john ng
Diploma 5

The Electro:Althing is a winter parliament of things in Iceland. It continuously reconstructs itself and the constitution through a strange assembly of people, animals, machines and ice.  It is a restless landscape, an electronic troll, a rumbling monster sitting on the frozen horizon.


The Electro:Althing is a winter parliament of things. Half machinic and half mythological, this natural assembly hall is a carnival of political gathering constructed through communal feasts and raves.  On that island sits a strange machine.Icelandic neopagans, forest ravers, technopagans, fishermen, horse breeders, retired whalers, chess players, nuns, the Icelandic love corporation and the Bad Taste Limited. This new parliament of things assemble together emerging social groups, local communities, horses, machines and ice to redefine a new constitution. They gather as the fishermen return from the sea, the horsemen come back to their home and the first ice begins to form.One night, ice grew. It grew and grew until it covered the walls and the ceilings and it became the world all around.It is a blue blue world within. Where thick light enters through the frozen walls. You can hear the crack of the ice as it shifts. The hissing and the rumbling of the machines underneath your feet. The noise of people discussing the next new chapter. The smell of food and wine being consumed.Within the upper part of the Electro-Althing, the new constitution is carved into the ice wall using hot water as it is read out and melts into the sea in-coming spring.Geothermal water is pumped around the structure to maintain the internal thermal environment. The cooled water is then distributed around the external cage of pipes and mechanical clouds to construct the ice wall in winter. The Icelandic mythological ornament is translated into an intricate structural pipe system.Using a combination of natural and artificial snow and ice. It responds to the internal configuration, solar radiation and strong wind loads to maintain the thermal insulation in winter. 

Never persists, it may get thicker here and there and it may disappear from time to time.

There are no 'walls'.

A huge cloud of steam is released into the air to announce a new decision being made

It is always changing. Never the same and never complete. As the parliament is dissolved into the sea, the cage of machines and pipes is revealed, waiting for next winter to come.