Black Diamond Dust

Black Diamond Dust

Edited by Jesse Birch

With Will Holder

Distributed for Sternberg Press




This publication expands a 2014 multisite contemporary art exhibition that took place in Nanaimo, British Columbia, a small city on the eastern edge of Vancouver Island. The title refers to coal mining, an industry that has formed and fragmented communities through economic development, racial segregation, and labor inequity, while fueling the modern world. In this book, forgotten or under-acknowledged histories are investigated and discussed along with cultural forms that surround the practices of international coal mining. Contemporary artworks, poetry, essays, literature, folk songs, and archival images come together to extract meaning from this fossilized black carbon that continues to power our cities.

Black Diamond Dust is the first of three projects to engage the resource industries of Vancouver Island (coal mining, forestry, and fisheries) through contemporary art.

Copublished with Nanaimo Art Gallery, Canada

ContributorsJesse Birch, Lynne Bowen, Peter Culley, Antonio Graydon, Sarah Ogan Gunning, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Michael Taussig; together with artworks by Stephanie Aitken, Raymond Boisjoly, Edward Burtynsky, Peter Culley, Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis, Gray Metal, Devon Knowles, Yuanchen Liu, William Notman & Son, Jerry Pethick, Mimi Pickering, Kerri Reid, Scott Rogers


$27.00 T ISBN: 9783956792533 138 pp. | 6.5 in x 9 in 37 color illus., 35 b&w illus.

Not for sale in Europe or the UK.


Jesse Birch

Jesse Birch is the curator at Nanaimo Art Gallery. He has produced numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally, published widely, and taught in the Critical + Cultural Studies program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


Will Holder.