Aryen Hoekstra

Archaeological Infrastructure (w. Jen Aitken), 2016. Projected installation.

Image courtesy of Forest City Gallery, London, ON. Photo credit: Jenna Faye Powell

Archaeological Infrastructure unearths the apparitional architecture of an imagined city. To mould a cityscape into a mimetic image of its ruling class is an exhaustive venture, yet because of this expense it covers the odds of outliving its investors. George Steiner wrote that, “it is not the past that dominates us, it is images of the past,” just as cities are haunted by their ruins; afterimages of formerly imagined utopias that both produce and are produced by their own signification. As such, citizens are resigned to navigate these streets within a spectral loop, above an oozing river of ectoplasm beneath their feet; agitated when needed to invoke ideological ghosts. Archaeological Infrastructure considers the stability of these seemingly fixed, concrete limits, proposing instead that the city’s demarcations are imprecise and illusory and that its inhabitants possess the means to produce a potential sovereignty within the city walls.