The Encounters

It may be a futile wish to keep a few white spots on our maps, but human adventure, in its original sense, lost its meaning, became an issue for the Guinness Book of World Records. Scott and Amundsen were clearly early protagonists, and from there on it degenerated into absurd quests.


—Werner Herzog, Encounters at the End of the World



Inspired by a section in Werner Herzog’s documentary, Encounters at the End of the World, where people go through training as a team to find missing persons in preparation for extreme high arctic weather, during my Arctic Circle Residency I invited nine program members from different parts of the world to participate in the project. With paper bags placed over their heads to constrict their sight and hearing and to simulate being out in a heavy Arctic blizzard, the participants then conducted a rescue performance, in which they relied on a piece of rope to communicate and survive. The performance came to a halt when one of the participants tripped over a glacier crevasse. Just like the training documented in the film, in which they had eventually lost their way and were unable to complete the rescue, the performance, juxtaposed with the conversation in the documentary, alluded to the potential absurdity behind “modern polar expeditions.”




The Encounters is in memory of Devra Freelander, an artist who held the rope with us while walking on the glacier, and unfortunately lost her life in an accident in July 2019. Still, I believe her enthusiastic and talented spirit must radiate in the night sky of the far North.

僅以此作品紀念 Devra Freelander,在冰川上與我們一同緊握繩索的藝術家, 她的生命在2019年7月殞落於一場意外,而無法和我們繼續前行。但我相信,她那炙熱且充滿才華的靈魂,一定還在遙遠北方的某處夜空裡,繼續發著光。



  • Title: The Encounters
  • Year: 2017-2022
  • Medium: Single channel video
  • Length: 05:30 minutes


  • 作品名稱:The Encounters
  • 年份:2017-2022
  • 材質:單頻錄像
  • 尺寸:05分30秒


  • Annique Goldenberg
  • Claire Dibble
  • Devra Freelander
  • Hannah Scott
  • Jillian McDonald
  • Julie Kusyk
  • Nanou Blair Gould
  • Mita Mahato
  • Chih-Chung Chang
  • Ren Zi


  • Brandon Holmes
  • Sheng-Wen Lo

Provenance of Subtitle Text

  • Werner Herzog, Encounters at the End of the World


  • 2017年秋季工作人員和團員The Arctic Circle Residency Program (2017 Autumn Expedition Staff & Cohort), 傑羅姆基金會The Jerome Foundation, and 桃園市政府文化局Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan City Government.