The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea

Curated by Christine Shaw

Produced by the Blackwood Gallery

Presented in partnership with the City of Mississauga, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and K. Verlag


Exhibition: September 14–23, 2018
Books: Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Public Programs: June 2018–August 2019
Broadsheet Series: June 2018–September 2019

For full program details visit

Design: Studio Remco van Bladel.

September 14 to September 23, 2018
Southdown Industrial Area, Mississauga, Ontario
Opening Night: Friday, September 14

Christina Battle, Dylan Miner, Tomás Saraceno, Lisa Myers, Eduardo Navarro, Julian Oliver, Pejvak, Ed Pien, Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas, Paul Walde, Tania Willard, Jana Winderen, and Xiaojing Yan

Over the course of ten days, the Southdown Industrial Area in Mississauga will be transformed into a site-specific contemporary art exhibition. With commissioned works by Canadian and international artists, THE WORK OF WIND: AIR, LAND, SEA will create an operatic experience of elemental forces, geopolitical processes, and environmental violence impacting the Earth. Drawing on the language of the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force—breaking, scattering, drifting, tumbling, rolling, driving, whistling, rustling, extending, raising, swaying, inconveniencing, impeding, damaging, uprooting—the exhibition will unfurl the 13 forces, from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane), and punctuate the area with 13 artist projects moving between modes of allegory and creative adaptation strategies.

The exhibition will be contained within a roughly 1km2 zone in Mississauga’s Southdown Industrial Area, bordered by Clarkson to the north and Lake Ontario to the south. This complex area features a cement plant, a gypsum pier, an oil and lubricants refinery, a carbon dioxide production facility, a wastewater treatment plant, heritage sites, a nursery, a fruit distribution centre, a commercial transport hub, a hazardous waste management facility, an abandoned paint and resin plant, a working farm, a radio transmission field, and a permanent ambient air monitoring program, among other sites. These are in addition to the popular recreational sites of the Petro Canada Park and Cricket Ground and Lakeside Park, with its Cobble Beach comprised of the remnants of buried clay pipes from the National Sewer Pipe Company, increasingly exposed as the shoreline and bank erodes.

A contemporary art project of this scale is the first of its kind in Mississauga—held over two weekends, the festival aims to provoke, surprise, and delight viewers by demonstrating that art can be experienced anywhere and everywhere. The two-week festival (staged at one centralized location) will also feature a series of live events, including performances, film screenings, talks, workshops, and other on-site events, to further animate the thirteen exhibition sites and commissioned projects, reaching diverse communities across the city. The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is an invitation to the city’s publics to create memorable encounters with art, in the common struggle for a healthy, vibrant future. This transformational project presents an opportunity for artists, thinkers, industry, and everyday citizens to engage with each other in meaningful discussion about climate change and environmental responsibility.


The Work of Wind: Land (Fall 2018)
The Work of Wind: Sea (Fall 2019)
The Work of Wind: Air (Spring 2020)
Eds. Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin
Managing Ed. Anna-Sophie Springer
Co-published by K. Verlag and the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga

Expanding the lines of inquiry, curatorial strategies, and aesthetic practices mobilized in the exhibition, The Work of Wind: Land and The Work of Wind: Sea will each contain a reflective essay on the Beaufort Scale, an intermezzo off the scale, and 13 responses to the scale’s 13 forces. Here, the reader-as-exhibition-viewer will navigate a broad multidisciplinary field of inquiry and experimentation, sensing a rise of intensity in form and content as the pages turn from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane). Contributors will include artists, curators, atmospheric scientists, designers, poets, oceanographers, architects, anthropologists, art historians, media archaeologists, geologists, sociologists, economists, physicists, geographers, and more. The final book, The Work of Wind: Air, will bring together an analysis of the material flows of Mississauga’s Southdown Industrial Area and the artist projects that circulated through it during the exhibition THE WORK OF WIND: AIR, LAND, SEA.

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK)

To productively collide with the present crisis, ideas cannot be constrained by disciplines. An ecology of knowledge based on the relationship and antagonism of “useful” ideas will be composed and circulated through THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE (SDUK). The name of this innovative platform is borrowed from a non-profit society founded in London in 1826, focused on publishing inexpensive texts such as the widely read Penny Magazine and The Library of Useful Knowledge (of which Captain Francis Beaufort led the map and atlas section), and aimed at spreading important world knowledge to anyone seeking to self-educate. Both continuing and troubling the origins of the society, the Blackwood Gallery’s SDUK platform brings artists, scientists, activists, and publics into an interdisciplinary, intercultural, intergenerational reassessment of the history of capitalism and colonialism and their environmental legacies in the present.


SDUK Public Programs
June 2018 to August 2019
Across the City of Mississauga

The SDUK’s public programs will bring together contributors from diverse fields in the sciences and humanities, students and faculty from across the University of Toronto Mississauga, community activists and policy agitators, artist researchers and speculative thinkers, all to advance new forms of literacy around climate change discourse. This series of public programs will engage audiences throughout Mississauga and beyond.

For more information about programming visit


SDUK Broadsheets
June 2018 to September 2019
Eds. D.T. Cochrane, Alison Cooley, Fraser McCallum, Christine Shaw & Joy Xiang
Published by Blackwood Gallery

Issue 01: GRAFTING, June 2018
Issue 02: COMMUTING, August 2018
Issue 03: BEARING, March 2019
Issue 04: SHORING, May 2019
Issue 05: ACCOUNTING, July 2019
Issue 06: FORGING, September 2019

For more information about broadsheets visit

Installation Photos

The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is produced in collaboration with the University of Toronto Mississauga, the City of Mississauga, and K. Verlag.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded in part through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.