EXTRACTION EMPIRE front cover
 
EXTRACTION EMPIRE
Release on Canada Day (July 1st, 2018) from Amazon or MIT Press

Published by MIT Press with live updates on twitter
 
How did Canada became an empire in its own right and how Canadian life came to be mediated through mineral extraction?

If extraction is the process and practice that defines Canada, at home and abroad, then it is no surprise that, of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world from Africa to Latin America, more than half are Canadian operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people in Canada, it contributed $57 billion CAD to Canada's GDP in 2014 alone. Globally, more than 75 percent of the world's mining firms are based in Canada thanks to favorable tax regimes and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada's historical legacy as state, nation, and now as global resource empire. Canada, once a far-flung northern outpost of the British Empire, has become an empire in its own right.

This book examines both the historic and contemporary Canadian culture of extraction, with essays, interviews, archival material, and multimedia visualizations. The essayists and interviewees—who include such prominent figures as Naomi Klein and Michael Ignatieff—come from a range of fields, including geography, art, literature, architecture, science, environment, and business. All consider how Canadian life came to be mediated through mineral extraction. When did this empire emerge? How far does it reach? Who gains, who loses? What alternatives exist? On the 150th anniversary of the creation of Canada by Queen Victoria's Declaration of Confederation, it is time for Canada to reexamine and reimagine its imperial role throughout the world, from coast to coast, from one continent to another.

 
 
ECOLOGIES OF POWER front cover
 
ECOLOGIES OF POWER
receives 2017 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize from the Foundation for Landscape Studies

Published by MIT Press
 
Countermapping the geospatial footprint of the U.S. Department of Defense to reveal the making, unmaking, and remaking of a vast military-logistical landscape.

This book is not about war, nor is it a history of war. Avoiding the shock and awe of wartime images, it explores the contemporary spatial configurations of power camouflaged in the infrastructures, environments, and scales of military operations. Instead of wartime highs, this book starts with drawdown lows, when demobilization and decommissioning morph into realignment and prepositioning. It is in this transitional milieu that the full material magnitudes and geographic entanglements of contemporary militarism are laid bare. Through this perpetual cycle of build up and breakdown, the U.S. Department of Defense—the single largest developer, landowner, equipment contractor, and energy consumer in the world—has engineered a planetary assemblage of “operational environments” in which militarized, demilitarized, and non-militarized landscapes are increasingly inextricable.

In a series of critical cartographic essays, Pierre Bélanger and Alexander Arroyo trace this footprint far beyond the battlefield, countermapping the geographies of U.S. militarism across five of the most important and embattled operational environments: the ocean, the atmosphere, the highway, the city, and the desert. From the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia to the defense-contractor archipelago around Washington, D.C.; from the A01 Highway circling Afghanistan's high-altitude steppe to surveillance satellites pinging the planet from low-earth orbit; and from the vast cold chain conveying military perishables worldwide to the global constellation of military dumps, sinks, and scrapyards, the book unearths the logistical infrastructures and residual landscapes that render strategy spatial, militarism material, and power operational. In so doing, Bélanger and Arroyo reveal unseen ecologies of power at work in the making and unmaking of environments—operational, built, and otherwise—to come.

See the review by Dr. Jack Adam MacLennan at Air & Space Power Journal, by Marion Clare Birch at Journal of Medicine, Conflict and Survival, or by Régine Debatty at We Make Money Not Art.

 
 
LANDSCAPE AS INFRASTRUCTURE front cover
 
LANDSCAPE AS INFRASTRUCTURE

Published by Routledge Landscape Series with a preface by MIT Historian of Technology Rosalind H. Williams
 
As ecology becomes the new engineering, the projection of landscape as infrastructure—the contemporary alignment of the disciplines of landscape architecture, civil engineering, and urban planning— has become pressing. Predominant challenges facing urban regions and territories today—including shifting climates, material flows, and population mobilities, are addressed and strategized here. Responding to the under-performance of master planning and over-exertion of technological systems at the end of twentieth century, this book argues for the strategic design of "infrastructural ecologies," describing a synthetic landscape of living, biophysical systems that operate as urban infrastructures to shape and direct the future of urban economies and cultures into the 21st century.

See the Gale Fulton's Book Review at Landscape Architecture Magazine.

 
   
Giardini Aerial-Kneeling Down
 
CANADIAN PAVILION in Venice, recognized & awarded

Canadian Pavilion Exhibition awarded accolades and prizes from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, Azure Magazine, and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Read the reviews by Robert Enright "What's At Stake" in Border Crossings Magazine, "Confronting our National Demons" by Fionn Macleod in The Walrus, and "The Limits of the Plan" by Maitiú Ward in Foreground Magazine.
 
 
  
Where's My Territory? The Queen, the Pope, and the PM
 
EXTRACTION @ Google Arts & Culture

See the permanent online exhibition of the making, research, team, collaborators, and the finale of EXTRACTION and the Canadian Pavilion at the Google Cultural Institute featuring an array of media and materials never before seen beyond the grounds of the exhibition in Venice.

 
 
 
Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu

2016 Venice Architecture Biennale
Canadian National Exhibition
EXTRACTION
Now Open from May 28 to November 26, 2016
with live updates on twitter and instagram

The 15th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Extraction defines Canada, at home and abroad. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world—from Africa to Asia to Latin America, more than half are Canadian-operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people across the country, it contributed $52.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2012 alone. Globally, more than 75% of prospecting and mining companies on the planet are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire. “Not only do imperial colonial powers redefine territories”, according to historian of science Suzanne Zeller, “they also breed new empires, replaying their cycles of dissemination and domination over and over again.” In other words, Canada has become a preeminent resource base and operating platform for the world’s mining industry.

