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Our Desires Fail Us, Sean Martindale & JP King

In conversation with waste experts Joakim Karlsson of Envac from Stockholm, and Annette Synowiec from the City of Toronto, artists Sean Martindale and JP King explore the relationships between waste and culture. This event demonstrates how waste management programs differ geographically and asks how they are shaped by culture. Can art and design play a larger role? In turn, how do waste systems influence public perception and behaviour? What forward-thinking strategies have (Stockholm) and Toronto put forth? Join us for a fresh international look at a filthy subject.

Moderated by Virginia Maclaren

Annette Synowiec leads the City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services' new Unit for Research, Innovation & Circular Economy. The unit is dedicated to research on new markets for resources, supporting commercialization of businesses through pilot projects, seizing opportunities for social innovation and partnerships and studying new and emerging technologies for waste diversion.

Joakim Karlsson has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of clean-tech business, and spent most of his career in marketing, sales and management. Today he is the Chief Executive for the Envac Group. Envac is a company with over 800 installations in over 40 countries around the globe. Almost six decades later and with growing international pressure to recycle combined with a rapidly growing global population, Envac looks set to become a natural waste solution for the modern world.

JP King is an interdisciplinary artist, entrepreneur, designer, and educator. Nominated for a Governor General's Innovation Award, his visual research examines how we relate to what we get rid of and the ways in which the creation of waste shapes culture.

Sean Martindale, an award-winning interdisciplinary artist known for his contemporary interventions in public spaces, activates Harbourfront Centre this year. As our inaugural Visual Artist-in-Residence, Martindale brings his thought-provoking and often playful works to our campus. View, engage and be part of the conversation.

Together, Sean Martindale and JP King are the pilot Artists-in-Residence with the City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services. Learn more at

Virginia Maclaren is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Program in Planning. Professor Maclaren and fellow professor Joseph Whitney were recently recognized by the Government of Vietnam for their joint contribution to science and technology in Vietnam. Professor Maclaren received her B.A. from Bishop’s University, an M.Pl. from the University of Ottawa, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Supported by
City of Toronto, Solid Waste Management Services
TORP Incorporated

Panel: Waste Cultures


FREE: Advance registration recommended


Limited availability at the door. Doors: 7pm

Thursday, November 29, 2018
Harbourfront Centre Theatre
231 Queens Quay West