Biennale Architettura 2016 - National Participation of Canada

EXTRACTION

A Counter-Exhibition & Counter-Monument for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale Exploring the Scales, Spaces, Systems & States of Canada as Global Resource Empire & Largest Extraction Nation on the Planet. 

Ground Penetration - Full Core Sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Ground Penetration - Full Core Sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Ground Penetration - Full Core Sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

By uncovering layers and layers of entangled, complex histories of Canada, the exhibition reveals how contemporary processes of extraction are deeply rooted in ideologies of colonization.

Ground Penetration - Full Core Sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Ground Penetration - Full Core Sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Carl G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1989), OPSYS, Carl Gustav Jung Quotation, 1961, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Ore Detail (Gld & Pyrite), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Bird's Eye View of the Exterior Canadian Exhibition, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

On the Surface of the State: a bird's eye view of the Giardini reveals a sculpted map of the Earth where visitors kneel down and look through the ground to explore 800 years of extraction history.

In Between Empires, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Between Empires, in the heart of the Giardini: at the junction of French, UK, and German Pavilions, the Canadian Exhibition is first project installed 'outside' in the Biennale's history since 1975.

Video Still, "A Walk in the Park of Empires", OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
The Great Exhibition of 1851 (London, UK), Nash, Haghe and Roberts, Dickinsons' comprehensive pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, 1851, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

1851, Counterposed: views of the exterior display of material resource wealth of the British Empire (including Canada, India, West Indies) during the Great Exhibition & World Fair in London, England.

The Great Exhibition of 1851 (London, UK), Nash, Haghe and Roberts, Dickinsons' comprehensive pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, 1851, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Canada as Colonial Hinterland: large slabs of stone, giant ore bodies, and lush animal pelts of adorn the Canadian Exhibition as imperial representation of colonial treasures.

The Great Exhibition of 1851 (London, UK), Nash, Haghe and Roberts, Dickinsons' comprehensive pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, 1851, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Canada Postage Stamp (Christmas), OPSYS / CPS, 1898, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

"We Hold A Vaster Empire Than Has Been," England communicates its vast imperial geography of colonial hinterlands on a 1898 XMAS stamp, placing Canada at the center of its global resource wealth...

Inaugural Tweet Feed @1partperbillion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...an empire so large, so emergent, it is barely even recognizable today.

Exhibition, Ground View, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
1: 1
Inside the Exhibition: by miniaturizing the spatial geopolitics and territorial complexities of extraction, a powerful intervention magnifies realities of land, law, and life—one person at a time, through the process of kneeling down and facing colonizing nations in the "Park of Empires," that is, the Giardini of the Venice Biennale.
Exhibition, Top View, Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Material Textures of Exhibition, Side View, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Listen to the Curator explain why EXTRACTION was conceived and how the idea for the counter-monument emerged.

Exhibition, Late Afternoon View with Shadows, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
View of Outdoor Exhibition, with Shadows, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Gold Survey Stake, detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
The Crowd, Minutes before the Opening Ceremony of the Canadian Exterior Exhibition, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
27.05.16
Inaugural Ceremony & Exhibition Opening: profiling the inaugural events and unveiling of the exhibition in the presence of the Canadian Ambassador, the Exhibition Commissioner, the Project Curator, the Granting Agency, Sponsors, Supporters, Press and Biennale Visitors.
Final Preparations and Sound Check for Opening Ceremony, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Ground preparations underway as Sound Team ENDAR makes final checks.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Opening Minutes: the Curator signals to sound manager to 'up' volume as Commissioner Catherine Crowston from the Art Gallery of Alberta introduces Canadian Ambassador to Italy Peter McGovern.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Canonical image from ArchDaily Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu at moment of inauguration prior to the unveiling of the EXTRACTION Exhibition.

Powerful Spoken Word by Eriel Tchekwie Deranger at the Opening Ceremony, OPSYS, 2016-05-27, Original Source: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156841829300650&id=527550649&refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2F641bCC8USh&_rdr

The zenith of the Opening Ceremony with the powerful Spoken Word, "140 Years of the Indian Act," by Eriel Tchekwie Deranger from Treaty 8 Lands, Northern Alberta.

Listen to Eriel Tchekwie Deranger's Spoken Word on "140 Years of the Indian Act"
Unveiling of the Canadian Exhibition, as Beaver Pelt Cover is lifted by the EXTRACTION Team, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Uncovering #EXTRACTION as the Team lifts the fur pelts for the Opening Ceremony.

The Crowd, Minutes before the Opening Ceremony of the Canadian Exterior Exhibition, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Inaugural Speech: Visual Arts Director Sylvie Gilbert from the Canada Council for the Arts , Commissioner Catherine Crowston from the Art Gallery of Alberta, with Canadian Ambassador Peter McGovern.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Kissing the Ground? Canadian Ambassador to Italy Peter McGovern honors and inaugurates the exhibition as its first onlooker peering through the gold stake to view film located below ground.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Eager and impressed, Ambassador McGovern assists a young boy from Turkey anxiously awaiting his turn to see through the golden stake and view the underground exhibition.

Exhibition Opening Ceremony, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A Crowd of Friends & Supporters: Alessandra Ponte, David D'Arcy, Mohsen Mostafavi, Homa Fajardi, Eriel Deranger, Léa-Catherine Szacka, Jeremy Guth, Bruce Kuwabara, Lori Livingstone, Thomas Woltz...

Phyllis Lambert and Curator at the Opening Ceremony of the Canadian Exhibition, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

In all her glory, Canadian architectural icon Phyllis Lambert from the Canadian Centre for Architecture honors the exhibition as the second inaugural visitor amidst an excited, entranced crowd.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Striking a perfect kneeling pose (notice the classic, cross-legged yoga formation for stability).

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Atlanta Architects Merrill Elam and Mack Scogin share joyful but serious laughs with Ecologist Nina-Marie Lister, Project Manager Chris Alton, and Philantrophist Jeremy Guth.

Opening Exhibition Ceremony, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Foreign Correspondent for CBC's Rome Office, Megan Williams, makes a nice surprise visit to preview the opening of the exhibition.

Exhibition Visitor Peering below Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

One by one, the exhibition opens to the public where the histories of extraction slowly reveal themselves to visitors for the next 185 days of the 15th Architecture Biennale.

Aerial View, Opening Ceremony, OPSYS, Felix Torkar, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

In the Shadows of the Pines and Plane Trees: a fleeting moment from the air of Opening Day, outdoors, at the Canadian Pavilion, taken by German Co-Curator Felix Torkar from German Pavilion rooftop.

Young Family visits Exhibition, Enjoying the Late Day Afternoon Sun, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Summer 2016
Interpreting the Exhibition Experience: Special moments and views of the EXTRACTION with daily interactions, unusual events, and unexpected reactions in the Giardini, between visitors and interpreters, at the Canadian Pavilion, throughout the duration of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, from June 1st to November 26th, 2016.
Exhibition Visitor, Architecture Superstar Bjarke Ingels., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A surprise drop-in on the first preview day, with superstar architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG)...

Exhibition Visitor, Peering into the Ground., OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...as Canadian-American Philantropist Jeremy Guth dashes a glance at the film, in textbook sans-pli, fully-suited form...

Exhibition Visitor Peering below Ground., OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...some return visitors, such as CBC Rome Reporter Megan Williams, come back for a second look at the film later in the day, to learn more from the histories of extraction...

Exhibition Visitor, unplanned Headstand., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...while others, in a random but not entirely predictable fashion, strike befuddling headstands and yoga poses for the crowd...

3 Views, of 3 Different Groups of Visitors, in 3 Days, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...some of the best moments captured on Instagram #EXTRACTIONEMPIRE ...

Video Still, "A Minute in the Park of Empires II", OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...and when the heat reaches 36°C in mid-August, the EXTRACTION Team shot micro-films and short-sound clips of cicadas in the background of visitors seeking the cool shade of the Giardini.

Exhibition Visitor, Liam Young (Unknown Fields Division) Getting Up off the Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...other nice surprises included LA/London filmmaker Liam Young from SCI-ARC who dropped in on EXTRACTION, then looking up enthralled...

Biennale Security Guard during Bennale Opening Week, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...as Special Security Italian Police gives a total stare-down...

Exhibition Visitor, Luis Callejas Peering into the Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...Colombian Architect Luis Callejas shares a few moments of long shadows and minutes of film screening before dusk...

Daily Counter, on a Very Busy Day, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...some days outpaced expectations with daily visitors numbering between 50 during the week, and 500 on busy weekends...

Exhibition Visitor, Peering into the Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...nearly 60 people an hour, 1 person every minute...

Exhibition Visitor Peering below Ground., OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...with brilliant people like Architectural Historian and original Venetian Alessandra Ponte from Montreal waiting patiently, peering in at day's end...

Exhibition Visitor, Peering below Ground., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...Canadian-Dutch theorist Mark Pimlott dives in...

Three Exhibition Visitors, sharing the View below Ground., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...as visitors become more acquainted, a new level of comfort with the ground sets in,. These three architects from Milan get intimate, lying flat to take in the film on a calm, quiet, cloudy day...

A Rainy Day at the Exterior Canadian Exhibition, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...but come rain or shine, the resilience of our EXTRACTION Team never waned, as first interpreter Sam Gillis shows during a very wet day and solid downpour...

Exhibition Visitor, Lying Down and Peering below Ground., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...and when possible, others stretched out time in for the full film. Here, Noah Johnstone from the UK Team takes the full 13 minutes to watch the entire reel as onlookers patiently look on...

Exhibition Visitors, Peering into the Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...other curators and creators joined in...

Exhibition Visitor, Peering into the Ground by Lying Down, on the Side, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...of all ages, places, and poses...

Visitor Lying Flat on Exhibition to Preview Film Underground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Visiting Mother, with daughter, at Canadian Exhibition, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...yet, of all the visitors, children intuitively understand and engage without doubt or inhibition, an exhibition purposely under-designed to attract...

Young visitor peering through ground, at Canadian Exhibition, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...absorb, appreciate, and cultivate the magnetic horizontality of the ground.

Young Exhibition Visitor, Peering below Ground., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Stake Engraving Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Between Territory & Map 
A brief story of the making of the mysterious and mystical survey stake at the center of the exhibition planted in the historic grounds of the Giardini.
Prototype of Stake (underside), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A preliminary prototype and digital print of a survey stake is conceived by using dimensions and specifications from the National Standards of Canada Lands Survey.

CLS Standard Rock Post, OPSYS / CLS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The survey stake as preeminent instrument of territorialization, and possibly, of deterritorialization.

Evolution of Prototypes (in Development), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Prototypes of the survey stake are developed and tests are performed with varying dimensions, tolerances, configurations; made from cardboard laser cut-out to 3D printed ABS, to silver and gold casts.

Survey Stake Prototype, Component Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The emergent idea of a hole converts the survey stake into a small oculus. The process of casting alternative materials begins...

Gold Survey Stake (Polishing in Progress), OPSYS / Atelier Hume, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Cast in solid 18-karat gold, the survey stake becomes a monument...and potentially, a counter-monument.

Gold Survey Stake (Polishing in Progress), OPSYS / Atelier Hume, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Here, Vancouver-based Hume Atelier welds and polishes the stake made with 100% fair-trade, fair-mined gold, supplied by Patrick Schein (trader/refiner in Paris, Alliance for Responsible Mining).

Polishing the Gold Survey Stake, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Final polishing of the stake's underside showing geographic coordinates and symbolic inscriptions.

The Golden Survey Stake, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Driven into the heart of empires, the material ephemerality of the gold stake augments and amplifies the everyday imagination of the power emanating from the history of the ground as territory.

Gold Survey Stake, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Read "What's at Stake," the Border Crossings Magazine interview.

Prototypical Sides of the Stake, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

All faces—top, bottom, rim, inside, inscribed.

Survey Stake (Under Side), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Inscriptions embedded in the survey stake reveal dense layers of historic references and subversion of common royal, geologic symbolism.

Survey Stake (Top Side), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Note: when two or more broad arrows are opposed, they indicate a process of decommissioning, placed 'out of commission,' or of deterritorialization, through 'self-cancellation.'

Broad Arrow References, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Historic references to the "broad arrow," royal mark of the British Monarch used since the 11-13th centuries to claim property or to mark off and delineate territory.

Details of the Broad Arrow in Use (Artillery / Forest), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Stake Prototype Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Subverting the imperial cypher and monarchist motto of the British Empire 'Dieu et Mon Droit,' the stake is engraved with brave intention 'maxime valet terra'...the greatest power is land.

Disc Fabrication, Progress Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Below the World
The making of a map, turned upside down, that serves as a projection of the ground and base of the exhibition for visitors to stand below the world.
Disk Prototype, 3D Model, Top View, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

By plotting the global extents of Canadian mining operations worldwide, the map of the world reveals an empire of extraction on every continent and every ocean in the world. (Canada/Australia, bottom)

An Empire of Global Extraction, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

An extractive geological pangea.

Disc Fabrication, in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Scaled at 1 to 1 billion, this half-scale model and map of the world prior to test fitting.

Disc Fabrication, Progress Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...testing a pale-colored, exterior-grade Corian material, with an off-white, bone-like effect.

Disc Fabrication, Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Urbanist John Van Nostrand drops in on the procress of fabrication, with Ghazal Jafari and Hernán Bianchi-Benguria, to lend fresh eyes to the scale of exhibition components in progress.

Disc Fabrication, in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Exhibition in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Peering below ground, tests are made to gauge and evaluate different openings in the map surface for sight and sound effects.

Exhibition in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A dry-fit and test-run in Venice by Project Manager, Zannah Matson, during low morning light conditions in the Giardini. The 1/2" depth of the map works well, but the diameter will have to double.

Exhibition in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Exhibition in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Alignments and positions in all directions of the central Giardini are tested. located and relocated. In front of the UK Pavilion,...

Test Application: View towards French Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...the French Pavilion...

Test Installation: View across Main Allee of Pines & Plane Trees, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...and the main central axis and allée of the Giardini.

Zannah Matson (Project Manager) with Carlo Urmy (CNC Digital Fabricator), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Early prototyping, with Zannah Matson and Carlo Urmy (above), to Steven Beites' fabrication workshop (below) with Filip Tisler.

Steven Beites (Designer & Fabricator), Phil Tisler (Assistant Fabricator), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Steven Beites (Designer/Fabricator), Phil Tisler (co-fabricator, technologist), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Fabrication Lead, Stephen Beites, with Technologist Filip Tisler, compile final instructions before packaging components for shipping.

Office & Studio Space, during Exhibition Design, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Time expires quickly between the test run in March, final fabrication in April, and final shipment in May. Between shop and cargo, the office-studio-lab turns into shambles.

1-Ton Air Canada Cargo Build, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Air Canada Cargo Team perform overnight logistical magic and ship with the essential 'Carnet ATA' from Toronto to Venice unscathed and duty-free in a rapidfire 24-hour turnaround.

Craan Jean-Pierre at AC Canada Cargo Shipping Desk, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
On AC Cargo Tarmac 3, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Disc Assembly, in progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

In mid-May, the RVTR Team mobilizes with Kathy Velikov, Colin Ripley and Geoff Thün, assembling and installing the substructure, 9" below grade.

Disc Installation, on site, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The waffle substructure in place.

Disc Assembly, in progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Leveled, and propped for drainage, with a barely perceptible 1% incline, installation of the 4-part circular disk proceeds...

Disc Installation, on site, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Precisely adjusted and graded by RVTR, the disc slightly slopes northwest for gentle runoff while maintaining a flush appearance with the ground...

Exhibition in Progress, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...a perfect landing in the cool shade of the Giardini.

Exhibition Visitor, peering into the Ground, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Ready for testing: embroidered sand-filled pillows, sewn and detailed by Zannah and Cheryl Matson are the last, final touches. A comfortable kneeling pad doubles up as bar scale at 1:1 billion...

Kneeling Pad, Detail, OPSYS / ZM, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...to better understand the world up close, from the ground.

Exhibition, Top View, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Beaver Pelt Cover, detail, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
A Skin for a Skin
The making of the fur pelt cover prior to the Opening of the Canadian Exhibition as material investigation into the media and medium of empire.
Beaver Pelt Cover, detail, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Medium of Empire: the radiant sheen of beaver fur (the capital of French & British Empires) laid out in the shining sunlight of the Giardini covering the exhibition before the official opening.

Beaver Pelt Cover, detail, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
L'Amerique, Nicholas de Fer d/apres Le Dauphin, OPSYS / Nicholas de Fer, 1698, Original Source: http://www.oshermaps.org/exhibitions/american-treasures/i-maps-and-beavers

Cartographic colonization and imperial appropriation of the beaver as assembly line worker, industrious engineer, and policing architect, in detail of Nicholas de Fer's 1698 map "L’Amérique."

Fur Hat Diagram, page from Castorologia, OPSYS / Martin T. Horace, 1892, Original Source: https://archive.org/details/castorologiaorhi00mart

Beaver fur from boreal forests of Canada as instrument of imperial representation found in military dress or civilian fashion across Europe, including the British top hat (Castorologia, 1892).

The Three-Pence Beaver: Canada's First Postage Stamp (1851), OPSYS / Sir Sandford Fleming, 1851, Original Source: http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/chrono/ch1851ce.shtml

The 1851 postage stamp designed by engineer Sandford Fleming subverting imperial convention by replacing the image of the Queen (Victoria Regina) with the image of the industrious beaver.

Fur Pelts, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The lush, medium brown color of the hooped, heavy beaver fur pelts (castor canadensis) supplied from Northeastern Canada, stacked and lined up for layout, prior to stretching and stitching.

Beaver Pelt Cover, stitching in progress., OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

On site layout, configuring, stitching, and detailing of the beaver pelts by landscape architect Zannah Matson.

Drawing Fur Pelt Cover Layout, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Early diagram of concentric configuration of 18 to 24 beaver pelts prior to installation: skins, on skins, on ground.

Beaver Pelt Cover, detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The final, spiraling configuration of pelts covering the ground of exhibition and platform before official opening.

Beaver Pelt Cover, final adjustments., OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A few final adjustments.

Young Exhibition Visitor feeling Softness and Authenticity of Fur Cover, prior to Opening Ceremony., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

300 Years of Imperial History: a boy from Norway feels the natural beaver fleece and fur before the opening, a material currency on which trading companies were built and empires grown.

Gold Ore, Exhibition Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
1 Part Per Billion
The story of the ore, its providence, its past, and its future becoming.
Acid Mine Drainage Rundown, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The ore displayed and stockpiled as a blockade in front the Canadian Exhibition was sourced from a gold mine in Sardinia (IT), abandoned by a Canadian mining company after the 2009 financial crisis.

Acid Mine Drainage Basin, Furtei Mine, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Between the arsenic leaching process piles and the acid mine drainage basins, at the inoperative Furtei gold mine.

Gold Ore Concentrate Pile, Furtei Mine, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Geological Deposits, Furtei Region, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Furtei's geological map reveals extensive but very deep deposits of gold and copper in the headwaters of S'Allumina River, an agricultural region north of Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, Italy.

Furtei Mine: in Conversation with Geologist Massimo Benedetti, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Inside the site office of IGEA SpA, the regional authority in charge of the reclamation and restoration of the Furtei gold mine in its historic context of mining the Sardinian region.

Sardinia Island, Italy, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Sardinia features 7 geomineral parks designated by UNESCO, amidst a region of active prehistoric mines that sit at the center of the former Roman Empire in the Mediterranean region.

Mediterranean Region, Digital terrain Model,, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Field Survey, Furtei Mine, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

On site, chief geologist Massimo Benedetti explains the processes of acid mine drainage management, erosion control, and complexities of plant propagation.

Inspecting Gold Ore, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Regional Project Liaison & Sardinian Architect Alessandra Lai peers into a geologist's lens to see fine grain speckles of gold, but mostly copper and pyrite, in the ore concentrate from Furtei.

