DUSTIN D. WIEBE, Research in Residence at the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology
LAWRENCE BIRD, Winnipeg
Dominion: 16 Trajectories
The western Canadian prairie is a fabricated / manufactured geography. Once a vast expanse of grassland, this landscape was transformed into a machine for growing crops with the implementation of the Dominion Land Survey (DLS) in the 1870s. This survey, which imposed a standardized, mile-square grid on the prairies, had as its express intention the rapid transformation of land for sale to settlers. It was in many ways exemplary of modern processes of standardization, commodification, and colonization.
Yet the DLS also represents the failure of those processes. Surveying errors, seasonal inundations, sloughs and rivers with their own agency, and contradictory patterns of land occupation — from the French river lot system, to Mennonite models of collective ownership, to aboriginal and Métis patterns of farming and hunting — meant that disruptions in the DLS grid appeared immediately.
Today these territories of friction endure, amplified by the complexities of a more contemporary system of survey: aerial and satellite photography, systematized and commodified by platforms such as Google Earth. As the 19th century attempted to control the land, so these systems attempt to standardize and process its image. That attempt, too, fails.
Dominion: 16 Trajectories explores the anomalies, breaks, gaps and glitches in both the DLS and Google Earth's mapping of the prairie landscape. The project re-presents these escapes from order as projections on the windows of the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (C.A.S.T.). The work consists of 16 video sequences (each 10 to 15 minutes in length) captured at high resolution from Google Earth imagery, at a variety of scales and points of view. The videos are accompanied by audio generated from samples of ambient sound modified digitally in response to the flow of images, overlaid with audio by Glenn Sogge, also modified.
Dominion: 16 Trajectories is funded by the Canada Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council, and has been presented in another architectural context at Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2017. For Atmosphere 10 it is re-imagined in dialogue with industrial architecture and the milieu of C.A.S.T.’s thoughtful and passionate manual fabrication.
NIKOLE BOUCHARD, University of Wisconsin
GYUNGJU CHYON & JOHN SADAR, Parsons School of Design
LANCELOT COAR, University of Manitoba
JORGE RIVERA & RYAN STEC, Carleton University
MYUNG DUK CHUNG
photo: Sarah Stasiuk [M2 Architecture]
The 2018 Atmosphere Symposium is co-chaired by: Lisa Landrum and Liane Veness with the support of the Faculty's Cultural Events Committee and the Centre for Architectural Structure and Technology (C.A.S.T.); web design and graphics support by Tali Budman (ED4 Architecture student), and administrative support from Brandy O’Reilly (Faculty of Architecture, Partners Program).
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