In the far eastern city of Vladivostok, winters are long and harsh. From November to March, average daily temperatures hang below zero, pushing locals away from the city streets and into homes, bars, and cafes.
When creative collective Concrete Jungle created their latest project, Ice and Light, they wanted to explore the hidden benefits of the city’s chilly climate. But they also wanted to coax residents back into the city’s outdoor spaces — particularly Vladivostok’s neglected Mine Park.
“The park is in dire need of renovation,” the group say. “But these degrading structures have given the park a peculiar identity and natural beauty. We are convinced that the park will be revived as one of Vladivostok’s main public spaces — it’s just a matter of time. Now it’s important to influence the direction in which it will develop.”
Using drills and chainsaws, they planted a circle of 18 LED lights 30 centimetres into the ice covering one of Mine Park’s lakes.
As night fell, the lights began to flicker and flash from below the surface, lighting up natural patterns hidden in the ice above. This was accompanied by music from local artist NKRDBL, and performers creating shadows on the surface.
“Ice is the only translucent solid material that can be found in abundance in nature, but only under certain conditions,” the group say. They described the installation as an experiment blending tech, architecture, and music. “In Vladivostok, five months of winter give us time to experiment in sub-zero temperatures.”