ISOLATED BABEL was a socially distanced collaboration spanning the 12-week duration of the The Hibernation Project 2021. Conceived by Calgary-based artist and professor, Khalid Omokanye, ISOLATED BABEL was a sculptural ‘exquisite corpse’ where a different artist each week created a new layer of the sculpture, collaborating blindly with the previous week’s artist(s) to slowly build a “tower” in our backyard. Drawing a comparison between the fable of the Tower of Babel and the isolating impacts of the global pandemic, ISOLATED BABEL proposed a COVID-safe method of working together over time, responding to a moment dramatically defined by self-isolation, social distancing, and a renegotiation of daily communications via mediated technologies.

At the completion of the project, the tower was destroyed. Materials were redistributed and re-used by participating artists.

A timelapse of ISOLATED BABEL


WEEK 1: Khalid Omokanye
WEEK 2: Guy Gardner
WEEK 3: Wayne Garrett
WEEK 4: Lane Shordee
WEEK 5: Svea Ferguson & Logan Lape
WEEK 6: Lisa Hodgkinson & Stewart Elton
WEEK 6.5: Jenna Swift
WEEK 7: Matthew Kennedy, Mark Erickson, and Phil Wilson
WEEK 8: Rebecca Reid & Ryan Bourne
WEEK 9: Anna Ostberg, Caitlind Brown, and Kenzie Housego
WEEK 10: Joanne MacDonald
WEEK 11: Sarah Slaughter
WEEK 12: Alia Shahab & Genevieve Pare

An interview with Khalid for The Hibernation Station 2021

Week 1 of 12

Artist: Khalid Omokanye

ISOLATED BABEL lead artist, Khalid Omokanye, setting the foundations for the tower
Foundation layer of ISOLATED BABEL

Week 2 of 12

Artist: Guy Gardner

ISOLATED BABEL second artist, Guy Gardner

Week 3 of 12

Artist: Wayne Garrett

ISOLATED BABEL third artist, Wayne Garrett

Week 4 of 12

Artist: Lane Shordee

ISOLATED BABEL fourth artist, Lane Shordee

Week 5 of 12

Artists: Svea Ferguson & Logan Lape

ISOLATED BABEL fifth artists, Logan Lape & Svea Ferguson

Week 6 of 12

Artists: Lisa Hodgkinson & Stewart Elton

Week 6.5 of 12

Artist: Jenna Swift

A found contribution from artist Jenna Swift

Week 7 of 12

Artists: Matthew Kennedy, Mark Erickson, and Phil Wilson

ISOLATED BABEL seventh artists, Matthew Kennedy, Mark Erickson, and Phil Wilson

Week 8 of 12

Artists: Rebecca Reid & Ryan Bourne

ISOLATED BABEL eighth artists, Rebecca Reid & Ryan Bourne

Week 9 of 12

Artists: Anna Ostberg, Caitlind Brown, and Kenzie Housego

Week 10 of 12

Artist: Joanne MacDonald

Week 11 of 12:

Artist: Sarah Slaughter, with assistance from Melody Stang

ISOLATED BABEL eleventh artist, Sarah Slaughter, and her assistant Melody Stang

Week 12 of 12:

Artists: Alia Shahab & Genevieve Pare

Final ISOLATED BABEL artists, Alia Shahab & Genevieve Pare