University of Michigan - Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Wallenberg Thesis Studio, 2013
Critic: Christian Stayner

Year: 2013

Language Object

Bingham Canyon mine is an open pit copper, gold, silver, and molybdenum mine located southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is considered the largest man made excavation on earth and has been in operation under Kennecott Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, since 1936. Bingam Canyon mine is a source of major environmental contamination; it is the second most polluting mine in the US by toxic releases alone and is/has been listed as an EPA Superfund site three times.  Language Object separates and analyzes the apparent “costs” of Bingham Canyon mine through isolating/displacing/extracting from both documents and images supplied by different stakeholders. The objective in this process is to reveal what is not being stated within the respective given representation of the mine which is taken as equal of value to the physical mine itself.

Model of Bingham Canyon Mine shown in "12 Landforms" Exhibition by Christian Stayner, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning 2013 Muchenheim Fellow.
Renshape foam + mdf - 20" x 20" x 54"

Stakeholder documents which were transferred onto drawings and whited out, extracted, and dissected. Right to left: Kennecott Utah Copper Annual Report 2006, Wild Earth Guardians Petition for Clean Air Act 2010, and Rio Tinto Copper Fact Sheet 2011.

Forms focus on the duplicitous nature of the mine’s representation by different stakeholders. Through haptic masking, the same objects are revealed to be vastly different in weight, smell, and feel.

© Carly Gertler 2017