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Portscapes News: Launch of Ilana Halperin's 45 min-long audio field guide ‘A Brief History of Mobile Landmass’

The two first images are courtesy of Ben Wind, rest of images courtesy of the artist.

As her contribution to ‘Portscapes’, New York-born Glasgow-based artist Ilana Halperin has created a spoken-word narrative in Dutch and English for visitors to the port. Available at the visitor centre Futureland (map here) and online (www.portscapes.nl) from September 18 until 2013, ‘A Brief History of Mobile Landmass’ is an audio field guide inspired by a perception of Maasvlakte 2 in terms of formidable geophysical phenomena and a geological sense of time.

The artist has assembled a compelling narrative of fragments which draws on fact, fiction and personal fieldwork – as well as site surveys by volcanologists, geologists and the experts involved in the construction of Maasvlakte 2. It offers echoes, speculations and interpretations surrounding both the artificial and natural processes whereby new land is created. Recalling Jules Verne’s ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’, this 'book on tape' couples a wealth of scientific information with wonder and vivid descriptions.

Halperin is your guide through a landscape with tales of newborn islands, otherworldly Hawaiian magma and the fire deity Pele, a Rotterdam ‘lava flow’ or the ‘industrial volcanoes’ of its port. To paraphrase Mark Twain’s astonished account of the eruption of Kilauea in 1866: “Here is room for the imagination to work!”.

'Portscapes' is an accumulative series of newly commissioned projects taking place throughout 2009 alongside the construction of Rotterdam's [51° 55' N 4° 29' E] Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) – an extension to Europe's largest seaport and industrial area which will be realised between 2008 and 2013 by reclaiming a 2,000-hectare area of reclaimed land (see images here) that will extend the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest seaport and industrial area by 20%.

Portscapes is commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority with advice and support from SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Space, Amsterdam) and is curated by the Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes.
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