Makrolab, a project conceived by Marko Peljhan, assistant professor of art at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded second prize in the worldwide UNESCO Digital Arts competition of 2004.
The International Jury Committee for the award said that Makrolab, and the other award winners, were selected from among 300 projects considered because "they all demonstrated a balance of artistic imagination, innovative research, social and cultural criticism, social interaction and a connection to the public space."
Currently installed in Scotland, Makrolab is a 10-year project combining the work of artists and scientists in the fields of telecommunications, migrations, and climate. It is equipped with systems to provide the most comfortable conditions for work in a confined environment, according to Peljhan.
"The lab produces its own energy from the sun and wind, and plans are to install hydroponic units, permaculture gardens, and waste recycling systems, together with internal atmosphere management systems for very extreme conditions," he says.
Begun in 1997, the project will end in 2007 when a new architecture will be placed in the Antarctic as a permanent base.