Arctic Perspective Initiative
Installation of 7 works
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 04.01.15

Arctic Perspective Initiative is a transnational art, science and culture working group founded by Matthew Biederman and Marko Peljhan, whose actions aim at directing attention to the global and ecological significance of the Arctic. Working with, learning from and empowering the indigenous populations of the North, API has developed equipment, mapping devices, manifestos, open source applications and participatory communications infrastructures that are deployed across the Circumpolar region. Aware that the vested geopolitical and economic interests give very little deference to the indigenous cultures inhabiting the Arctic, and that climate change and the exploitation of natural resources are impacting significantly on the North, API develops collaborative projects between indigenous cultures, artists, hunters, scientists and engineers.

The installation presented here includes the flags of the nations and peoples of the Circumpolar region, the CDPDU or Common Data, Display and Processing Architecture which presents data collected in real time from devices located around the world, the KALLITAQ (a modular habitation based on traditional design), a “drone” used to take aerial photographs and a related grid of orthophotos of Ikpik and Iglulilk, a wall painting that depicts the reverting of colonial place names back to their original names across Nunavut and an interactive version of API’s Phoenix Declaration, now translated into six languages.

view of Kallitaq, 2010, at Hartware Medien Kunstverein (HMKV), Dortmund, Germany (courtesy of Arctic Perspective Initiative)
Circumpolar-Phoenix, 2010 – present
Gare Centrale
22.10.14 – 04.01.15
from near to far : Common Data Processing and Display Unit (CDPDU), Atlas-1 UAS and SINUNI, exhibition view in True Colors - Yebisu Festival for Art and Alternative Visions, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014 (courtesy of Arctic Perspective Initiative)
Circumpolar-Phoenix, 2010 – present
Quartier des spectacles
22.10.14 – 15.12.14
Bramor UAS Flight preparation, Ikpik, Baffin Island, NU.

Established in 2006, Arctic Perspective Initiative (API) is a non-profit, international group of individuals and organizations founded by Marko Peljhan and Matthew Biederman to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region. API has been conducting “field exchanges” in the North with local communities as a way to imagine, design and build new technologies in order to augment the connectivity between local and traditional knowledge and the techno-scientific complex, and provide means and strategies for greater autonomy, governance and scientific overview of the lands of the Arctic and their peoples by the people. API’s work has been shown at venues around the world, such as the 11th Biennale de Lyon; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Tokyo; Laboratoria / 5th Moscow Biennale; and Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The initiative does not have an end date.

Born in 1972 in Chicago Heights, IL, Matthew Biederman lives and works in Montréal, and has been working across media and milieus, architectures and systems, communities and continents since the 1990s.

Born in 1969 in Sempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia, Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He lives in Slovenia, the US and Latvia, and works globally. Since 1994, he has been coordinating all dimensions of the Makrolab project ( In addition to API, he is also the co-founder of the Ljudmila digital media lab (1995) and of I-TASC (Interpolar Transnational Arts Science Constellation). His work has been widely exhibited at major international events, including Documenta, Manifesta and the Venice, Istanbul, Lyon and Gwangju biennales, and in museums and art centres around the world.