H2O — Humans to Oceans

FREEZE is a response to the rising need to achieve a non-political space.
A space that can absorb the lives and ideas of an evolved humanity. A space that is highly utopian yet painfully necessary at a time of increased global tension, diminished democracy and intensified censorship. A space void of territorial concerns. A futuristic Noah’s Ark of ideas roaming freely as the world’s sea levels are rising.


An installation by the Dynamic City Foundation 动态城市基金会
Realized: June 2006

Architecture Neville Mars / Animations: Neville Mars, Hou Xiu , Li Xin Lu
Text: based on the life story of the Japanese monk Hou Xiu ; Neville Mars, Adrian Hornsby, Hou Xiu

project brief and Google 3D file

freeze installation introduction

Freeze on Google KMZ file


FREEZE projection (front, top, ceiling via mirror + evironment sound)
FREEZE monologue (model projection back + introduction text on base)

FREEZE introduces a comparison between the USA and the PRC explored in earlier work of the DCF see trailer Moving Manhattan

Short Clips:

FREEZE at the millennium Clip 1
Freeze at the Millennium Clip 2
Freeze at the Millennium Clip 3

Raison d'etre

A first glance at the ice
Because information is now a continuum of intensities and no longer a library in Alexandria. Because the axes of a global topology - capital, creative sectors, ideas, identity, nations - relate less to physical localities than to forces within an abstract space. Because a city is no longer defined by a grain tower or the roads that lead there, but is rather a concentration of immaterialities. Because it is possible to place a call center in the desert; a think tank in a rain forest, or underground, or atop a frozen mass …. Because migration and new technologies have collapsed geographical space, and remapped what was once a hierarchy of cities and towns and villages into a floating plane, across which lines move in all directions at the same time, and no two points are either closer together or more distant from each other than from any others. Because the confluences and intensities of these lines are no longer creating territories, but instead performing acts of deterritorialization - it is necessary now to disown place, and instead imagine flows. The ice-rock represents just such an act of imagining. The range of cultural reference is dense - from Swift’s Laputa (the floating island of endless scientific experimentation) to Kafka’s Castle (a bureaucratic power which is forever removing itself from the attempt to approach it); but more than any one of these it forms a plateau of limitless connectivity. It neither adheres to nor transcends anything. It has no ideology, no roots. It is not leaving anywhere, nor does it have anywhere to go; and is not only itself decentered, but decenters everything around it. To be floating is to be neither rising from anywhere, nor falling toward somewhere else. Civilization up to now has focused too much on to and from, on destination and departure, here and there. The new age will focus instead on the act of movement - on the middle where things cross and change and grow. Where connections occur. It will focus on a plane of connections, and having focused, will see an ice-rock going gliding by.

Adrian Hornsby

  • Above two computer renderings courtesy of Crystal CG.

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interview with an earthling

Beijing, June 1st 2020
Interview with an earthling

“I was born in 2008. Right after China and America had gloriously captured all but one of the Olympic medals. Only the gold medal for archery passed them by… It was won by my father; a monk from a small island in the south of Japan.
After that any international competition seemed fruitless. For my father it was a clear demonstration of the two superpowers dominating the world. Even the success of boom countries like India, Brazil and Russia didn’t prevent the cultural and political dominance of the PRC and the USA.

With nowhere to hide the time was ripe for drastic measure. He designed the first of the Xu Ni Shan; the mother ship of a fleet of a thousands H20-vessels (Humans to Oceans) that now roam world’s seas. Ever since the launch we have been maneuvering between the force fields of these two insular, one party continents.

I was born here; on the mother ship. Together with my peers I am the first generation of a new breed of floating population. We are a strain of humanity evolved within a neutral environment. Surrounded by the endless horizon of the sea our vision is unobstructed. Protected by the impenetrable walls of the glass architecture our bodies are uncontaminated. As the ice caps continue to melt and the water levels rise we remain calm and afloat.

We are a people encapsulated by freedom; living in bubbles void of politics or ambition, promises and disillusions. Our thoughts flow freely, new ideas and inventions emerge and evolve unhindered. Born and raised in a state of suspension; constantly in motion; adrift, we remain undetermined and undeterred.

Cities are no longer defined by the roads that lead there. Our global migration and modern technologies have collapsed geographical space, and remapped what was once a hierarchy of capitals and mega-cities. All that is left is a floating plane of lines, across which points move in all directions, all at once … and no two points are either closer together or more distant from each other than from any others.

The confluences and intensities of these lines ignore existing territories, and indeed perform acts of deterritorialization. We proclaim today it has become inevitable to disown place, and instead imagine flows. Our mountains are the result of just such an act of imagining. To be floating is to be neither rising from anywhere, nor falling toward anything. Our hollow floes neither adhere to nor transcend anything.

We offer no ideology, and we have no roots. We are not leaving, nor staying. We are decentered, and we decenter everything around us. Civilization up to now has focused on the to and from, on destination and departure, the here and there. Constantly in motion we live in the now; in the middle where things cross and change.

Today our people represent all corners of the world. The fleet has become an un-discriminatory refuge; a hideout for hackers and anarchists, a safe-haven for scientist and artists, for secret lovers and freedom fighters alike; a borderless nation confined to the international waters.
Personally I have never touched the shore. I am however like anyone here perfectly in touch with the world, and the reality of the main land. As I understand it’s a material world; money driven and power hungry, dangerous and lonesome. But this might not be evident to the rest of the global population. Unlike the 6 billion souls left behind, we have unlimited access to real information. The world’s 12.000 TV stations paint a picture of contradictions and fabrications. Our satellites receive uninterrupted and uncensored data from across the globe. Our hackers offer unfiltered web access.

The network of H20-vessels is today the central super-node of the world wide web, a new HUB disrupting the stale arrangement of mega-servers and mega-cities and the lopsided access to information they represent. We offer a plateau of limitless connectivity. Now information is the true continuum of intensities. We have reconfigured the axes of the global topology, of capital, creative sectors, ideas, identity, influence. The physical localities of power are forced to come to terms with our virtual space. And indeed in the past the world has been confronted with this new reality, when the makers of the infamous V-virus brought the global economy to a standstill in a virtual pan-epidemic. But this did not only affect the economy; it temporarily curbed pollution levels and silenced lingering wars. It was a moment of inspiration for many; its inventors are living anonymously amidst our people.

Within this environment paradigm solutions for global problems have emerged that we are trying to implement on the mainland. We govern ourselves through simple open-source democracy; we have developed the formulas for a global currency. We breathe the pure air that we produce. We cultivate our own food in hanging gardens of fruit and vegetables and farm our proteins in cubicles of countless insects. Nuclear energy propels us forever forwards and incidentally protects us from aggressors – it would simply be too destructive for any terrorist state to attack and sink us.

But let me be clear. I am speaking to you here today not as a representative of any kind, but as a proud individual and a common human being that has the luxury of living a common life. As this message reaches you, enjoy a short moment to let your mind go blank. Your life, your home, your city, your religion, your society are not predetermined. There exists a state void of local concerns; a clear mental space that will allow you to flourish. A non-political space that can absorb the lives and ideas of any spirited human being. Admittedly this will sound hard to comprehend at a time of increased global tension, false democracy and fake freedoms. But a modern Noah’s Ark of pure thought is roaming freely in your area. Take a moment to envisage freedom ... we still have room for you.”

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Owned by neville mars / Added by neville mars / 16.7 years ago / 144965 hits / 1 hour view time



  • architecture
  • art
  • beijing
  • censorship
  • crystal
  • freedom
  • freeze
  • ice
  • installation
  • millennium
  • model
  • video

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