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In collaboration with Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea and Tahireh Lal.

3,800 to 2,500 million years ago, the Archaean became established as one of the four principal eons of Earth History. It was a time of tremendous heat when life forms consisted of single-cell organisms, and crystalline rock-forms from the time were left in rich abundance across the entire Canadian Shield. 20,000 years ago, a glacial mass extending four times higher than the CN tower, covered all of Toronto to well beyond Kingston – part of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. As the ice retreated and melted over the next 8,000 years, it formed glacial Lake Iroquois, etching the shoreline of the Lake Ontario basin while submerging what is now Toronto for several thousand more years. By 1800, water lapped at the shore along Front Street and today, though the shoreline has been extended since 1926 one can still view the lake beyond the Dufferin Gates, from the tower of the Gladstone Hotel.

Archaean, a collaboration with multi-disciplinary artist Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea and video artist Tahireh Lal, is an installation created for Toronto’s 2012 Nuit Blanche at Toronto’s iconic Gladstone Hotel. Using water as a manifestation of elemental wonder and transformation, this project explores the theme of macro-micro, with its continuum of systems and patterns, and the reverberations between nature and the man-made. The interplay of shifting substance and scale reveals a world of relationships between these two extremes and with an oversize projection generated by a live feed camera feed of ice melting in a small beaker of warm water, the installation contracts the aforementioned history into an evocative, immersive experience. 

Geological and meteorological impermanence is a compelling link between beginnings and evolutions, what was and what is, between traces and echoes across fields of constant transformation. This ephemeral phenomenon drives Archaean, in which eons of time are condensed into a single night within the walls of the Gladstone Hotel. 

Site-responsive, multi-media installation with jersey projection screen, mirror plexi, projector, live-feed video camera, beaker, ice.

Exhibition History:

Gladstone Hotel, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, 2012

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