Snow: The New Medium?

Snow: The New Medium?

As we all hunker down amidst the chill of winter, there is one thing—one material/presence/mush/medium—that excites and invigorates us…SNOW! That white crisp-but-fluffy/shimmery-but-soft magic that descends upon trees and alters the lines of our landscape.

Those of us who grew up in a snowy region share a sort of collective nostalgia in relation to snow. Snow-angels.Sledding.Snowballs.Snowmen.Igloos. And even as we grow older, when faced with the sillyserene white stuff, we are overcome by an undeniable desire to pick it up/build with it/play in it.

Without a doubt, then, snow is an artistic medium. Just think of your last snowman and then try saying that you weren’t engaged in a creative process while constructing him/her!

In 2004, and then again in 2006, Curator Lance Fung decided to make the human impulse to create out of snow a more wholly-recognized artistic enterprise. In The Snow Show, he paired artists and architects on collaborative-creative teams and asked them to conceptualize and construct an installation piece on-site in a snowy landscape. The Snow Show was originally conceived in the landscape of Finnish Lapland, and plans for it were shown in exhibit-form at the Venice Biennale of 2004. In its second manifestation, The Snow Show moved to Sestriere, Italy, where it was created in conjunction with the Winter Olympics of 2006.

Though ties between art and architecture have always been present, their substantial interplay has only recently begun to be widely recognized and–in the case of The Snow Show–celebrated. What better medium to equalize and bond its practitioners? When building with snow, both architects and artists are forced to think in new ways…which produces beautiful artworks–and architectural structures. Blurring the lines between the fields of art and architecture, this exhibition challenges the notion of boundaries and makes us ALL want to go outside and push our creative limits!

For more enticing images, architectural drawings, statements, etc., check out: