Signals from the Mountain

An interactive installation that digs into the failure and uncertainty of a small group of people who were absent from the 2014 Burnaby Mountain protests against Kinder Morgan. Set within the Pandora Park Field House, the installation presents a selection of fragmented, fictionalized stories of boreholes and incorrect coordinates told through songs, objects and ephemera.

Borehole 1

Borehole (Corbin Murdoch)
13 minute loop played inside two tanks containing soil samples

We acknowledge that this work is located in Vancouver, on the traditional and unceded indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh).

We further acknowledge that we weren’t there.

That Sound 1

That Sound, Part 2 (Barbara Adler).
Three loops ranging from 1-13 minutes, played through rotary dial telephones

In Fall of 2014, protestors occupied the Burnaby Mountain conservation lands, in an attempt to block Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion through the area.

Signals from the Mountain is our response, rooted in our absence from the protests.

When we started this project, we wanted to re-imagine the stories of the protest. We knew that the battle for Burnaby Mountain had moments of victory and of failure. The National Energy Board hearings were underway, and there was a sense – based on the N.E.B.’s track record – that the project would ultimately be granted that stage of approval.

The future seemed sure.

Alder Trees

Seven Red Alder Trees (Lucia Misch with Ten Thousand Wolves).
13 minute loop played inside traffic cone

We wondered if we could artistically tip the scales to create more ‘wins’ for the protestors.

We turned to fiction.

We thought that if we could sow some fantastic confusion around the events on Burnaby Mountain, we might create a feeling that a positive outcome was still possible.

We had learned that an early win on the protestors’ side came because Kinder Morgan had submitted incorrect coordinates for the site of their geotechnical studies.

This image resonated with us.

In Kinder Morgan’s failure, we imagined a mountain that resisted measurement and a history that refused to be settled.

Load to Carry

Load to Carry (Barbara Adler, James Meger & Ten Thousand Wolves). 5 minute loop played via headphones, traffic cone, iPod

Stolen Trail Markers

Narrator intro/outro to David Newberry’s Untitled Song
13 minute loop broadcast on FM radio

Installation by Megan Stewart and Ben Wylie

Exhibition text (excerpt above) by Barbara Adler

Audio produced by Barbara Adler, James Meger & Ten Thousand Wolves, with additional sounds & tape loops by Ben Wylie, field sounds by Paul Paroczai

Photos by Lukas Englehardt

Coyote Morse Code, audio fragment from 13 minute loop

This project was produced with funding from the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants program.

Thank you to: Dance Troupe Practice, Tim Mahoney, Corbin Murdoch, Lucia Misch, David Newberry, Shannon Scott, James Meger, Gavin Youngash, Julie Hammond, Lukas Englehardt, Paul Paroczai, Layla Marcelle Mrozowski, CJSF, City of Vancouver Fieldhouse Residency Program