[-empyre-] On Contamination: Brooke Singer and Joan Linder

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sun Nov 26 12:52:42 AEDT 2017

Dear –empyreans-, 
In light of our discussion this month on contamination, I wanted to mention the work of our fellow –empyre- subscriber Brooke Singer.  Brooke, an artist in New York City, has been photographing Superfund Sites since 2006 and has a companion database Toxic Sites US. The database charts 1,300 of the most deadly Superfund sites that the US Environmental Protection Agency labels as an “uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting local ecosystems or people. “ 

Brooke has spent hours photographing toxic hazardous waste sites across the US. Brooke read and researched many of these sites but in her quest to find the actual site she often found it difficult to actually pin point the locale because many of these toxic sites are unmarked. 


In nearby Niagra, New York the Love Canal neighborhood is situated on a landfill that the Hooker Chemical Company used to dump toxic waste as early as the 1920’s.  In the 1970’s the model community and school were built on top of the landfill site.  The residents launched  a grassroots uprising   inspired by deadly health problems, high incidences of cancers and miscarriages.  

Friend and colleague Joan Linder, the chair of the art department at the U. of Buffalo, created a series of renderings from observation at the Love Canal site. There is a great article in Art in America that talks about the work in detail. 

Thought I would point out to our guests and subscribers these two artists working on issues of contamination. 

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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