Gold Ore, Exhibition Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Fool's Gold: most of the visible mineral content is pyrite with specks of copper. At 1 part per billion, the gold mineral content is invisible to the naked eye, even at 30X magnification.

"Cyanide Beach", OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The area of the Furtei mine referred to as "Cyanide Beach," a confined area for mineral residue from the leaching process located downstream, separating gold content from mined ore.

Furtei Mine, Aerial View., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The Furtei Gold Mine from above, in the agricultural valley region of the S'Allumina River and central mountain region of Sardinia.

Furtei Minescape: Topography, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Blockade, in front of the Canadian Pavilion, Detail, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
+ 2.00m AG
The backstory of the Canadian Pavilion blockade, how the wall of gold ore was built, and how a contemporary political, ecological turn was made towards the Giardini.
Blockade, in front of the Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, Laurian Ghinitoiu, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Engineering of Blockade (2016, above) vs. Architecture of Appropriation (1958, below): obstructing the Canadian Pavilion's architectural misrepresentation of indigenous construction.

MICHELANGELO SABATINO (Article, 2007), Michelangelo Sabatino, 2007, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The Canadian National Pavilion built in 1958 by Italian, anti-internationalist firm BBPR, profiled as "quirky and idiosyncratic" in Michelangelo Sabatino's 2007 article "A Wigwam in Venice."

Pavilion Blockade, Plan, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The 2m high blockade sequesters the status of the National Canadian Pavilion (dubbed "not a good exhibition space" by Phyllis Lambert in 1996) to an inoperative background and sedate state.

Locked Door & Aluminum Hoarding, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Surveying the Edge of the Blockade, in Front of Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Precisely surveyed, elegantly engineered, and carefully constructed, the 30 bags of bulk gold ore are hand-packed as gesture of resistance and defiance to the empire of state.

Base of Blockade under Construction, in Front of Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The base and the substructure: a blockade elevated to the status of low art.

Blockade Structure, Model, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The prototype structure, then the assembly line of packing of the blockade over 2 long weeks.

Blockade under Construction, in Front of Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

RVTR, and Bag Supply Company Inc., ensure total safety and secure support.

Night View, Blockade under Construction, in Front of Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Long days turn into long nights for the EXTRACTION Team led by Project Managers Zannah Matson and Chris Alton, working with Sam Gillis, hand-packing each one of the 1-ton bags of gold ore from Furtei.

Night View, Blockade under Construction, in Front of Canadian Pavilion, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The blockade is finally completed on the night of May 23rd, as the next day reveals an interpretive wall where the concentration of the ore—at 1 part per billion—tells a little more.

Blockade, in front of the Canadian Pavilion, Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

The Blockade, in full form: in front of the closed Pavilion, the ore bags are stacked and filled with a story of an abandoned gold mine in Sardinia (IT) by a bankrupt Canadian mining company...

Skids, detail., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Palettes left over from the bulk transport shipment become the perfect base station for exhibition interpretation, an outdoor library of EXTRACTION materials is created in the Giardini...

Stack of Key Book References for Project History, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...where stories of empire connect the dots, for inquiring minds and inquisitive visitors, between histories of extraction and ideologies of colonization.

Exhibition Interpretation, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...interpretation begins with visitors and interpreters led by Sam Gillis (NS) and Emanuela Innelli (VCE), then Aya Abdallah (QC), Olga Semenovych (ON), and Chella Strong (MA) 'til November's end.

Exhibition Interpretation, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...a story that is more, than just about the sum total of the ore...

Gold Ore, Exhibition Detail, OPSYS, Nils Koenning, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...where extraction is more, than just about mines...

Gold Ore, Exhibition Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...and geology is more, than just about rocks...

Gold Ore, Exhibition Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

@1partperbillion emerges as EXTRACTION's twitter handle, #EXTRACTIONEMPIRE on Instagram.

Mini Gold Ore Bag, Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Between Mine and Mineral: the story of Furtei printed on the back side of mini ore bags produced by Hubco for the Canadian Exhibition, a pocket-size narrative of empire.

