The original sessional office at the new ECU campus—intended for use by 80+ instructors—was the size of a classroom and was dominated by 125 cubicle shelves meant to hold teaching materials and personal effects for the majority of ECU’s instructors. This photo was published in a Globe & Mail article about issues with the new ECU campus.
In stark contrast to the 864 sq ft office shared by 80+ contract faculty, the ECU president’s office is 2000 sq ft including a boardroom shown here (and attached to an even larger boardroom not part of my square footage estimate). At the time of this photograph, the ECU president shared this suite with four other staff.
Given this disparity, I got to wondering what the president’s office would look like cluttered with the belongings of the majority of ECU’s instructors. So I photographed the cubicles and installed the prints outside his office.
“Sessional office: Proposal for a new arrangement,” digital print installation, 2018.
“Sessional Office,” 2019, digital inkjet prints, wood and vinyl, installation at ECU faculty show in 2020. Originally conceived for exhibition at Mónica Reyes Gallery.
Digital rendering of “Live/Work,” by Terra Poirier with text by NB, 2019. Finished piece is a diptych comprised of inkjet prints and wood frames, 26″x13″, and is available for purchase individually or as part of the larger installation.

Sessional Office


Sessional Office is a photographic installation project concerned with how space was allocated at the new Emily Carr University of Art + Design campus in 2017 and how those decisions reflect problematic employment practices at ECU and a devaluation of artists’ and instructors’ labour. The work operates in tandem to my book Non-Regular: Precarious academic labour at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

The first iteration, “Sessional Office: Proposal for a new arrangement” (2018) was an intervention/installation outside the ECU president’s office to call attention to the disparity between the spacious presidential office suite on the main floor, and a smaller, windowless room in the basement shared by 80+ sessional (contract) faculty members. This classroom-sized space dominated by storage shelving was only created for sessional instructors after faculty members protested at there being NO space allocated for them at the new campus.

In 2019, artist Pia Massie invited me to create a new iteration of “Sessional Office” for a dual exhibition at Mònica Reyes Gallery. Pia saw the connection between her work about gentrification in Vancouver and my consideration of space and income precarity for artists. My response was to create a photo-text installation that paired statements from Non-Regular with photographs of the sessional office cubicles. You can read our statement here. For our artist talk, we invited local artists and curators to discuss labour, income and space precarity in Vancouver. In 2020, I was invited to exhibit this work in the ECU faculty show “The Work of the Work.”