Delineating a nation-state is a preview of the forthcoming issue 12 of Scapegoat: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy, featuring: Roberto Damiani, Irena Latek, and Karyn Recollet, moderated by co-editors David Fortin and Adrian Blackwell. This conversation will examine the relationship between urban morphology and processes of settler colonialism, through the delineation of property in land.
The building of a nation-state involves the drawing of lines on pieces of paper and the transcription of those lines onto a territory. All architects’ drawings are constrained and structured by these primary processes of delineation. This conversation will bring together two foundational discourses about national space: an architectural conversation about the relationship between property division and architectural form, and an ongoing debate about the land-appropriations of settler colonialism.
This conversation is a part of the Biennial’s weekly Performance and Reading Program: Isonomia in Toronto, a series which takes place within Adrian Blackwell’s two interrelated structures at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and the Small Arms Inspection Building. Invited guests include poet CAConrad, artists Camilo Godoy and Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Apache violinist Laura Ortman, Sister Co-Resister, and percussionist Marshall Trammell.
Image: Township Plan of Township 43 (St. Laurent-Batoche area), 1890, courtesy of the Saskatchewan Archives Board Photo Collection.
Adrian Blackwell (born and lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a settler artist, urban designer, theorist, and educator. Blackwell’s practice focuses on the relation between physical spaces and political economic forces. His work has been featured in exhibitions such as: Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2019; Chengdu Biennale, 2011; and Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, 2005. He is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo and co-editor of the forthcoming issue of SCAPEGOAT: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy titled “Delineating a Nation State.”
Learn more about Adrian Blackwell’s practice by listening to episode 5 of the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast “Short Format”, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
David Fortin is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (MRAIC), a LEED accredited professional, and a registered architect in the province of Ontario. Fortin is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario and the RAIC Indigenous Task Force that seeks ‘ways to foster and promote indigenous design in Canada’. He was also co-curator of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, a team of Indigenous architects under the leadership of Douglas Cardinal, who represented Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale in Italy. Fortin is the Associate Director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute and Director of the McEwen School of Architecture.
Irena Latek, M. Arch, Canadian architect and artist, is professor at the school of Architecture of l’Université de Montréal and director of the laboratory of research-creation « medialabAU ». Her research at the junction of architecture and the medias digital arts relates to the tradition of the conceptualization of architecture in its relationship to the city, the landscape and the territory conducted through work on drawings and images. The projects she has realised with the «medialabAU» team in video, or through interactive interfaces, take the form of installations questioning contemporary urbanities. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, Spain, Germany and France; notably she presented monographic exhibitions: Intervalles, Montreal, Cinémathèque québécoise, 2015-2016, Flux, Montreal, Centre d’Exposition, UdeM, 2015, Trans-porters Ecotopia –Utopia, Montréal, Centre d’Exposition, UdeM, 2009, Ubiquités publiques Desynchronized Public Spaces présenté, Montréal, SAT, 2005, Espaces mouvants Soft Public Spaces, Montréal, SAT, 2003 and Barcelona, Galerie Ras. 2004
Karyn Recollet (Cree, born in Sturgeon Lake First Nation, SK, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is an Assistant Professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. An urban Cree scholar/ artist/ writer Recollet’s work focuses on urban Indigenous art-making practices as complex forms of urban glyphing- expressing an expansive understanding of land pedagogy that exceeds the terrestrial. Recollet is in conversation with dance choreographers, Black and Indigenous futurist thinkers, and Indigenous and Black geographers as ways to theorize and activate relationality through forms of land-ing in rupturous times.
Roberto Damiani is a Lecturer at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo, where he teaches courses on history, theory, and visualization of urbanism. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Architect and the Public: On George Baird’s Contribution to Architecture.