Territories

Territories incorporates a digital image of a polar bear found on the Endangered Canadian Species List on the International Fund for Animal Welfare web site. The image was enlarged to life size and sectioned into hundreds of small squares and placed into a mini ziplock bags. Like self contained preserved ‘cells’, each piece was labelled, suggesting a classification system, and joined together with tiny key rings to reconstruct the polar bear. The work hangs from aluminum arms mounted to a small motor attached to the gallery ceiling. The mechanism rotates the image of the bear in a slow 360 degree loop of continuous motion — mimicking the repetitious movements of the polar bear in a zoo enclosure. Territories explores conceptual ideas of human/animal/cultural relationships within prescribed spaces and artificial boundaries.

Ziplocked Species

in conjunction with the exhibition Territories, Michael Alstad initiated the intervention ‘Ziplocked Species’ in the adjacent library. The artist downloaded digital images of a selection of mammals, birds and insects on the Endangered Canadian Species List on the International Fund for Animal Welfare web site. Each image, along with the species’s Latin name, taxonomic group, risk category, range and ‘year of endangered’ designation, was inserted into small Ziplock bags. Each bag was then hidden in a calculated selection of library books – some popular and others obscure – where they will be discovered by the public over an extended period of time.

Cambridge Galleries – Cambridge, Ontario
Sept 5 – October 19, 2003

Territories from mikeo on Vimeo.