New Industries consists of sixteen image panels and sixteen text panels. Each group of sixteen is arranged as a four-by-four grid, and the two grids are displayed in a corner of the exhibition space, image panels verso and text panels recto.|
The photographs depict sites of industries created in the 1950s as part of the Newfoundland government's attempts at economic diversification. Most of the industries went bankrupt soon after opening, and their sites now consist variously of new structures built on the foundations of the old, original structures used for new purposes, rubble-strewn lots, parking lots, and, in one instance, a baseball diamond.
The texts are transcriptions of recordings made as former employees describe what they remember about working in the factories. Most employees were Newfoundlanders hired to work on the assembly lines or in middle management, and their testimonials recount various aspects of day-to-day operations, including their interactions with managers, most of whom were Europeans. In three instances Europeans recount their experiences leaving their war-ravaged homelands and arriving in Newfoundland during a time of cultural upheaval.
Further reflections on these industrialization attempts and the project of documenting them can be found in my essay Industry and Memory. I plan, once funding is obtained, to publish a book based on this project, a web maquette of which can be explored here.