Cambridge Galleries - Kinetic Scupture
Cambridge, Ontario
September 5 - October 19, 2003

Territories incorporates a digital image of a polar bear found on the Endangered Canadian Species List on the International Fund for Animal Welfare web site. Alstad enlarged this image to life size and sectioned it into hundreds of small squares (2 x 2") and placed each square into a mini ziplock bag. Like self contained preserved ‘cells’, each piece was joined together with tiny key rings to reconstruct the polar bear.

The reconstructed image hangs from aluminum arms mounted to a small motor attached to the gallery ceiling. The mechanism rotates the image of the bear in a slow 360 degree loop of continuous motion – mimicking the repetitious movements of the polar bear in a zoo enclosure.

Through the juxtaposition of nature (the polar bear) with the man-made (controlled motion and the suggestion of rigid classification), Territories delineates conceptual ideas of human/animal/cultural relationships within prescribed spaces and artificial boundaries.

Michael Alstad would like to thank Veronica Verkley and Jim Ruxton for technical assistance in the development of Territories.


Ziplocked Species

n conjunction with the exhibition Territories, Michael Alstad initiated the intervention 'Ziplocked Species' in the adjacent library. The artist downloaded digital images of a selection of mammals, birds and insects on the Endangered Canadian Species List on the International Fund for Animal Welfare web site. Each image, along with the species’s Latin name, taxonomic group, risk category, range and 'year of endangered' designation, was inserted into small 2 x 2" Ziplock bags. Each bag was then hidden in a calculated selection of library books – some popular and others obscure – where they will be discovered by the public over an extended period of time.

top row

Territories: kinetic sculpture
digital print, ziplock bags, keyrings, motor, aluminum wheel

bottom row

Ziplocked Species: library intervention
digital prints in ziplock bags

photo documentation: David Popplow
video documentation: Michael Alstad

Cambridge Galleries Website