Climate Chambers II
Bigert & Bergström were commissioned to create the main exhibition for the Swedish pavilion at the World Expo in Lisbon in 1998. The resulting installation, Climate Chambers II, developed from a similar 1994 project with the same title. For this work, four interconnected, egg-shaped sculptural chambers each house a different climate. The installation explores the question of how ideas occur and how these ideas are in turn affected by the climate in which they’ve been hatched.
First, visitors enter Humidity Chamber, a rusty egg with the interior walls made of dripping-wet sponge. When standing in the center of the chamber’s glass floor, surrounded by a high-voltage isolation railing, visitors experience a jolt of energy similar to that released during an early springtime thunderstorm.
On entering Heat Chamber, visitors meet a compact cloud of hot steam evaporating from a boiling geyser at the bottom of the chamber. The shape of the egg and aluminum-and-acrylic exterior make this egg look like a greenhouse constructed from topographically modeled layers.
The Storm Chamber egg, a transparent yellow bellows, forces visitors to pass through the center of a storm: inside, four huge fans create a whirl of turbulence—an atmosphere providing the relief of cool air that approaches destructive levels of force.
At the end of the trail of automatic doors and interconnected airlocks lies Freeze Chamber, a shining white polyester egg equipped for winter. With knitted interior walls, a spinning neon-light fan, and an aluminum floor perforated with snowflake shapes, the material features of the interior accentuate the temperature of the chamber: minus twenty degrees Celsius.