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ALASKA  |  Block #14

WF24_Team Alaska_Sketch

WF24_Team Alaska_Team Photo


Team Name:  AK Department of Snow

Sculpture Title:  Ocean of Intelligence

Artist Statement:    Can true intelligence be artificial?

A vast ocean of Mankind’s creative output exists in a remarkably accessible digital realm. Centuries of incredible innovation have been uploaded and stored for the entire world to peruse, to feast upon, to reference, to adapt, to grow from and with. Now we have created astonishingly powerful robots that scan the entirety of this immeasurable sea and produce in mere milliseconds outputs that seem to rival our own creativity: poems, essays, novels, and digital images. Are we forsaking our own creative power, sacrificing a slice of our role as creators in exchange for some benefits, actual or perceived?

These new tools we wield are going to transform civilization; even in their infancy they already have. Their effects are real on all of our lives and already some of our vocations. We are forced into the deep and consequential throes of assessing how to foster these technological advances in such a way that we do not lose too much of ourselves.

There is a pivotal aspect of creating that, for now, the robots cannot possess. They process and predict with speed that humans will never match, but they are powerless to themselves ignite the true spark of creativity, the indescribable alchemy that our human consciousness exudes, bringing something completely new and original into existence. We give birth to infinite possibility. We have created a vast ocean, and we must sail into this new Age standing strong on our irreplaceable power.

Team Members:

  • Paul Hanis (Captain) - Paul has been a snow and ice carver in Alaska for 19 years. He started out carving a pile of plowed snow in a friend's driveway and has gone on to be a 7-time Alaska state champion and 3-time recipient of 2nd place at the US National competition. He is also a sculptor of ice, wood, and steel. He lives off the grid in a remote part of Alaska inside America's largest National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias.
  • Patrick Boonstra - I've been carving snow for 18 years. Perhaps the greatest carver to ever come out of my home address.
  • Tom Lewando - My name is Tom Lewando. I live in Alaska and the long winter months promote my artistic direction of carving snow and ice which I've been doing for 20 years. My other art form is creating fuse glass creations. Consequently, I'm a Northerner with a cool comfort in creating sculptures.


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