Whitehorse, Yukon 2005
The basis of my current work has been the creation of a fictitious corporation, entitled Great North Development Group. Under this parent corporation, I have created five subsidiary companies: Mining, Oil & Gas, Forestry, Communications and Engineering. The physical components of the work include three-dimensional photographs of various company sites (which are actually dioramas that have been constructed using scale model toys, earth, modeling materials and painted sky backdrops) presented through hand-held stereoscopic viewers. I also produce promotional paraphernalia that includes: a large trade show booth, a podium with a laptop computer for browsing the Great North website (www.greatnorthdev.com), framed share certificates, and rack cards offering investment opportunities.
Great North Development Group is an innovative and multidisciplinary artist’s project that employs various strategies including aspects of performance and public intervention in order to heighten the ambiguity surrounding the authenticity of the corporation. Through public forums and actions—advertisements in regional newspapers; preliminary site surveying for the construction of a bridge in Dawson City; Internet sites and a booth rental at two regional Industry Trade Shows where Great North was situated amongst legitimate companies—the project engages the general public outside of a traditional gallery context. While parodying and critiquing the assumptions, tactics and promises of many development corporations, Great North Development—a veneer of believability—remains illusive, exploring the complexities and contradictions of our relationship to the land and in the activities that signify it.