Perennial Drift  

David Faithfull   Edward Summerton

Beer made from snow, unique printed labels, unique printed beer mats, photographs, objects.

Midnight on the 21st of June 2013. The sun has set above Coire Ant-Sneachda, the Corrie of the Snows, high on the Cairngorms. It's the summer solstice and the perennial snowdrift or snow goddess glows faintly in the darkness. At this altitude in Scotland, on the north facing slopes, these gradually shifting patches of snow have been here since the last ice-age. 

On Midsummer the Earth is at its furthestpoint or aphelion on its annual celestial journey and approximately 95 million miles from the sun’s core. Over the last 183 days and 6 cycles of the moon, the earth has travelled 300 million miles in one half of its orbit.

As collaborators, David Faithfull and Edward Summerton will document trips to the high Cairngorm plateaus at both midwinter in 2012 and midsummer in 2013, collecting this rare perennial snow, to make 183 bottles of the beer Perennial Drift.

As travellers, they will return to the same location twice, the second time on the opposite side of the solar system, 6 months later. This dichotomy will influence the alchemical recipe for each attuned bottle of beer as well as the imagery of the labels.

Each bottle will be presented with two unique labels printed with inks sourced from the lichens collected at the snowfields from the summer and winter excursions and both representing the two extremes of the solar calendar.

On opposite sides of the bottle, the two labels, one created by DF, the other by ES, will indicate the gradual 183 incremental daily shifts in the earth’s axis between the two solstices. 

A floor-based double-sided print will consist of 183 white beer mats, presented as a single, almost pixilated image of the snowdrift, displayed together with objects/photographs from the winter and summer camps, alongside the actual canvas tent used in the expedition.

It is intended that Perennial Drift be staged both as a ‘print’ installation and as a performance/gathering, where conference delegates will be invited to attend the timetabled event, each offered a bottle of the beer and accompanying beermat editioned multiple.

It is hoped that Adam Watson will be able to present ideas from his authoritative book ‘A Snow Book, northern Scotland (Field Observations 1938-2011)’, as a visiting speaker. He would discuss the history of snow-patch observations, describing their meteorological, environmental and topographical characteristics.