I am on a train to Windsor, heading to a three-day intense workshop titled Life in the Soil.
This series of public events will feature a mix of scientists, farmers, activists and artists interested in invested in “the scientific, indigenous, embodied and practical knowledge about the vital nature of soils”.
For those reading from outside of Canada (most of you!) I think I should say something about the location (Windsor and University of Windsor) to help contextualize the workshop and better understand its rationale and choice of venue.
Windsor is a border city. Sitting directly across from Detroit, it is the southernmost urban centre of Canada. This makes it also a place of intense transit –as well as traffic and pollution– . I am not surprised that a lot of scholarly and artistic work in media studies, architecture and urban studies that I have seen recently coming out of Windsor focuses on environmental and ecological topics.
Windsor is also the home of the Incubator Lab, an art studio, a lab and an exhibition space at the intersection of the arts, science and ecology led by bioartist Jennifer Willet.
This event in particular will be facilitated, and will feature a number of artists who have been quite active in tackling the complexities of ecology and soil, like Amanda White, Alana Bartol and Nicole Clouston