Annie Dunning
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Near Earth Object / Géocroiseur
2012
Near Earth Object/ Géocroiseur, a first time collaboration with Julie René de Cotret, was a site-specific installation for the Festival of Alternative Art Sudbury. We began this project out of a mutual enjoyment of raising backyard chickens and a desire to explore the ethics, esthetics and cultural implications of this popular practice in relation to the unique locale of Sudbury, Ontario.

The principle component of the work is a gold-tinted, plexiglass sculpture of three interlocking cubes, designed as a space-age chicken coop. The form is based on the cubic, crystal structure of the mineral pyrite, also known as fool's gold. At the centre of this sculptural coop is a 'golden' pyrite egg. These primary elements of the installation form connections between seemingly disparate, yet interconnected systems of local geo-history, crackpot creation theory, gemology, and small-scale farming practices.

Sudbury is an internationally known geological place of wonder, set in one of the largest meteor craters on the planet. It is a city known for its large nickel deposits and less so for the presence of pyrite. As private corporations race to make claims on the minerals of asteroids in space, it seems a fitting time to reexamine an asteroid that has been being mined for decades right here on Earth. Near Earth Object/ Géocroiseur was crash-landed in this city-in-a-crater, stirring up a mix of references. It is simultaneously a luxury coop, spaceship and asteroid. It could be the origin of life on earth, a newly unearthed nugget, a luxury housing system for the descendants of dinosaurs or an egg production facility for organic eggs infused with the power of pyrite.