Acit Cràt Na

Tales of Antarctica and its People

This is a projected series of six (at least?) animated short films, each dealing with a part of (completely inauthentic, in case you are gullible) tales of Antarctican people, landscape, weather and animals.

Drawing heavily on Arctic and Antarctic facts and stories, the films try to put the "ar(c)t" into Antarctica.

Acit Cràt Na is Antarctica spelled and pronounced backwards.

Antarctica's Monologue

My back is curved, the days and nights flicker on my covering of ice.
the winds blast across my dry skin down to the sea.
Are there others like me?
As I sleep, I feel the rhythm on my covers move with my breathing.
Life at my scale is grander than the lives of my parasites, but yet I wonder.
Are there others like me?
The ice calves, the winds circulate.
I have been bent by my ice coat, the glaciers flood down my spine.
Can I recall a time when I was not broken, not burdened?
White, and cold because of it.
Auroras wash and tickle my center.
At my edges, many trails bend the rocks and curve them.
How do I call from the bottom of the earth?
And who will hear?

Is the ice causing  my life or deadening it?
So much subtlety is missing - so essential is my life - I can do without food,
I can do without air.
Yet, there is the spinning of the globe, the precession of the axes.
My day and night - so very extreme - causing  my breath, but am I breathed?
I was separated.
I tore off the other continents and floated south.
the river on my back became a sea; the whiter I got, the whiter I became, 
 and as I hug the bottom of the earth, whiter shall I become.

The six films:
Color PaletteDescription
red on posession by ghosts
How the sun rolls on the horizon
(weather and other sky phenomena)
- constellations. meteors, auroras, wind.The sun whips around sideways with halos and sundogs. The southern constellations twist. No voice on the sound track, just wind. The wind blows the sky around. Eskimo weather baby must be tended!
Whiteout spots.
yellow on living string figures (Aunt Art)
- corresponds to shell/stick maps and also Peruvian Quipu.
- walking on Ice.
A stick map builds itself. sinew-string figures weave themselves. Quipu knots itself. Underneath, water and land are revealed. Gondwanaland as a broken plate? show the continental drift with Antarctica at the top.
Subtitled in quipu (ASCII!)
blue on up and down (iceberg)
(water and wildlife)
- cracks, icebergs, floes, sea ice. The SOUND of ice.
- ice caves, ice passengers.
- the world turned inside out: inside the glacier ice cave.
- the ice is alive "the Krya hypothesis"
Sound? Ice creaks, calving.Natural sounds.
(the Krya Hypothesis)
Foolish BBC spoof documentary : a clueless interviewer meets a crank armchair explorer who tells him of the Krya hypothesis
- that the ice is alive and has living organs etc. "Here is a space photograph of the antarctic continent - and here is an photo of an ordinary horseshoe crab. Note the resemblance? The horseshoe crab, by the way, is one of the most ancient surviving species. It is so old that it has copper-based blood. There are copper deposits in Antarctica.
"We travel now to the center of the ice, which is just about as far from Brixton as one can get!"
Shots of embarrassed and resentful wild life.
"As I stand over this brownish spot, can I but think: This COULD BE one of the great creature's organelles! "
"The better to observe the activities of the creature at a speed we high-strung humans can apprehend, we placed this special timed exposure camera on this ridge for two months."
A high speed glacier calving sequence?
"It's clear that this is some NATURAL EXCRETORY function."
green undersea weather
TATTOO:(green-blue on brown-black)
- tattoos (piercings?) come to life, showing undersea weather. I'm using facial tattoos like those found on Maoris. (Find any Easter Island tattoos?) They seem to be the most face-covering. This is almost a conventional narrative. A sailor claims to have discovered Antarctica while chasing fish further and further south. Told with animated tattoos. False language soundtrack.
Actually, two sailors tell of a trip they made from a fictional island to the south to an even more southerly land.
purple in the volcano/onthe ross ice shelf... geography
- mountainranges, fata morgana, peninsula, rock cairn man.
(isolation, ice desert)
- mountain ranges, fata morgana, peninsula, dry valleys, rock cairn man. Easter Island rock devil rolls to visit the peninsula. He thinks there's an "Ice Dessert" He leaves, seeing only a desert. Lichens living in the rocks have the last laugh. He writes a diary in rong-rongo. (subtitles)
black & white How life became simple
LIFE:(black & white)
(food chain)
- plankton?
- clouds of krill.
- fish and squid eating krill.
- seals eating fish and krill.
- whales eating krill.
- zillions of penguins. Eggs on their feet.
How life became simple: as things grow colder, the hierarchy dissolves.

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Henry Lowengard,
324 Wall St. Apt 5 / Kingston NY 12401 /
© 1994-2004 Henry Lowengard