MAS Context Fall Talks 2021
Territories of Territory Extraction

Singapore key map, showing areas of coastal reclamation (TC), sand storage and stockpiling (SF) and active dredging and sand shipping sites (MS). © Galen Pardee.


MAS Context presents the exhibition Territories of Territory Extraction by Galen Pardee. The exhibition will be on display from September 17 until October 30 at the Reading Room at MAS Context (1564 N. Damen Ave. Chicago 60622, USA).


About the exhibition

The work in this exhibition is drawn from the ongoing research project “Territories of Territory Extraction,” which uses Singapore’s physical growth since 1989 as a register of the international sand supply chain in Southeast Asia. Across multiple interlinked publications and a field study in Singapore, Territories of Territory Extraction explores the multiple vectors of forensic architectural analysis used to expose Singapore’s relationship with its supply chains.

Drawing together work published in Faktur Journal, PLAT, Thresholds, and others, this Reading Room is an immersive environment for investigating the material and political ties that link architecture, construction, and geopolitical maneuvering in Singapore. Projects on display investigate the history and logics of Singapore’s sand stockpiles, locate the international fleet of vessels at work dredging and transporting sand, and construct a chronological index of the origins of Singapore’s coastline reclamation megaprojects.


Research for this project was supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.


Territories of Territory Extraction is a partner program of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.



Reclamation works underway at Changi Airport, May 2019. © Galen Pardee.


Tampines Stockpile—one of three strategic sand reserves in Singapore. Using remote sensing data and site documentation, we are able to analyze these reserves and reveal their secrets, 2019. © Galen Pardee.


These indexes are composited together into reconstructions of Singapore’s coastline, marking sand suppliers through time and space with patches of color. © Galen Pardee.


These topographies can be broken apart by year, and indexed against trade statistics to determine likely origin of sand used in their dredging and construction. © Galen Pardee.


Galen Pardee is Drawing Agency: a design and research practice based in New York City. He currently teaches at Columbia University GSAPP and was the 2019-2021 LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. Galen holds a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, and a BA in Politics cum laude from Brandeis University. | @drawing_agency

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