ReFILL workshop reportback

We — Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall — recently finished our ReFILL workshop in Winnipeg, which was a response to the Canadian government’s closing of the many Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) libraries and pulping its contents. Since the library index and many of the titles are now lost, we led a great group of participants on a journey to reimagine and recreate  the libraries vast holdings. Many of these were reports and studies were/are vital to charting the rate of climate change.


Before the workshop,  we designed a variety of book template sizes and colours (covers and splines) and then laser-cut 40 of these for mass assembly. We were fortunate that Erika Lincoln, who sponsored the workshop provided access to AssentWorks, an artist-run fabrication lab in Winnipeg.assent-book-ai-coverassent_book-edges

We had several book templates with various colors for people to select

The first day we looked at Fisheries and Oceans Canada WAVES online database to search for some of the titles and studies that were digitized after their removal from the Freshwater Library. We used this source to brainstorm possible titles for our reimagined Library and began book construction.

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Then workshop participants constructed and glued.bookmake-assembly



The “pages” of the books were painted on with a Gesso medium.



We shared stories and conversation, as we constructed the books.workshop-people


We also had a printer on-site where folks could grab images online and print them out to adorn their book covers.  bookmake-printer


On the second day, some of the artists in the workshop brought their own materials such as stencils and a labelmaker.


And here are some of the final books!
All of these artworks will be permanently displayed in the offices of the Winnipeg Arts Council.



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book-lakewinnbook-vscott  book-victoria   book-paired   book-crocy  book-bluegr

These are some of the new titles, around 40 in total.



Artist Talk, on March 26 – 7pm at Plug-In ICA

The Winnipeg Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program presents:
An Artist Talk 
Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall with introduction by Erika Lincoln

When: March 26 at 7:00 pm
Where: Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, 460 Portage Ave.

Join Erika Lincoln for an introduction to her residency with the Climate Change Office at the City of Winnipeg Planning, Property & Development Department.  She will then, introduce Visiting Artists: Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall. They will speak about their collaborative and individual art practices with data visualization and public intervention to help engage citizens with their cities. The duo will conclude by introducing the Refill Project workshop taking place March 27 & 28.

You can Register for Workshop Tickets Here:

This talk is the first event presented as part of Erika Lincoln’s ongoing residency with the Climate Change Office at the City of Winnipeg Planning, Property & Development Department and she will introduce her residency projects.

Erika Lincoln was selected as the Artist-in-Residence with the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program. Collaborating with the Planning Department’s Office of Climate Change, Lincoln’s project augments public engagement opportunities for citizens of Winnipeg to learn more about climate change and the City. The Refill Project will be the first in a series of events organized by the artist.

The Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program’s Artist-in-Residence Program integrates artists and their ideas into City facilities to engage citizens in civic processes through art.


Tickets for REFILL workshop now available

The Winnipeg Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program presents:
The Refill Project, a two-day public workshop on papercraft, 3D modeling and recreating the library

Friday, March 27, 6 – 9 pm and Saturday, March 28, 12 – 5 pm
Video Pool Studio, 300 – 100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB

No previous experience required or age restriction. Space is limited to 15 participants so register early through the link below – $10 for materials.

Register for Tickets Here

Led by San Francisco-based artists Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall,  this 2-day, hands-on workshop will physically re-imagine the recently closed Freshwater Institute Library through a collaborative process of creative reconstruction.

In the fall of 2013, the Canadian Government dismantled this world-famous library in what many called a political act of “libricide”. Thousands of physical books containing scientific research on climate change and water studies were recycled or given to private citizens and companies by government officials. There was no oversight by the librarians themselves and no catalogue of what was in the collection. Many considered this library to be a valuable repository of research material, dating back to the 1850s.

In the workshop, we will reconstruct the library by both by re-imagining the contents and also creating an architecture of future libraries. We will ask questions of the need for a physical archive in this digital age of near universal internet. Physical records don’t suffer the fate of digital obscurity, but they do raise questions of ease-of-use. Finally, from an architectural standpoint, what would this library look like? Will we have robotic-retrieval mechanisms, soothing reading rooms and face-to-face discussions? During the course of the workshop, we will make papercraft models, digital 3D models, scanned drawings and hand-drawn techniques, which will create a collaborative vision of this library could be.

This workshop is made possible by Erika LincolnArtist-in-Residence with the City of Winnipeg Planning, Property & Development Department and through funding from the Winnipeg Arts Council.  Collaborating with the city’s department’s Office of Climate Change, Lincoln’s project augments public engagement opportunities for citizens of Winnipeg to learn more about climate change and the City. The Refill Project will be the first in a series of events organized by the artist.

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Seeking Information on Freshwater Institute Library Materials

In the fall of 2013, the current Canadian government began dismantling the majority of publicly-funded libraries that held hundreds of thousands of scientific reports on climate change, fisheries and wildlife. Winnipeg’s Freshwater Institute Library was one of these targeted institutions. Officials promised that all materials would be digitized and put online. However, only a small percentage of these archives have been scanned. Almost all of these vital materials were given away or otherwise destroyed without any oversight.

The index itself of the library’s holdings has also vanished, such that the catalogue itself has also been erased.

What we are seeking
We — Victoria Scott and Scott Kildall — are seeking any information on where some of lost materials from the Freshwater Institute Library may have gone (people’s home collections, landfill, other libraries, etc.). We want to track and symbolically rebuild these materials during our public workshop on March 27th-28th, 2015.

Of course, the index or catalogue of the items from FIL would be the most helpful piece of information to have, so we can understand the extent of what was lost.


Please contact us, we appreciate any help and your tips will remain confidential.

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