In 1966, Ingrid and Iain Baxter, founded N.E. Thing Co. out of their suburban Vancouver home. It was unique within the conceptualist movement for the strict rigour with which the framework, on the corporate model, was maintained. No mere parody or critique of the business world, it was instead an ambivalent collusion that dissolved the distinctions between life and art. “Anything” could fall under its corporate umbrella and be designated by formal certificate to be ART (aesthetically rejected thing) or ACT (aesthetically claimed thing.) Their practice ranged from photography to site-specific performance, and even to ventures that were more strictly commercial, such as the opening of a restaurant. N.E. Thing Co. dissolved in 1978 but influenced an entire generation of Vancouver artists, most notably photo-conceptualists such as Jeff Wall and Roy Arden. Iain Baxter continues to make art in Windsor, OntarioIn 1968 Ingrid and Ian Baxter created A Portfolio of Piles, which photographically documented 59 piles located in and around Vancouver. The project was a play on Minimalist practices, while at the same time it was a celebration of the ordinary, capturing an equivalence of form recurring in industrial, commercial and domestic contexts. The piece was produced as a multiple: the set of image cards includes a map of Vancouver and region showing the locations of the piles.