HERE BE DRAGONS

WASTESHED
The Landscapes and Economies of Landfi lls in Michigan
HERE BE DRAGONS
Cartographies of Globalization
DATE
2005
Toronto Free Gallery
Toronto, Ontario
WITH
Pierre Belanger
Joshua Cohen

Centuries ago, map-makers wrote the phrase 'here be dragons' on areas that were outside of their known world. Where should this phrase be written on contemporary maps of political and economic territory?

The State of Michigan currently receives almost 20 million cubic yards of municipal solid waste from Canada and the North Central United States. The mapping project on display illustrates the urban dynamics and the cross-border politics of the municipal solid waste industry in the Great Lakes region. As a composite of cartographic and diagrammatic formats, this map elucidates the complexity of this urban landscape as a wasteshed by revealing the agents, the operations, the regulations and the environmental conditions that are inextricably linked together. At the center of this wasteshed is the state of Michigan which, remarkably, has become one of the largest handlers of municipal solid waste in North America.

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