when I was at dinner and saw a pot on the hotplate. I thought this could kind of graphically show the effects of climate change on glaciers. After that I looked at books on glaciers and contacted Dr. Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir who showed me data that the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences made in collaboration with the Icelandic Meteorological Office, which simulates the performance and flow of glaciers and can show how they respond to climate change. These calculations were prepared as part of the Nordic Climate and Energy (CE) project, and that’s where I got a model that I built the model hotplates on.

Then last summer I got a job at (“Skapandi sumarstörfum“) “Creative Summer Jobs” in Kópavogur to design “Hofsjökull Hotplate” and I got Dr. Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir and Dr. Sigurður Reynir Gíslason, also from the Institute of Earth Sciences, and Dr. Tómas Jóhannesson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office to help me explain climate change for text to accompany the hotplate, because I think it is important to provide details of these threats to the environment.

Tell me about the shapes. Are they based on projections from a specific study?
The hotplate is in five parts, showing developments over the next 300 years. When the hotplate is complete it shows the glacier as it looks today. When the first section is removed, the plate will show the glacier as it will look after 50 years. Then a large part of it disappears, including Múlajökull, which most people recognize, and it continues to shrink.

What reaction do you hope to provoke in viewers of your work?
When the hotplate is dismantled then people might better realise the rapid and substantial changes that could occur in the next 300 years, thereby increasing the understanding of the consequences they will have. As more and more people become aware of the risk, the chances that something can be done to counteract this development grows.

See the exhibit at Loft Hostel Friday 11:00-22:00, Saturday 11:00-17:00, or Sunday 13:00-17:00. There will be a few hotplates on sale.


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