Pierre Bélanger

Pierre Bélanger, an independent landscape architect and urbanist, is editor of Extraction Empire: Undermining the Systems, States, and Scales of Canada's Global Resource Empire, coauthor of Ecologies of Power: Countermapping the Logistical Landscapes and Military Geographies of the U.S. Department of Defense (both published by the MIT Press), and Landscape as Infrastructure, Going Live: from States to Systems.

  • Extraction Empire

    Extraction Empire

    Undermining the Systems, States, and Scales of Canada's Global Resource Empire, 2017—1217

    Pierre Bélanger

    How Canada became an empire in its own right and how Canadian life came to be mediated through mineral extraction.

    Extraction is the process and practice that defines Canada, at home and abroad. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world from Africa to Latin America, more than half are Canadian operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people in Canada, it contributed $57 billion CAD to Canada's GDP in 2014 alone. Globally, more than 75 percent of the world's mining firms are based in Canada. The scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada's historical legacy as state, nation, and now as global resource empire. Canada, once a far-flung northern outpost of the British Empire, has become an empire in its own right.

    This book examines both the historic and contemporary Canadian culture of extraction, with essays, interviews, archival material, and multimedia visualizations. The essayists and interviewees—who include such prominent figures as Naomi Klein and Michael Ignatieff—come from a range of fields, including geography, art, literature, architecture, science, environment, and business. All consider how Canadian life came to be mediated through mineral extraction. When did this empire emerge? How far does it reach? Who gains, who loses? What alternatives exist? On the 150th anniversary of the creation of Canada by Queen Victoria's Declaration of Confederation, it is time for Canada to reexamine and reimagine its imperial role throughout the world, from coast to coast, from one continent to another.

    Authors & Image ContributorsA Tribe Called Red, Allan Adam, Howard Adams, Yassin 'Narcy' Alsalman, Christopher Alton, Pedro Aparicio, Margaret Atwood, Aaron Barcant, Réal V. Benoit, Justice Thomas Berger, Hernán Bianchi Benguria, Susan Blight, Paula Butler, David Chancellor, Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, Jean Chrétien, Tiffany Kaewen Dang, Dene Nation National Office, Alain Deneault, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Diaguitas Huascoaltinos, Mary Eberts, Genevieve Ennis Hume, Georges Erasmus, Andy Everson, Pierre Falcon, Evan Farley, Alex Golub, David Hargreaves, Daniel Hemmendinger, Gord Hill, James Hopkinson, Hume Atelier, Michael Ignatieff, Hayden King, Thomas King, Naomi Klein, Erica Violet Lee, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Nina-Marie Lister, Ryan McMahon, Zannah Mæ Matson, Chris Meyer, Ossie Michelin, Jacob Moginot, Kent Monkman, Doug Morrison, James Murray, Joan K. Murray, Phoebe Nahanni, Charmaine Nelson, Eli Nelson, George Osodi, Maryanne Pearce, Barry Pottle, Moura Quayle, Tushar Rajyaguru, Louis Riel, RVTR, Olga Semenovych, Michelle St. John, Maurice Strong, Molly Swain, Ashley C. Thompson, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, John Van Nostrand, Chelsea Vowel, Mel Watkins, Sally M. Weaver, Patrick Wolfe, Rita Wong, The Wyrd Sisters, Sohyun Kate Yoon, Suzanne Zeller

    • Paperback $55.00
  • Ecologies of Power

    Ecologies of Power

    Countermapping the Logistical Landscapes and Military Geographies of the U.S. Department of Defense

    Pierre Bélanger and Alexander Arroyo

    Countermapping the geospatial footprint of the U.S. Department of Defense to reveal the making, unmaking, and remaking of a vast military-logistical landscape.

    This book is not about war, nor is it a history of war. Avoiding the shock and awe of wartime images, it explores the contemporary spatial configurations of power camouflaged in the infrastructures, environments, and scales of military operations. Instead of wartime highs, this book starts with drawdown lows, when demobilization and decommissioning morph into realignment and prepositioning. It is in this transitional milieu that the full material magnitudes and geographic entanglements of contemporary militarism are laid bare. Through this perpetual cycle of build up and breakdown, the U.S. Department of Defense—the single largest developer, landowner, equipment contractor, and energy consumer in the world—has engineered a planetary assemblage of “operational environments” in which militarized, demilitarized, and non-militarized landscapes are increasingly inextricable.

    In a series of critical cartographic essays, Pierre Bélanger and Alexander Arroyo trace this footprint far beyond the battlefield, countermapping the geographies of U.S. militarism across five of the most important and embattled operational environments: the ocean, the atmosphere, the highway, the city, and the desert. From the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia to the defense-contractor archipelago around Washington, D.C.; from the A01 Highway circling Afghanistan's high-altitude steppe to surveillance satellites pinging the planet from low-earth orbit; and from the vast cold chain conveying military perishables worldwide to the global constellation of military dumps, sinks, and scrapyards, the book unearths the logistical infrastructures and residual landscapes that render strategy spatial, militarism material, and power operational. In so doing, Bélanger and Arroyo reveal unseen ecologies of power at work in the making and unmaking of environments—operational, built, and otherwise—to come.

    • Paperback $19.95


  • Food


    Alphabet City Magazine 12

    John Knechtel

    As the slow food movement meets fast food nation and eating locally collides with on-demand arugula, our food habits are shifting: writers and artists examine and imagine these changes, from the idea of a farm in a skyscraper to a map of fruit that falls on public property, from the genealogy of an organic bento box to a tale of chop suey and egg rolls.

    Food is essential to our sense of place and our sense of self, but today—as fast food nation meets the slow food movement and eating locally collides with on-demand arugula—our food habits are shifting. Food examines and imagines these changes, with projects by writers and artists that explore the cultural and emotional resonance of food, from the “everyday Dada” of mashed potatoes and Jell-O to the rocket science of food eaten by astronauts in space. In Food, an artist photographs everything he ate in 2006 (and some things he didn't eat, including “Food I Left in the Fridge Too Long”) and finds the results both “seductive and repulsive”; a writer describes the global agro-assembly line that produces an organic bento box for Japanese commuters containing rice and vegetables from California, pork from Mexico, and salmon from Alaska; a short story writer offers an eight-page graphic novel, Eating in Cafeterias; a landscape architect compares a commercial orange with an organic apple using visualized data; an award-winning New York City food writer tells a postmodern tale about small-town Chinese-American cuisine (featuring chop suey, egg rolls, and flaming lava cocktails); an expert explains the principles of urban food sustainability. Other projects include a map of the free food from fruit trees on public land in a Los Angeles neighborhood, a visionary plan for farms in skyscrapers, and a surprising report on food security. The essays, artwork, and stories in Food offer readers a full menu of intellectual nourishment and aesthetic delight.

    • Hardcover $18.00