Landscapes and Instruments

[the powerful, graceful movements of the triple articulated arm of the excavator works steadily to excavate the earth it sits on; the views it frames, the radii it creates, and the interaction moments with people, machines, and material work to make landscape as it excavates for building footers and utility pipes; this image was created to explore representational methods that could study the aesthetic effects of construction processes; radii, payload, decibel levels are not accurate]
We wanted to take a moment to announce a new effort we’ve got going on called “Landscapes and Instruments”.  It is a project interested in- wait for it- the way instruments make landscapes.  It is as simple as it sounds.  The one key thing to be clear about is that instruments are not at all limited to machines or tools.  Rather, following Dewey’s instrumental theoryof knowledge, the suite of instruments is expanded to include the full range of tools, techniques, ideas, concepts and even the movements of the body that are developed by organisms as a method for reorganizing their environment when experiencing conflict in a specific situation.  

Right now the effort is organized according to the following:  1) a project (landscapes and instruments), 2) a theory (landscape instrumentalism), and 3) a first speculative proposal (Tierra Plastica).  The hope is to continue developing and implementing proposals over time to test the methodology and theory.  You can check out the thesis statement, bibliography, definition of landscape approach, theoretical underpinnings, and urban context as well as follow the blog for research on the political-economicsituation, the areas of focus, the importance of dredging and other themes.  A tumblr has been set up to share the images that are now being produced fairly regularly.
We’d love to invite anyone interested to check out the project and follow the progress on both the blog and tumblr.  Suggestions, criticisms, links, and feedback are not only welcome but demanded, you rat bastard sons of bitches!  Or whatever.  But our hope is to create a platform to pursue the work within a constellation of interested and challenging ideas.  It is very much an open-ended pursuit, a pirate ship scouring for booty, and will almost certainly end in defeat in the gallows at the hands of her highness’ royal navy.  Nonetheless, we invite you along.

2 thoughts on “Landscapes and Instruments

  1. That’s an Excavator, not a Backhoe. What do you mean “Payload: 20 Cubic Yards?” Buckets for that particular piece of equipment only range from 2-8 CY.

    • that’s a good point, Jessica. This image was created to explore representational methods for understanding the aesthetic effects of construction technologies. Unfortunately I haven’t yet had the opportunity to apply this method to a specific excavator yet. I’ve made a note of this. thank you for the comment!

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