Erosion, 2016
16mm film transferred to HD video, colour, sound, 17.25 min.

The 17 min. film Erosion documents the campus of Simon Fraser University (SFU), which is located atop Burnaby Mountain an hour outside of Vancouver.

University architecture is commonly judged on its ability to provide a productive learning environment and to promote an active social life on the campus. However, Erosion does not focus on the campus’ buildings in this respect, but regards SFU’s iconic Brutalist architecture as a geological formation. The film suggests to read the campus as a very recent addition of strata to the Rocks of Mount Burnaby. The specific temporality of architecture becomes tangible as related to both the rapid alterations of human activities, as well as the extremely slow processes in geology.

The campus is not only to be understood as a product of man-made erosion – as tons of sand, stone, steel, etc. had to be relocated for its construction – but also a layer of new geological sediments. Similarly to the 40 million years old rocks constituting Burnaby Mountain these are prone to natural erosion, in particular to the decay caused by water.

Due to the particularly humid climate atop Burnaby Mountain the architecture on the campus has already suffered considerable damage – or change – through rain, snow, moist and fog. Erosion takes a look at these processes and suggests to read the campus not as a static constellation of forms, but as a conglomerate of material in constant flux.