I think it's interesting that you have chosen two territories that are both at the ends of the earth...though at opposite ends. Both also concern diplomacy at the scale of the nation; they seem to both be examples of how the claims of nations expand to fill even the most remote corners of territory...leave no rock unclaimed. This reminds me of something that I remember from biology about ecological secession- that even within the 20th century new land is constantly formed; i would assume that nearby nations rush in to quickly claim them, but i don't know.Your Antarctic example is a place where there are no real lines of demarcation, and there are multiple claims and little slices of territory. The Diomede islands are the opposite condition- they are used as a strong point of demarcation between two large nations, no question about who owns what or who's in charge, but a remote place for two superpowers to almost touch.The thing that strikes me most about the antarctic map is how it's divided like a pie...what do you think is so special about touching polar south that everyone needs a little slice to claim it?
Kathleen,You've brought many great thoughts to mind about these two conditions of claims, and what you've said is essentially why I'm so interested in the site and diplomatic situations. As for the pie shape and getting a part of the south pole, I'm still researching articles on when the claims were made and how they decided the shape. I'm guessing right now that it seemed most logical and 'fair' to let everyone have a chance at 'owning' a piece of land; which is more symbolic than physical reward. Like the mountaineers making their way to the top of Everest, just to say they have and can pee all over it leaving their mark. As of right now I'm also researching the implications, conflicts, rewards, and projections of the Antarctic's future with regard to the more commercialized aspect of the tourism industry and how nationality/loyalties are resolved in differing claims. Over 37,000 tourists visited Antarctica during the 2009-2010 season. It's not such a barren, cold, wind-swept landscape any more and how can that be mediated to keep it as before. Not sure how an architecture can do that, but I'm excited to find out what it crazy thing it could be.