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Download a set of "Dear Sudbury" letters in English and French.

Messages From Across Space and Time consists of a collection of letters to Sudbury from Dodolab (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter) and smudge studio (Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth) made available through a site installation at Laurentian Architecture (111 Larch Street, Sudbury, Ontario), as boxed sets to be gifted, and online. Launch date June 27th, 2012.

CBC radio coverage of the project aired July 11, 2011 on Points North (audio archive here).

Flickr album of installation (via Dodolab)

The bottles assembled here contain a collection of messages to you. They capture some of our thoughts both about, and inspired by, your city. We invite you to explore this collection and, should you wish, to take a message-in-a-bottle and pass it along to another Sudburian (individual or organization).

Like the classic “message in a bottle,” these are transmissions from what can seem like far-away places, but places that you are nonetheless connected to by the currents of water and air and by the links formed by infrastructure, communication and relationship.

We’ve tried to be conscientious visitors, to observe and participate, to listen and engage, to learn about and from Sudbury. While what we’ve seen and heard here reflect unique local concerns, we also think that what is happening in Greater Sudbury has echoes and deep relevance beyond the region. The ideas we wish to share are very much grounded in this place, ranging from such tangible features as the city’s built infrastructure to the deep time of geological and cosmic forces.

As a mining town, you are likely familiar with the old strategy of bringing a canary into the coal mine with you—a warning system to let the miners know when invisible dangers were approaching. As we think about the state of our planet, we wondered what canaries we could possibly consult now about what the future holds. And we wondered, what if those canaries weren’t in cages, signaling only with their death.

What if instead they could speak to us, tell us what they were noticing in the world around them? What would these canaries say? We’ve been thinking about how you live here. What, like a canary in a coal mine, are potential signs that things are at risk both for you and for others, and what are signs
of success and creative response to collaborative futures?

While we are visitors here, we also see ourselves as part of here. We are all linked into a complex global web of cultures, technologies, economies and climate, equally present on what is an increasingly interconnected planet.

— DodoLab and smudge studio, June 2012

The thoughts and ideas shared in this project combine the respective research and interests of DodoLab (Guelph/ Hamilton) and smudge studio (Brooklyn, New York), distinct artist collaboratives who met in Sudbury in the fall of 2011 during the Musagetes Café program. Over the past two years, DodoLab has been visiting Sudbury on a regular basis to run a series of community investigations in partnership with SACY (Sudbury Action Centre for Youth) and with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Musagetes Foundation. smudge studio and DodoLab began collaborating with their project Amulets for Infrastructure staged in Sudbury and Kyoto, Japan, earlier this year.

For more information about DodoLab, smudge studio and Musagetes, visit:
DodoLab (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter) -
smudge studio (Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth) -
Musagetes Café -

For questions and comments: contact us.


Read more on the Friends of the Pleistocene (FOP) blog about previous collaborations with Dodolab:

01.22.11 "Amulets for Infrastructure"

03.18.12 "Meeting Forces Larger Than Ourselves: Amulets for Infrastructure"


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