If, as Harold Innis described in 1930, “Canada supplied the British and American economies through the exploitation of its considerable bounty”, then it has now become Empire in its own right, home to a legion of its own surface mining firms whose practices reflect Canadian power and presence everywhere on the surface of the planet. As this extractive culture grows, the representation of these complex ecologies of extraction needs to be fully engaged, examined, and exhibited through new languages, discourses and forms of imagination as we move towards the 22nd century.

Opening a wider lens on the cultures of extraction, the project intends to develop a deeper discourse on the complex ecologies and territory of resource extraction. From gravel to gold, across highways and circuit boards, every single aspect of contemporary urban life today is mediated by mineral resources. Through the multimedia language of film, print, and exhibition, the landscape of resource extraction—from exploration, to mining, to processing, to construction, to recycling, to reclamation—can be explored and revealed as the bedrock of contemporary urban life.

See the Venice Biennale Catalogue produced for EXTRACTION in 2016
 

 
gl cover

Pamphlet Architecture 35

Now available in print from AMAZON, with original, digital motion graphics and audio-visual backstory at PA35.NET

The 35th edition of Princeton Architectural Press' Pamphlet Architecture Series.

For thirty-seven years, Pamphlet Architecture's forward-thinking authors have challenged architecture's conventional wisdom with bold ideas enhanced by visually provocative design. With far-ranging topics including building and urban form, algorithms, machines, and music, each Pamphlet is unique to the individual or group that authors it. The groundbreaking trajectories and contemporary lines of thought provided by every new issue of Pamphlet is always rooted in the renowned history of the series itself. Giving voice to known and unknown authors alike, Pamphlet asks these practitioners and theorists to present their bold ideas in a manner as visually provocative as it is intellectually compelling. The competition for Pamphlet Architecture 35 offers an opportunity for architects, designers, theorists, urbanists, and landscape architects to produce a small manifesto for tomorrow. The competition winner, not announced at press time, reflects the rigor and excitement found throughout the competition's rich history. Thanks in large part to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, staying true to this vision has allowed for Pamphlet’s legendary success—which has had influence far exceeding the ad-hoc nature of these humble books.

The Pamphlet Architecture Series was founded in 1978 by architects Steven Holl and William Stout as a venue for publishing the thoughts and works of a younger generation of architects. Each issue is written, illustrated, and designed by a single architect, which gives each its unique character. The series, which received an American Institute of Architects award, continues to influence new generations of architects as it disseminates new and innovative ideas on architecture and presents the work of the luminaries of tomorrow. Previous titles and authors include Steven Holl, Lebbeus Woods, Zaha Hadid, Lars Lerup, Luis Callejas, Mason White, and Lola Sheppard.

From ARCHINECT:

"As the title suggests, the project is interested in the construction of human understanding through intermingling systems, rather than a static set of hierarchical entities–a switch in mindset provoked by the emergence of ecological research and understanding in the 1970s and 1990s. It's a fitting issue for a bit of extra attention, reflecting back on the mindset emerging in the era Pamphlet was founded in, back in 1978 by architect Steven Holl and bookseller William Stout."

Read more of Amelia Taylor-Hochberg's Review at ARCHINECT
 
 

HDM 39 Wet Matter

Harvard Design Magazine 39

(Fall 2014 / Winter 2015)

In collaboration with Jennifer Sigler, this special guest edited issue of Harvard Design Magazine explores the space of the oceans with a range of contributors from across the world: Ulrich Beck, Luis Callejas, Ashley Carse, Christopher Connery, John & Jean Comaroff, Josh Comaroff, Dilip DaCunha, Theo Deutinger, Keller Easterling, Hali Felt, Rose George, Rebecca Gomperts, Max Haiven, Charlie Hailey, Anuradha Mathur, Astrida Neimanis, Kate Orff, Henk Ovink, Martin Pavlinic, Kimberley Peters, Catherine Seavitt, Aboumaliq Simone, Hilary Sample, Jennifer Sigler, Philip Steinberg, Supersudaca, Kristin Wintersteen, Sara Zewde, Byron Stigge, Xiaowei Wang, Dawn Wright.

From the Editor's Note:

"The ocean remains a glaring blind spot in the Western imagination. Catastrophic events remind us of its influence—a lost airplane, a shark attack, an oil spill, an underwater earthquake—but we tend to marginalize or misunderstand the scales of the oceanic. It represents the “other 71 percent” of our planet. Meanwhile, like land, its surface and space continue to be radically instrumentalized: offshore zones territorialized by nation-states, high seas crisscrossed by shipping routes, estuaries metabolized by effluents, sea levels sensed by satellites, seabeds lined with submarines and plumbed for resources. As sewer, conveyor, battlefield, or mine, the ocean is a vast logistical landscape. Whether we speak of fishing zones or fish migration, coastal resilience or tropical storms, the ocean is both a frame for regulatory controls and a field of uncontrollable, indivisible processes. To characterize the ocean as catastrophic—imperiled environment, coastal risk, or contested territory—is to overlook its potential power...The environments and mythologies of the ocean continue to support contemporary urban life in ways unseen and unimagined. The oceanic project—like the work of Marie Tharp, who mapped the seafloor in the shadows of Cold War star scientists—challenges the dry, closed, terrestrial frameworks that shape today’s industrial, corporate, and economic patterns. As contemporary civilization takes the oceanic turn, its future clearly lies beyond the purview of any head of state or space of a nation...Reexamining the ocean’s historic and superficial remoteness, this issue profiles the ocean as contemporary urban space and subject of material, political, and ecologic significance, asking how we are shaping it, and how it is shaping us."

See conversation with Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Sigler about the re-launch of Harvard Design Magazine.




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