soil: memory and affect

During the entire time of “Life in the soil”, I kept thinking of the above little animation. Then, I attended Lisa Hirmer’s presentation. “The Law of conservation of mass states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be rearranged”.  This principle informs her work Pile Dirt. […]

Soil as live entity

Despite the differences in their interest and area of competence, the three presentations by a soil scientists, Jeffrey Howard, a community gardener, Steven Green and a bioartist, Nicole Clouston, revolved around the idea that soil is essentially a live entity which grows, changes and interacts with the surrounding environment (this […]

multisensorial approaches to soil

A few days before the events, participants were asked to collect one handful of “dry soil in a plastic zip-lock bag.” The sample could be from your garden or backyard, but could also come from a contested site, such as a contaminated site, a remediated land, or a site of […]

Wine Making and its Myths

Geologically speaking, the area around the great lakes has a very interesting story. In fact, the land shifted and folded quite frequently and glaciers advanced and retracted unevenly. The result is a very diverse soil whose content may range from sandy to rich in clay. The Windsor region, known as […]

A Bed of Soil

It’s been roughly one week since Life in the Soil has come to an end, leaving a long lasting impression and, as it is the case for such complex and multifarious events, an inexhaustible number of questions. As Amanda White and Alana Bartol, two artists collaborating at the intersection of […]

Playing Magnetic Fields

In his performance Fields,  Martin Messier asserts to play with magnetic fields. What he did, in reality, was much more complex. Using a –probably pre-programmed sound base– he coordinated his performance by manipulating two “connections patches that offer many possibilities to connect many outputs to many inputs”. The two artifacts you […]

Afrofuturism and Black Future Month

In the past few years, art inspired by and producing Afrofuturism has been growing in Toronto and surroundings, thanks to a number of artists with strong agendas: I spoke before about Camille Turner, whose space adventures reveal the real stories and histories of migration, refuge and slavery of Afro- Caribbean and […]

Affect and gaming

I was looking forward to listening to Kara Stone’s presentation. While she locates her work in the realm of gaming, she refuses to follow the usual and trite narratives imposed by the gaming industry. Her goal is to inject games with affect, a term that she uses loosely to identify […]

Day 1 the Spice Factory

Function Keys took place in a historic building downtown Hamilton called “the Spice Factory”. it is worth spending a few words about it, since its story, as I heard it from its new owners and attendees, is quite interesting. At more than a century old, the building hosted quite a diverse […]