Michael Simons ~ The Goggles
April 4, 2017
Interactive Fund Recipient 2017

Project Name: Chasing the Sun

Chasing the Sun is a provocative, imaginative interactive story about the Arctic – part film, part book, part something new – told in a compelling first person narrative that knits visual and audio together to make the North’s current and coming struggles more relatable and vital.

The Arctic is possibly the most mythical, least understood and physically influential place on earth; it affects us all, whether we know it or not. It is also the last great place nature will offer humans – the last political, ecological, and possibly moral – battleground of our time. Shipping lanes are opening; roads are being built to take advantage of this new place. The battleground is more than figurative, as the Arctic is ringed by major superpowers, all of whom are laying claim to the massive repository of resources found there. They have submitted claims to the U.N. to expand their borders in significant, overlapping ways.

The larger question is: what does carving it up for exploitation say about our past, and mean for our future? This is a dilemma for humanity, and exploring this story now is urgent.

The target audience for Chasing the Sun is people who are politically and environmentally concerned about the fate of our planet. A further distillation would be people who typically read books, articles or watch documentaries about ecological and social issues. Although an environmental tale, the story’s universality will allow it to be promoted to a wide range of people – from seniors to school children. The audience is global, although a larger number are North American and from the UK, in part due to the geographical subject matter and its initial launch in English.

The New York Times and The Guardian’s digital divisions have expressed interest in featuring iterations of the story on their home pages. Greenpeace UK has committed to promoting the completed story to their supporters. As an example of their reach, their current Arctic campaign, which called on people to declare the Arctic a global sanctuary, has already garnered 4 million signatories.

The Goggles will be working with several programmers, animators and sound design specialists with the support of the Creative BC funding. In total they anticipate employing 5 people from BC.

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