Mini Ore Bag, sample, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Catalog Cover, Proofs., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Catalog & Book
An incisive narrative of the 800-year histories of extraction and ideologies of colonization compiled in a catalog accompanying the Canadian Exhibition as it evolves into a full-size book in 2017.
Catalog, Detail with 'Suzanne Zeller' Quote, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A short extract from Victorian-era historian Suzanne Zeller's 2001 essay, "The Colonial World as Geological Metaphor," opens the catalog with clear, powerful intention about land, law, labor, life.

Catalog Cover & Centerfold, Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Beautifully printed and bound in Italy by Verona Libri, with a duotone color whose fluorescence is typically used for field reconnaissance, geological survey and territorial marking.

Catalog Cover, Detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A thumbprint serves as watermark for the catalog and reminder of the humanity of the subject of EXTRACTION—the topographic signature of a landowner for a mining concession in Papua New Guinea.

Catalog Cover, Book Binding, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

A 10,000-word essay turns into a 17-point manifesto about 800 years of empire building, from the law of the land in the Magna Carta (1215-1217) to the 150 years of colonial Confederation in 2017...

Photo of Editorial Team at Work, OPSYS, Photo: Pierre Bélanger, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...consulting with graphic designer and communications expert Kelsey Blackwell, the EXTRACTION Team pours over 800 images of archives in early 2016.

Canada Centennial Year Book 1867-1967 - Canada Statistics, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...contrasting the oxblood jacket of the last printed yearbook issued by the Bureau of Statistics for the centennial, national, and colonial commemoration of Confederation in 1967.

Catalog Cover, Detail., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...the new 150-page catalog accompanying the Canadian Exhibition is sold out twice, a manifesto shared with nearly 10,000 visitors during the Biennale, preparing for the sesquicentennial...

Catalog, Inner Cover showing 17-Point Manifesto, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...where land is the overriding x-factor, undermining empires and ideologies of extraction...

X = Land, OPSYS, 2016-05-27, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...responding and overwriting the Curator's Call by Alejandro Aravena for the 2016 Architecture Biennale, as the EXTRACTION Team reports from the ground, on the edge of an emerging empire...

Preliminary Book Cover, Detail, #EXTRACTIONEMPIRE, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

...soon to be released in 2017 as #EXTRACTIONEMPIRE, the full-feature book from MIT PRESS, with a worldwide tour and film.

Eight Centuries of Empire Building I, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
2017-1217
In Film: images of a cinematographic timeline profiling eight centuries of empire building dating back to the birth of the British Magna Carta (1215-1217) featuring 800 images from 800 contributors through 800 years of history in 800 seconds.
Film Stills, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

In a reverse chronology, a preliminary layout of extracted images, facts, and quotes from the past 800 years dating back to 1215 and beyond.

Film Stills, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Read "Confronting Our National Demons," the WALRUS article about the Canadian Exhibition, by Finn Macleod.

Film Stills III, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

In production with creators/producers/researchers Jacob Moginot, Zannah Matson, Chris Alton, Pedro Aparicio and Boram Lee.

Film Stills IV, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Film Stills Contact Sheet, OPSYS Media, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Eight Centuries of Empire Building I, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Film Stills III, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Film Stills IV, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

With a soundtrack totally inspired by, resampled from A Tribe Called Red's piercing track "Burn Your Village Down to the Ground" released on 4th Thursday of November 2013 to dispel Thanksgiving myth.

Film Stills Contact Sheet, OPSYS Media, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
A Tribe Called Red - Burn Your Village Down to the Ground (Video Still), A Tribe Called Red, Still Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnGnj_e6gBw, 2013, Original Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnGnj_e6gBw

...one of the most amazing likes and accolades, from one of the greatest bands in the world!!!

Tweet: Opening in background of @atribecalledred amazing track Burn your Village Down to the Ground, OPSYS, 2016-05-30, Original Source: https://twitter.com/1partperbillion/status/737266120827232256
Film Still, Kalgoorlie Gold Mine (photographed by Edward Burtynsky), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Seen through the oculus of the golden survey stake at the Biennale, viewers are confronted with the consumptive scales and extractive realities of life in colonial métropoles worldwide.

