Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My New Website: davidclarkson.info

I am currently developing a website ( www.davidclarkson.info ) for information about my art and exhibitions.  I have built an Archive of my older work there, as well as; a Studio section featuring current projects; a Library with my bio and other research information, and another Blog that will focus on current events and developments relevant to my work.  

With that in place, I will sporadically post various critical, theoretical or speculative items here.  These might be quasi-artworks, visual experiments, alternate iterations, text and/or image projects, conceptual test-runs, essays or reviews - all the ongoing things I do which are (just a bit) outside the purview of www.davidclarkson.info.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Some Mars Architectural Models

These are a selection of architectural models I made between 2003 and 2008. They visualize aspects of an ice based economy in an early colonial Martian frontier society. (See previous post, ' History of Martian Ice.')

Automated Ice Wagon, Mars

Ice Wagon Trail, Mars

Radiation Ranch, Mars (outpost)

Ares Arcadia Cave Complex (north view)

Ares Arcadia Cave Complex  (south view - cutaway showing solarium greenhouse, distillery and ice mine)

Ares Arcadia (solarium greenhouse)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A History of Martian Ice

In the very distant past, water flowed on Mars – in rivers, lakes and oceans. But the climate of Mars became colder and its once abundant water froze. Eventually all over the planet, these ice deposits evaporated from the surface into the dry and thinning atmosphere. Mars became a vast cold desert.

But here and there - hidden underground – pockets of ice still remained buried in frozen streams and caverns. The first settlements on Mars were established in or near these ice caves because of its proximity. The Ares Arcadia cave colony is an example. The early colonists mined ice and melted the underground deposits collected there for drinking, hydroponic gardens and fuel.

As time progressed, the colonies required other material resources – often carbon, iron or silica. The geographic range of the settlements expanded as outposts were built in the remote locations where such resources were found. Since the atmosphere offered little protection from cosmic radiation, the early outposts were often built underground, or sometimes simply buried.

All these new outposts required a water supply. If none was available at the outpost site – as was often the case – ice was delivered to them from more established ice mining settlements. Initially human driven vehicles transported the ice, and small farms or rest stations (called ‘ranches’) sprung up along the wagon routes. Later the ice wagons were automated along customary routes.

As the populations of outlying settlements grew, long robotic ice wagon trains eventually traversed the Martian deserts between the ice mines and the distant stations. These vehicles delivered ice between the isolated outposts and also distributed other local resources for further refinement or processing among the different settlements.

The discovery, mining, supply and distribution of indigenous ice were crucial to the colonization of Mars. Martian ice was a precious resource, a currency that became the cornerstone of the frontier economy and socio-cultural activity. It is not surprising then that the struggle for control of this key reserve became the dominant political and martial focus of Martian society.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mars Series 2002 - 2008 / paintings and drawings

From 2002 - 2008, I made a large number of landscape paintings and drawings related to Mars. I based my images on NASA photographs taken in situ by robotic rovers. I was interested in how technology enabled and framed our new perception of this remote landscape.

Mars Hillside #2, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 86 inches

Hill and Rover, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 54 inches
 A Martian Landscape, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

'Plymouth' Rock, Columbia Hills, Mars, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

Ares Vallis, Mars, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 145 inches

Dunes, Mars, 2005, ink and pencil on paper, 15 x 22 1/2 inches
Shadow, Mars, 2005, ink and pencil on paper, 15 x 22 1/2 inches

Tracks, Mars, 2005, ink and pencil on paper, 15 x 22 1/2 inches
Mars Rock #1, 2005, ink and pencil on paper, 22 x 30 inches

Near Columbia Hills, Mars, 2005, ink and pencil on paper, 15 x 30 inches