Issue 03: BEARING

March 2019

Eds. D.T. Cochrane, Alison Cooley, Fraser McCallum, Christine Shaw
and Joy Xiang

Published by Blackwood Gallery

A serial broadsheet publication featuring commissioned essays, artists' projects, and interviews.

Issue 03: BEARING is now available in print and online.

Joseph Tisiga, Trespassers Menaced by Psychosis, 2017. Watercolour on paper.
Courtesy the artist and Parisian Laundry.

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) is a serial broadsheet publication produced by the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga, as part of The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea, a site-specific exhibition, public program, and publication series designed to expand perspectives on climate change through artistic practices, cultural inquiry, and political mobilization.

In order to productively collide with the present crisis, we recognize that ideas cannot be constrained by disciplines. SDUK composes and circulates an ecology of knowledge based on the relationship and antagonism of “useful” ideas. 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, 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.

The SDUK broadsheet series brings together contributors from diverse fields in the sciences and humanities, students and faculty from across the University of Toronto Mississauga, community organizations and activists, policy makers and policy agitators, artist researchers and speculative thinkers, all to advance new forms of literacy around climate change discourse.


This SDUK broadsheet is the first to follow The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea, a ten-day contemporary art festival engaging with climate change, environmental crisis, and resilience which took place in Mississauga’s Southdown Industrial Area in September 2018. Taking BEARING as its theme, this issue turns our attention to alienation, affect, anxiety, and questions of responsibility and resilience.


As the effects of climate warming unfold, the overall effect on the economy and the environment will be as devastating as a slow-moving international war. We must treat the threat to Canada with this in mind. In any functioning democracy, it is customary for political parties to set aside their differences at such times in order to address a threat that jeopardizes the future of its citizens. This is such a time, and we call on federal and provincial leaders to cooperate in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases with the greatest possible haste.

 - Excerpted from “Open Letter to the Federal Government” by W.R. Peltier, D.W. Schindler, John P. Smol, and David Suzuki in Issue 03: BEARING (p. 7)


Malala Andrialavidrazana
Amy Balkin
The Climate Change Project
D.T. Cochrane
Jeff Diamanti
Sara Hughes
Fraser McCallum
W.R. Peltier
Jacquelyn Ross
Marina Roy
D.W. Schindler
Alexis Shotwell
John P. Smol
David Suzuki
Joseph Tisiga
Joy Xiang


Publisher: Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga

Editors: D.T. Cochrane, Alison Cooley, Fraser McCallum, Christine Shaw & Joy Xiang

Designer: Matthew Hoffman

Copy Editor: Jeffrey Malecki

Printer: Thistle Printing

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge is developed in collaboration with The Climate Change Project (City of Mississauga, Environment Division).


The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga.


The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea 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.

The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the additional support of the Jackman
Humanities Institute.


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