a photo looking down from above at a discarded shopping cart in an almost-black ravine bottom where fallen oak leaves dot the ground. a thin rivulet snakes through the image from the top to bottom.

Unreal City

To go down into them is to go down into sleep, away from the conscious electrified life of the houses. The ravines are darker, even in the day. —Margaret Atwood

Toronto’s ravines and the rivers that make them are sites of great instability and change. This is especially true in this age of extreme weather and economic disparity. At their edges, the city’s pavement cracks and foundations falter. Slopes sink and slump. Water jumps its banks. Half-forgotten and often buried, the city’s creeks branch and wind their way through the urban landscape, frustrating our attempts to build straight lines.

This image is part of a larger project that explores the tension between the rational, built world of the conscious city and the unbuilt, unconscious world that undergirds and erodes it. Lines point this way and that, giving the viewer a sense of push and pull, of instability and change.

Ravines are the city unmade and unreal.