2. DESCRIPTION To the World
Miss Piggy is a found object which discusses several architectural notions including the scavenging and reuse of materials; building techniques; a technological intrusion, literally and figuratively, into the land; a physical remnant of the past and a substrate for future tales. Based on evidence obtained at the site, some materials have been plundered and reused for other purposes. This informal economy describes a way of acquiring building materials for later reuse. Such materials are not regarded as waste but as a resource: why purchase new, when free materials are there for the taking? Churchill is a frontier town, a place where asking forgiveness is preferred to asking permission. Local residents deal with architectural entropy through ad hoc construction, fulfilled expediently and without delay. Ad hoc construction is self-determined, each builder being able to create a personal environment out of impersonal materials and assemblies in their own image: a method of building that predates modern materials and assemblies, and is familiar to the indigenous population of the north. While Miss Piggy was once a commercial cargo aircraft, it is now a social gathering place near the beach. It may no longer be able to fly, but Miss Piggy is far from the end of its useful life.
Above: The western shore of Hudson Bay is littered with crashed airplanes, including four C-46 Commandos. (Image created by author using Google Earth software) Right: In the area of Churchill known as the Flats, more than twenty homes have been built using scavenged materials. The example at right is home created from a school bus and at least two sheds. The structure is sited precariously close to the river and requires constant refurbishment with parts supplied from other deteriorating structures around town. (Photo by author)
Published on May 16, 2011