Iceland Resolution: The View from Nowhere: Matthew Bohne

Matthew Bohne

About: Graduate student at Yale School of Architecture, from Los Angeles

Iceland Resolution: The View from Nowhere

Short Statement

In Iceland, 99% of electricity is produced from renewable resources. To meet the demand for commercial energy consumption, several experimental forms of energy production have been developed. This has accelerated the encounter with new dissolved solids, toxic metals, and corrosive gasses. The “beasts” or dýrið, as they are referred to by locals, are gaseous excretion systems that move across the terrain assisting with the substantial underground operations. As symbols of a push for a “green” industrial revolution, they have provoked a heated debate of infrastructure’s sovereignty in contemporary conservation. These structures were documented by a team of trans-species metallurgists in 2056.

Full Statement

In Iceland, 99% of electricity is produced from renewable resources, 30% is from geothermal and 69% is from hydroelectric production. In recent history, the demand for renewable energy has instantiated the use of experimental drilling and energy harnessing technologies. Since 2020, Iceland has successfully developed two new types of energy production: the deep drilling project, which taps into magma below the earth's surface for a still yet undetermined supercritical point, and the joining of geothermal and hydroelectric power. Much of what we understand that occurs below the surface of Iceland is still being developed, much by my colleague here, but we have only very recent research to speculate on the impact and long term effects of these experimental projects.

Iceland is one of the most geologically active sites on the planet; providing vast and variegated energy-rich geologic compositions. Chasing the country’s embedded energy reserves has increased the frequency at which wells are drilled. As commercial energy development accelerates so does the encounter with new dissolved solids, toxic metals, and corrosive gasses. In order to meet the demand for energy production, Networx, a multinational power conglomerate developed roving regulating and ventilation chambers that are able to be repositioned over ongoing mining operations.

The “beasts” or dýrið, as they are referred to by locals, have become the center of an argument between conservation and industrialization. The extensive drilling operation is disguised below the surface, marked by 2-meter wide nozzles. Considering that the most visually dominant objects of the infrastructure are not stationary nor permanently fixed to the terrain has provoked a discussion of infrastructure’s sovereignty in the heated debate of contemporary conservation. - - - - - -

This work was shown alongside eight other projects that documented the future-past of the power infrastructure of Iceland. The work was completed in Michael Young’s studio at the Yale School of Architecture in Fall 2016, which explored the aesthetics of accelerationism and the unique political, social, and economic terrain of Iceland.

The full studio description may be found here: http://architecture.yale.edu/courses/advanced-design-studio- young