This free symposium brings together top scientific and arts professionals to discuss essential issues: oil, sustainability, and energy options.


7:00 PM How Humanity Became a Rogue. The Growing Economics and the Shrinking Ecosphere

Keynote by William Rees, Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Originator and co-developer of ecological footprint analysis. H. sapiens is arguably the most evolutionarily successful vertebrate species ever to walk the planet. But we have a significant problem—our success is killing us. Any real solution to humanity’s ecological conundrum requires that the global community abandon material growth (getting quantitatively bigger) and dedicate itself instead to true development (getting qualitatively better), all within the means of nature.


8:00 PM Topography and Spectacle: Contextualizing the Landscapes of Edward Burtynsky

Keynote by David Harris, Associate Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Curator and Writer. Edward Burtynsky is engaged in an art practice in which he produces large-scale, colour-saturated photographs that address complex environmental aspects of our world and that carefully balance the demands of information with those of spectacle. This lecture will offer a historical context for this impressive body of work by situating it within the development of artistic and documentary practices of photography and the photograph’s place in museums and the art market.


9:00 PM Manufactured Landscapes Dir. Jennifer Baichwal, 2006 (90 MIN) A striking documentary that follows Edward Burtynsky through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution.


Presented by The Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre in conjunction with the exhibition Edward Burtynsky: Oil. 

Made possible with the generous support of the Nicholas Metivier Gallery.