A project initiated by artists Michael Alstad + Leah Lazariuk, pixelgrain is an online repository of documents and ideas linked to the fading symbol of the Canadian prairie grain elevator. By systematically documenting and mapping these disappearing structures the artists portray a parallel rural community in the midst of transition. pixelgrain also functions as a web portal that utilises Geographic Information Systems and online social networks to create a participatory collaborative document that will evolve and grow over time.

Once hailed by French architect Le Corbusier for their 'stark simplicity and unadorned geometric shape as the ultimate example in architecture of form following function', prairie grain elevators are an important aspect of the social history, visual landscape and architectural heritage of Canada. In the rush to consolidate and intensify agricultural output to meet targets set by an increasingly globalised industry, the traditional prairie elevator - which represents small-scale community and family farms and is rooted in Canada's cooperative movement, labour and credit unions - is rapidly disappearing. Large concrete terminals are replacing the wooden elevators and less than 10 percent remain standing today.

There are several ways to navigate through the material on pixelgrain:
- view interviews by chapters on the video page
- view geotagged videos and pics on google maps or google earth
- view the flickr group map of geotagged elevator pics

pixelgrain video preview :: click here to launch the video page

You can contribute to pixelgrain by submitting images and videos to the Grain Elevator Group Pool on Flickr or the Grain Elevator group on YouTube. Please tag your material with location coordinates for content to appear on group maps. If you have a related story, photo or video please contact us at: pixelgrain(at)yahoo.ca