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.



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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