FAQ

Frequently asked questions

1. What does the name SunGlacier stand for?
2. Who is Ap Verheggen ?
3. What was the reason for the artist to start this project?
4. What does climate change = culture change mean?
5. What is the artist trying to achieve?
6. How can one follow the project?
7. How is it possible to create ice in the desert without external energy sources or water?
8. How does the SunGlacier sculpture DC01 work?

1. What does the name SunGlacier stand for?

The name SunGlacier embraces the contrast between ice and desert. At the same time it covers the counter-intuitive aim of the project to create ice and water in the desert by making use of the energy of the sun.

2. Who is Ap Verheggen (1964) ?

He is an extraordinarily creative artist in a myriad of media. He is not just focused on making sculptures, but he also designs objects, writes and produces documentary films.
People from all over the world are confronted with his highly acclaimed sculpture work, stretched out over a length of 52 meters, as they enter the Shell EPI center, where Ap placed one of the world’s largest works of art in bronze. He has always been fascinated by nature. This is very much reflected in his provocative bronze sculptures which incorporate exact copies of natural elements (e.g. fish, vegetables, fruit, vines, people or earth reliefs). His work is sometimes referred to as surreal as it connects reality with something unexpected that doesn’t fit seemingly belong in the composition. Ap’s connection of unrelated elements introduces a sense of discovery and questioning.

3. What was the reason for the artist to start this project?

Similar to cool(E)motion, SunGlacier started because Ap wants to introduce positive signals in the discussion about climate change. Instead of ‘naming, blaming and shaming’, he wants to add a positive focus.  Our climate always has been dynamic. Cultures always adapted to these changes. Right now it seems that our climate is changing very rapidly, so extra fast response is required. The project put forward the essence that climate change means culture change.

4. What does climate change = culture change mean?

Cool(E)motion demonstrated the inextricable link between climate and culture and visualized what the consequences of that link are. Uummannaq is famous for its dogs and people ride every winter with their sledges across the ice. Normally over a period of 6 months/year, but since 4 years the winters become shorter and shorter. The last 3 years it even was impossible to ride over the sea ice. An important part of their culture is disappearing.
Cool(e)motion has shown us that humanity in the fight with nature will always lose. So we must stop fighting against nature, and start to cooperate with it, without disturbing the delicate balance. Only when we are willing to change our culture, we will manage to adapt to the forthcoming climate change.

5. What is the artist trying to achieve?

In this counter-intuitive project we want to inspire people to tap into new dimensions with creativity, art and science.It will demonstrate that with current technology much can be achieved in response to emerging and urgent threats. It will represent a creative way of thinking about adaptation to climate change. The projects will explore the boundaries of science and technology.

6. How can one follow the project?

By visiting www.sunglacier.com or following SunGlacier on Facebook.

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7. How is it possible to create ice and water in the desert without external energy sources or water?

We have tested and proved that the creation of ice and the production of water in a desert environment is feasible by means of using only solar energy. The general issues are:

  • Which climate facts do we have to cope with in a desert environment?
  • Can we find enough water and where can we find it?
  • How can we generate enough frigidity [freezing capacity] in order to create ice and sustain an adequate volume of it?

Ad 1 The climate condition (temperature, humidity, wind, etc.) of deserts can vary considerably. Therefore, is the choice of location a point of importance.
Ad 2 The only favourable source of water is the available water vapour in the air. The amount of exploitable water differs strongly with temperature and humidity.
Ad 3 There are many ways of creating frigidity [removing the heat]. The challenge is, to find the best suitable way for our sculpture. Our frigidity [refrigeration] experts investigated a long list of possibilities. Compression refrigeration, eventually in combination with absorption cooling, seems the best attainable option so far.

8. How does the SunGlacier sculpture DC01 work?

With intervals water bursts out of the top of the sculpture. All this water is collected out of the air by the installation itself, collected in a reservoir and pumped to the top in certain times. This whole process is completely powered by solar energy. Current weather conditions are responsible for the frequency of the water bursts. Despite all technology which are integrated in the sculpture, human interference has absolutely no effect. Nature goes its own way and to express this, Verheggen choose to build the sculpture in wood (red cedar)

Generally, air with high temperatures, contains more water. That’s why a lot of water is available in the air. The higher the temperatures, the more sun, means the more potential water can be harvested.