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Capturing the Tasman Glacier’s icy transience

The Queenstown duo behind the cover of Idealog’s Technology Issue ventured to the Tasman Glacier in June with the hope of projecting some ethereal imagery onto the South Island's icy terrain. These are the results of their most ambitious project to date.

“Do you remember some of those favourite places you visited when you were young?” asks photographer Vaughan Brookfield at the start of the video.

“Are they still the same? Mine have all changed.”

It’s an incredibly poignant statement, one that captures Brookfield and sound/lighting producer Tom Lynch’s ambitious project, The Nameless, to the tee.   

Combining the photographic eye of the former and the technical nous of the latter, The Nameless embodies not just the intersection between technology and art, but the cross section between man and nature, creating content that “relates to the environment around us and the effects we’re having on it”.

After several weeks projecting onto a diverse range of unorthodox surfaces such as cliffs, waterfalls and boulders around the Queenstown area, Brookfield and Lynch took their personal passion project to another level, lugging both themselves and a 25kg projector (among other things) all the way up to the Tasman Glacier.

With support from Canon as part of the company’s Show Us What’s Possible creative incubator, The Nameless was chosen by Canon’s expert review panel for “clearly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through the creation of these photographic sculptures”.

 

The plan put forward to the panel was to project images onto the rapidly receding Tasman Glacier in order to remind people of the effects humans were having on the environment.

After receiving funding, equipment and technical support from Canon, Brookfield and Lynch set off in June to shoot their project in freezing temperatures.

“There are a lot of little things that could go wrong when you're out there,” Brookfield told Idealog prior to the project. “If something's not working, it's not like you can just pop down and get a new cord or download the software off the internet. For this next mission, we're not even going to have cellular reception. Technology's not really designed to be in those environments, but it's good to push the limits and see what they can endure.”

As well as producing a successful series of photographic images, filmmaker Heath Patterson also tagged along with the team to document the journey every step of the way. The short film can now be viewed below.