Ongoing research project:
The myth of Bas Jan Ader's 1975 disappearance at sea is one of the most evocative and enigmatic of 20th century art history. Using live weather data and marine simulation with this project we intend to retell this story in a never-ending loop of circumstance and destiny. In doing so we will give a human context and perspective to the flow of scientific weather data building a bridge in perception between scientific analysis of the climate data and our experience of the weather.
In the second phase of a trilogy of artworks titled ‘In search of the miraculous’ the Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader set sail from Cape Cod to Groningen alone in a 13ft sailboat named the ‘Ocean Wave’. He estimated that the voyage should take him 60 to 90 days. His unmanned boat was found nine months after he had set sail, floating nearly vertically in the water, bow down, due west of Land's End. Ocean Wave was found by Spanish fishermen who took her to A Coruña from where she was stolen somewhere between 18 May and 7 June 1976.
With this project we want to transform Bas Jan Ader’s fateful journey into a continuous and everlasting voyage. The Ocean Wave will once again set sail from Cape Cod heading for Groningen, this time afloat a simulated Atlantic, created using live data. In this online oceanic world the user would be able to follow his journey perpetually, in real time. What dangers will this tiny boat encounter in this modern world, more than 40 years after Ader’s faithful voyage? Will she make it to Groningen? Where will she disappear? With every failed attempt she will start back at the beginning of the trip, in search, this time, of favourable circumstances.
We live at a time in which the prediction of weather and climate is politically divisive. For decades scientists have been using ever more precise data and simulations to predict how our world will look in, ten, fifty, a hundred years time. Today live data and scientific simulation is so precise you can watch the world unfolding in real time online. Yet predictions often seem remote and far off, distanced from the reality we inhabit. In this project the memory of Ader’s voyage would serve as a frame story which would allow us to explore questions about the climate, weather, pollution, data, history and endurance.
This project is supported by [stimuleringsfonds] (https://stimuleringsfonds.nl)