I was in Svalbard specifically to look at public art deployed around Longyearbyen—the statues of polar bears and miners, and the light works on the Global Seed Vault for example—as part of my examination of how a brandscape was being constructed in the Arctic. But I was also interested in the larger realm of artmaking in the archipelago. One of the first topics to research was 19th century tourism postcards, the earliest of which date from 1896 and tended to feature fjords, polar bears, glaciers, and the midnight sun.
William L. Fox is a writer whose work is a sustained inquiry into how human cognition transforms land into landscape. His numerous nonfiction books rely upon fieldwork with artists and scientists in extreme environments to provide the narratives through which he conducts his investigations. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.
Fox has published poems, articles, reviews, and essays in more than seventy magazines, has had fifteen collections of poetry published in three countries, and has written eleven nonfiction books about the relationships among art, cognition, and landscape. He has also authored essay for numerous exhibition catalogs and artists’ monographs. In the visual arts, Fox has exhibited text works in more than two dozen group and solo exhibitions in seven countries
In 2001-02 he spent two-and-a-half months in the Antarctic with the National Science Foundation in the Antarctic Visiting Artists and Writers Program. He has also worked as a team member of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project, which tests methods of exploring Mars on Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic. He was a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, the Clark Institute, the Australian National University and the National Museum of Australia. He has also twice been a Lannan Foundation writer-in-residence.
Bill is a visiting researcher at the Future North project.