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Open Cultural Studies

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The Hyperobject and the White Cube: The “Strange Stranger” in Douglas Coupland’s Canada House

Julia Polyck-O’Neill
Published Online: 2018-12-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0037


Douglas Coupland’s site-specific installation Canada House, temporarily erected in 2004 in a house deemed by locals to be a “tear down” in a Vancouver suburb, unwittingly captured the zeitgeist of the era eco-critics and theorists have named the Anthropocene, the age where the future of the climate and the environment are most influenced by human activity. In my article, I examine Coupland’s work from the perspective of new materialist philosophy, with particular attention to what Timothy Morton calls the “hyperobject.” In so doing, I attend to the specific dynamics of the installation as a phenomenon in real time and space, as well as its enduring reality as an artifact that translates specific dynamics of interconnectivity between aesthetic, linguistic, and ecocritical discourse as they relate to space and human/nonhuman relationships.

Keywords: visual art; Douglas Coupland; new materialism; Anthropocene


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About the article

Received: 2018-06-01

Accepted: 2018-10-07

Published Online: 2018-12-13

Published in Print: 2018-12-01

Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 406–416, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0037.

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© by Julia Polyck-O’Neill, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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