Created with the help of a number of local industries and communities, 'Salish Sea Lab' explores ideas of loss and sea-change. The subject of this work is the connections between local environment, industry and culture. These conceptual connections also reach beyond hyper-local materials and geography to regional, global and perhaps even cosmic ideas.
Philadelphia sculptor Miguel Horn and digital artist Chris Landau, used a 5 week residency at Quest University to connect with local partners to create 'Salish Sea Lab'. From lumber donated by Sqomish Forestry to conversations with Quest University, many hands and voices influenced this project. Half of the log they used went to a local Squamish family for the construction of a traditional dugout canoe. Horn and Landau's half was cut at Fraserwood with workspace from BC timberframe. The central topography motif of the canoe is milled from paper pulp donated by Howe Sound Pulp and Paper.
Horn and Landau also spent time connecting with local Squamish youth to discuss the traditions of boat building as well as new technologies such as CNC milling and digital modeling that they use in their process. The form of the canoe is inspired by these conversations and observations during their time here and was created using digital fabrication in collaboration with local fine furnishings shop Leon Lebeniste.
The animation is generated from both fact and fiction. Some of its layers are pulled from geographic data and some are iconic imaginings. Central to the animation is the topography of the Howe Sound. This surface created from paper pulp is a three-dimensional canvas for a custom-coded virtual ecosystem, animated starmaps and fluxuating water bodies.