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.

  • The Mill

    The Mill

    Jesse Birch and Will Holder

    The Mill is the second of three projects to engage the resource industries of Vancouver Island (mining, forestry, and fisheries) through contemporary art and writing. This volume responds to forestry: a mobile industry of logging camps that follow the trees; prices that rise and fall; mills that open and close; communities that boom and bust. In The Mill, artworks are accompanied by a multiplicity of voices, including forestry workers, plant ecologists, and indigenous land stewards. Together, these perspectives chart the cultural and material shifts brought about when trees become commodities.

    Expanded from two contemporary art exhibitions, Silva Part I: O Horizon and Silva Part II: Booming Grounds, The Mill examines forgotten or under-acknowledged histories, while considering both local sites and forms of cultural expression that surround international forestry practices.

    • Paperback $24.00
  • Black Diamond Dust

    Black Diamond Dust

    Jesse Birch

    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

    Contributors Jesse 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

    • Hardcover $27.00