Issue 06: FORGING

September 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 06: FORGING is now available in print and online.

Zackery Hobler, 18133401, 2018. Archival inkjet print. Courtesy the artist.

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 sixth broadsheet in the SDUK series rounds out a sustained engagement with climate change, environmental crisis, and resilience that has taken place across multiple sites in Mississauga throughout 2018-2019. Concluding this series, though by no means ceasing the Blackwood’s work on climate justice, this issue reflects on how to reckon with, and move forward, in an age of ecological anxiety and accumulating destruction—with hope, but also with urgency. As in the return of fire to landscape conservation documented in Zackery Hobler’s cover image, FORGING looks to artistic, poetic, political, and scientific catalysts to re-enliven suppressed or waylaid knowledges in favour of a more liveable future.


The concept of the chokepoint here takes numerous valences. First, there is the literal choking of life through the accumulation of materials that are toxic to the ecology within which the mine exists, terminally threatening the surrounding ecosystems and potentially inducing a literal stoppage point to life itself, or at least certain forms of life. The second form is the limit to the resource itself, as the gold will inevitably run out. The mine is therefore a mortal creature, and one whose life expectancy is short.

 - Excerpt from Orit Halpern, "Golden Futures ,” The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge 6 (September 2019), 10. 


Bureau of Linguistical Reality
D.T. Cochrane
Thirza Cuthand
Phil De Luna
Bonnie Devine
Michael DiRisio
Orit Halpern
Zackery Hobler
Sarah Pereux
John Paul Ricco
Erin Robinsong
Ciara Weber
Wretched of the Earth Collective
Joy Xiang
Alize Zorlutuna


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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