Trading Places Wheat - victoria piersig

Travelling with cargoes of bulk commodities from mine and granary to market, I play with the traditional language of the Industrial Sublime and wilderness landscape photography to provide a window into the little seen world of resource extraction, production, and shipping that provides us with the raw materials for the essential goods we use in our daily lives. Sailing aboard Canadian domestic lake freighters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, through the St. Lawrence Seaway, and Great Lakes to Thunder Bay on north shore of Lake Superior, I trace the classic mariner’s journey celebrated in song. A story forgotten by most Canadians as gentrification relentlessly pushes heavy industry and shipping infrastructure from its place in the landscape. The Saint Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes form Canada’s first highway; the harvest and movement of natural resources to market the primary reason for the initial siting and growth of communities along both shores. Yet as gentrification relentlessly pushes heavy industry away from its historical place in the landscape we make shipping ever more difficult. Leaving us to contemplate this; one boatload of iron ore is equivalent to 980 trucks on our roads or approximately 350 rail-cars. Do we wish to build more rivers of asphalt or better utilize our natural infrastructure?

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