High Tech Road runs along the wasteland behind the mall.
The big box mall is an institution in control of its access and activity. Marshall McLuhan talks about buildings as 'self-contained communication systems in which the very architecture is a dynamic medium that conveys the message of a high demand for social order under the hierarchy of a supreme power '(in this case, corporations) He says that 'architecture shapes and rearranges the patterns of human association and community.' ( Marshall McLuhan; Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man 1964) How does something as imposing as a big box mall or the monolithic hydro towers with their river of current and chaos of elegant lines fall so beneath our notice as to become almost invisible? Institutions operate to control what we are able to see. To view a building as a medium enables us to see its social function.
My interest in cultural landscape began close to home, investigating the suburban sprawl around Toronto (Into the 905:The View From the Car 2002-05.) I am drawn to the places where there is no context for paying attention. The experience involves stepping outside of social expectation and conditioned response in order to be present to the underlying political topology that is normally overlooked or misunderstood.
Martha Eleen 2007
High Tech Road was exhibited at Hokkaido Garou Gallery, Sapporo, Japan 2010; The Cameron House, Toronto;
St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre September 12 - October 31, 2009; Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2007;
20 paintings, oil on wood, 16" x 16"
ELECTRIFYING THE BLEAKEST OF LANDSCAPESby GARY MICHAEL DAULT (THE GLOBE AND MAIL, JANUARY 10, 2009)