6/29/2014

Fulcrum #93 Transformations

My apology for this long absence. With these recent busy weeks, I, shamefully, have not been able to find a moment to share my research.
I recently wrote a short piece for the 93rd issue of the excellent little publication Fulcrum edited by the very prolific Jack Self (co-editor of Real Estates: Life without Debt with Shumi Bose). Neither will I discuss this short piece. Nor will I post an abstract as you can download it on Fulcrum. I let you read it and that of Oscar Johanson Battersea Recuperated that composed this Fulcrum #93 Transformations.
I, however, will merely share the books that helped me write this essay.

I have been engaged for a long while in a very long research on what is related to operational landscapes, precisely negative impacts marked by the extent of the industrialization and the urbanization of the Earth: wasted landscapes, toxic materials, pollution, resource extraction, and so on. There is a long list of books that can help the architect, landscape architect, planner as well as the historian of architecture, the critic, the editor, the curator and the theorist to pave her way for a better understanding of and developing new methods and techniques to apprehend these landscapes .
This shorter essay was an opportunity to explore, albeit rapidly, one of my great interests, namely Levi Bryant's account of machine. A very complex concept that, in contrast with that of object, allows for more precision to what things are doing and how things interact. Two books, as precious help, are The Democracy of Objects and Onto-Cartography. I include Levi Bryant's blog Larval Subjects in which you can find loads of texts that illustrate his research and interests from onto-ecology, science to ethics. Bryant's account of machine helps me to build an understanding of toxic materials' characteristics, their timescale, how toxic materials, as nonhuman beings, interact with other beings, humans including. Should we learn to live with them? Or would we be able to recalibrate these toxic landscapes? Two questions that will dominate this new era.

With a strong evidence, Timothy Morton's hyperobject reinforces my study of Levi Bryant's machine. His three books Ecology without Nature, The Ecological Thought and Hyperobject are three important guidances. Not to mention other books such as Stacy Alaimo's Bodily Natures, Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter, Lateral Office's Coupling, and The Petropolis of Tomorrow edited by Neeraj Bhatia and Mary Casper. The Petropolis of Tomorrow, for example, includes two series of photographs, namely, on the one hand those of filmmaker Peter Mettler's Petropolis, or aerial pictures of the Alberta Tar Sands and, and on the other, those of Photographer Garth Lenz's The True Cost of Oil, again aerial photographs of the Alberta Tar Sands, have guided our steps in our research.

This energy we can find in the field of philosophy, in particular ecological philosophy, ontology or onto-ecology, but also the field of science, provides new trajectories and perspectives for the ecological theory and design. I'm working on two large-scaled research. The first one, as you know, is Uncertain Territories' first volume titled Contingency programmed for 2015. The second one is a series of events in the form of conversations part of Uncertain Territories that will be exploring consequences of operational landscapes and the role of ecological and infrastructural design in problem-forming these shifting environments. This includes wasted landscapes, resource extractive territories, extreme territories, ocean-turn. Consequently, these authors, mentioned above, are, in my view, of great importance to mobilize the production of knowledge we need to gain in understanding of this ecological turn.

I hope you will like this short piece.

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