Dr Tonia Carless will host the ‘Wide Load: the wholesale moving of buildings in Norrland‘ panel discussion at the Relate North 10 Symposium, Yukon School of Visual Arts, Canada, 27-28 January 2023. The panel expands on Tonia Carless’s Small Visionary Project ‘To the North’, investigating the social politics of house moving in northern Sweden. The project will also be exhibited in the form of an artist’s book as part of Symposium online exhibition from 27th January.

The Wide Load panel will question how a visual and spatial research can uncover the implications of technological and social change in Norrland. It will consider how political narratives of the region can be embedded in the space and propose new readings of cause, effect and values associated with relocation. 

The subject reflects an extraordinary moment of socio-spatial displacement, through capital investments, where multiple cultural layers are shifted across a landscape through the action of Husflyttningar (house relocation). The panel will bring together an interdisciplinary architectural, historical, visual and technical analysis to investigate the specific process of house moving. The research project also proposes to make a model of the space beneath a house move, using sloyd craft practices and to transport this as part of a public event.

The panel includes:

Dr James Benedict Brown, Associate Professor of Architecture at Umeå University

Magnus Martensson, AB Töre Husflyttningar 

Robin Serjeant, Independent Arctic Researcher 

To the North is a performative architecture project to rethink urban expansion through a nomadic process of return and exchange. Working closely with professional house movers Tonia Carless is investigating the northern Swedish practice of moving whole houses from one location to another. Her research into the spatial politics of house-moving is particularly focused on how the space between the land and a building changes. The relationship between a building and its ground is a space in which to consider the material, economic and legal frameworks which construct ideas of Västerbotten and Norrland. The project will create new works, as an object and an accompanying archive, which investigates the social, cultural and economic factors in the space between a building and its location. The object will move north out of the city of Umeå as a series of participatory events.