Olafur Eliasson designs ‘Our glacial perspectives’ as an astronomical instrument
Olafur Eliasson (Danish – Icelandic artist) unveils his latest permanent public artwork, ‘our glacial perspectives’ along south Tyrol’s hochjochferner glacier. Visitors to mount grow and set out along a pathway leading along the mountain’s glacial – carved ridge for 410 meters upon visiting the glass artwork. The path is incrementally divided by nine gates that are spaced at intervals.
‘Our glacial perspectives’ pavilion comprises a series of steel and glass rings encompassing a circular deck which projects over the edge of mount grand. The rings divide the year into equal time intervals – the top ring tracks the sun’s path on the summer solstice, the middle ring follows the equinox, while the lowest track the winter solstice.
Each ring of the pavilion, ‘our glacial perspectives’ is divided into rectangular glass panes that demarcate fifteen arc minutes of the sun’s movement across the sky. this allows the viewer to determine the time of day based on the position of the sun. By marking the horizon, the cardinal directions, and the sun’s movement, Olafur Eliasson directs the visitor’s attention to a broader planetary perspective on the climate changes that are directly affecting hochjochferner. The subpath’s glass panes are tinted various shades of blue about the cyanometer, a scale developed in the nineteenth century for measuring the blueness of the sky. the colored glass filters and reflects light and solar radiation, behaving as a mini-atmosphere.