Film Still, Quote by Karl Marx (1867), OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Curator's Desk, Top View, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
The X-Team
The creators, contributors, and collaborators that worked together for nearly 2 years and made possible the design and development of EXTRACTION—from concept to construction of the exhibition, the book, and the film.
Canadian Exhibition Team, OPSYS, Photo: Pierre Bélanger, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION

Left: Colin Ripley, Sam Gillis, Kathy Velikov, Kevin & Genevieve Hume, Steven Beites, Zannah Matson, Hamed Bukhamseen, Geoff Thün, Alessandra Lai, Chris Alton, Irene Chin, Eriel Deranger, and more.

Ground Plaque, Detail, OPSYS / Beites, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Ground Plaque, detail., OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
Sponsors & Supporters
The agencies and organizations that supported and advanced the EXTRACTION Project throughout different phases of its development.
Ground Plaque, detail, OPSYS, 2016, From the collection of: EXTRACTION
OPSYS
Credits: Story

Commissioner: Catherine Crowston – Art Gallery of Alberta


Curator: Pierre Bélanger – OPSYS


Core Team - Organization & Collaboration: OPSYS – Zannah Matson / Chris Alton, Ecological Design Lab – Nina-Marie Lister, RVTR – Geoff Thün / Kathy Velikov / Colin Ripley, Hume Atelier – Kevin Hume / Genevieve Ennis Hume, M+B Studio, Blackwell Studio, Beites & Co. – Steven Beites / Filip Tisler, Alessandra Lai, Eriel Deranger – ACFN, Massimo Benedetti, Dr. Michele Caria, Jacob Moginot, Pedro Aparicio, Boram Lee, Irene Chin, Sam Gillis, Lindsay Fischer, Michael Awad, Olga Semenovych, Jane Zhang, Tiffany Dang, Carlo Urmy, Mark Jongman-Sereno, Kate Yoon, Hernan Bianchi Benguria, Emanuela Innelli, Aya Abdallah, Natalia Woldarsky Meneses, Hamed Bukhamseen, Chella Jade Strong


Partnerships: Rich Bruggeman


Additional Contributors: Alessandra Ponte, Suzanne Zeller, Alain Deneault, Alex Golub, Thomas King, Gord Hill, John van Nostrand, Peter Munk, Réal V. Benoit, Doug Morrison, Eriel Deranger, Chief Allan Adam, David Chancellor, Ossie Michelin, Max Haiven, Mel Watkins, Doug Morrison


Support: Canada Council for the Arts, RBC Foundation, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, Ontario Association of Architects, Ryerson University, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture, The Walrus Foundation, Border Crossings, IGEA SpA, Gloria Irene Taylor, Barrick Gold, Verona Libri, The Nothern Miner, Canadian Architect, Azure, Graham Foundation, MIT Press, Air Canada Cargo


Acknowledgments: A Tribe Called Red (Ian 'DJ NDN' Campeau, Tim '2oolman' Hill, Bear Witness), Pierre & Jannelle Lassonde, Peter McGovern, Jasmina Zurovac, Mohsen Mostafavi, Phyllis Lambert, Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pencier, Kelvin Dushnisky, Alanna Heath, Simon Brault, Sylvie Gilbert, Brigitte Desrochers, Sacha Hastings, Geneviève Vallerand, Brigitte Shim & Howard Sutcliffe, Bruce Kuwabara, Robert Enright, David D'Arcy, Toon Dressen, Robert Wright, Alexander Reford, Ted Kesik, Chris Petersen, Peter Buchanan, Lise Anne Couture, Léa-Catherine Szacka, Karen Colby-Stothart, Anne Eschapasse, Cecelia Paine, Doris Chee, Jim Carter, Shelley Ambrose, D'Arcy Levesque, Patrick Schein, Charlie Fischer, Joanne Cuthbertson, Sarah McCallum, Joan Murray, Chelsea Spencer, Elise Hunchuck, Mano & Baldeep Duggal, Micol Soleri, Manuela Lucadazio, ...and a special shout out to all our visitors, followers, and fans on twitter and instagram.


Web: www.extraction.ca
Twitter: @1partperbillion
Instagram: #extractionempire


Inquiries: info@extraction.ca

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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