Cybersecurity Meets Art and Science: Eugene Kaspersky Returns from Inaugural Antarctic Biennale Expedition

Woburn, MA – March 30, 2017 – Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, has just returned from the first Antarctic Biennale expedition – a creative journey that brought together artists, researchers, technology visionaries and philosophers in search of a universal, cultural future for Antarctica.

The art expedition under UNESCO’s patronage started on March 17 in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, and lasted for 12 days. With participants fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead, the first few days aboard the ship saw rough seas through the Drake Passage wreak havoc with seasickness, and as a result, onboard presentation and discussion schedules were rearranged.

However, once the ship had crossed the South Polar Circle, the sea became calm and the still beauty of Antarctica became apparent. Shining icebergs, mountains and pure white land that stretched to the horizon, along with the unique wildlife, provided inspiration for artists to consider the future of humanity and Antarctica’s role within it, which they translated into unique art objects and performances.

During landings at various Antarctic locations, the artists temporarily installed works of art and staged performances. Themes for each piece of work included mobility, proportionality to space, ecological compatibility, artistic expressiveness and conceptual acuity. Example works included a piece by Yasuaki Igarashi who, together with other artists, created a fish net that connects memories of the people who weave it. Once you look through it, you see the world in a new light. Sho Hasegawa developed a pair of skates that can generate electricity when used, without harming the environment. Shama Rahman played a breathtaking sitar concerto, which sounded fantastic in the middle of the icy Antarctic.

As well as being the general sponsor of the Antarctic Biennale, Kaspersky Lab also contributed to the project in a special way. Our mission to save the world inspired Argentinean artist and engineer Joaquín Fargas to create the Glaciator, a robot on a mission to keep the Earth safe from viruses – not in cyberspace, but in Antarctica. Glaciator compresses snow as it steps on it, giving it the nickname “Firn-Maker,” with firn being the intermediate state between snow and glacier ice. This process contributes to accelerate the formation of a glacier. Despite its disconnection from the Internet, making Antarctica one of the safest places on Earth when it comes to cybersecurity, we have not left anything to chance: Glaciator is protected by security software from Kaspersky Lab.

“The progress of humankind depends on a continual confrontation between forward-looking thought on the one hand, and grounded, practical thought on the other. This is a healthy and natural co-existence, which allows us to go beyond existing boundaries and open up new horizons,” said Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab. “The Antarctic Biennale is a unique event combining art, philosophy and science to inspire people of various cultures to help shape the future of humanity. It elegantly combines seemingly incompatible disciplines and layers them with art to create disruptive ideas aimed at exploring the undiscovered – to make our lives better and more well-balanced. We’re very proud to be the general partner for this project, and most happy to contribute to its important mission of making the world a better place. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also our overarching objective for the role of cybersecurity.”

The expedition aimed to provide a platform for intercultural and transdisciplinary dialogue about the future of ‘shared spaces,’ complete unique artistic research into the sites on the edge of human experience and create the foundation for effective communication in such spaces. Not only was this goal achieved, but the vision and purpose of the expedition will live on through the installations created, as they find new homes and inspire future thought in the world’s leading museums and art centers.