Philippe Vandal’s Paper on Sinks and Spills published in ESSE Art et Opinion

Winter  2021

INDI Masters student Philippe Vandal publishes ‘’Puits de captage et déversements : Rétention et enchevêtrement de corps-matières dans le parc Frédéric-Back’’ in ESSE Art et Opinion’s special edition on New Materialisms.
 This paper explores the socio-environmental and political issues of the Frederick Back Parc in Montreal. Halfway between territorial and cultural policies, landfills are assemblages of human and non-human entities. Physically, they are multidirectional sites: horizontal in spatial orientation, vertical in waste accumulation and layered in bacterial processes. Landfills are contained and managed by physical and chemical forces, but their transformations remain highly unpredictable. They release metabolized matter that bacterial processes have transformed into hazardous liquids and toxic volatile compounds. Dumpsites are the source of health problems for many species, and influence real estate development and the local economy. Despite this, they are allowed to creep into urban environments. Montreal is home to a large number of them, some of which have been rehabilitated as green spaces. Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier, Rosemont, Père-Marquette and Baldwin parks, Pelican Park, the Botanical Garden and many others are former landfill sites. The most recent to have undergone such a transformation is the Complexe environnemental de Saint-Michel, also known as Parc Frédéric-Back.
Contributors: Alice Jarry, Marie-Pier Boucher, Samuel Bianchini, Géraldine Gomez, Brice Ammar-Khodja, Alexandra Bachmayer Théo Chauvirey, Maria Chekhanovich, Matthew Halpenny, Raphaëlle Kerbrat, Vanessa Mardirossian, Philippe Vandal, Lee Wilkins.

Critical Practices in
Materials and Materiality