A New Nature at Bathurst Quay

During Nuit Blanche, the iconic Canada Malting Silos will be brought to life by a large-scale projection by Mark Dorf that reflects on the changing nature of both the building and the city at large. As this historic property transforms into a new civic and cultural landmark, The Bentway and the City of Toronto have teamed up to demonstrate the creative potential of this unique canvas.

The iconic Canada Malting Silos have stood at the western entrance to Toronto’s harbour for nearly 100 years, but have been out of use since the 1980s. The City of Toronto is currently working with partners to revitalize these heritage buildings and surrounding neighbourhood, transforming a former site of industry into a new civic and cultural landmark. As the ongoing work on the historic property enters its final phase, The Bentway and the City of Toronto have teamed up once again to demonstrate the creative potential of this unique canvas.

During Nuit Blanche, the eastern facade of this industrial landmark will be brought to life by a projection of New York-based artist Mark Dorf’s ambitious film A New Nature. The piece, which recently flooded the screens at Time Square for April 2023’s Midnight Moment, proposes a new way of understanding humans’ role within a larger ecological system and how that system is increasingly mediated by technology.

Dorf’s film blends gaming graphics and interface design with lens-based footage captured during the artist’s time at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, a high-altitude scientific research station in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and footage captured in the Catskills of New York state. Through a process of layering, splicing, magnification, and distortion Dorf erases the false divide between nature and artifice to reveal a series of interdependencies between flora, fauna, humans, and their technological creations. A New Nature captures the complexity of the present to project a future state where nature is widely understood as an augmented condition. 

Visitors will gather to view A New Nature at Spadina Pier, a recently closed parking garage with the potential to become a future gateway park and programming space. From this vista on the water’s edge, viewers will be prompted to consider the transformation of the silos, the city, and the waterfront in the context of a broader urban ecosystem and its hybrid future.


additional credits

A New Nature

  • Written, directed, and produced by Mark Dorf
  • Music and sound design in collaboration with Cory Zimmerman
  • Mixed at Salon District
  • Voice Over #1 spoken by Cassandra Croft
  • Voice Over #2 spoken by Mark Dorf
  • Voice Over #3 spoken by Paul CaraDonna

Supported by the Rocky Mountain Biological Research Laboratory and National Science Foundation Grant DEB – 1754518