Friday, January 5, 2007
South Pole: The Markers
On October 31, 1956, "Que Sera Sera" was the first plane to land at the South Pole. Two weeks later, a Navy Seabees construction crew arrived and started building the South Pole station. On January 4, 1957, they turned the South Pole base over to a team of nine scientists and nine support professionals (e.g.: a doctor, a cook) and a dog who wintered over and officially opened the base to scientific exploration.
On January 4, 2007, the 50th anniversary of the South Pole station, I planted 50 differently-colored flags along a 500-meter stretch of a moving ice sheet. The last flag was planted where South Pole stood in 1956, when the Pole became permanently inhabited. The first, where the South Pole stands fifty years later.
Each flag is marked with its respective year, and with the coordinates of a place on Earth I selected as important in "moving the world forward" during that year (e.g.: 1957 is Sputnik, 1963 is the March on Washington, 1969 in the Lunar Landing, 1997 is Kyoto) . To see the list and read more about the Marker's Project, visit http://www.cortada.com/markers.
The Marker flags were exhibited at the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium prior to being installed in the South Pole.