If you are like us you are in the middle of a long, debauched weekend at the truly bacchanalian Shrimp and Petrochemical Festival in Morgan City, Louisiana. However, in case you didn’t make your reservations or were sane and decided against going to the Gulf Coast during the death throes of Hurricane Isaac you might consider the upcoming gallery opening and book launch of Petrochemical America, a long-awaited collaboration between landscape architect Kate Orff and photographer Robert Misrach. The reception at the Aperture Gallery in New York is September 21st, and though we can’t yet vouch for the contents, judging by earlier efforts of the team over at Scape Studio, and the general awesomeness and nastiness of the Mississippi landscape, we recommend taking the risk.
Lastly, if you can’t make it to New York that weekend but are free the following one, so much the better because you can still catch Petrochemical America and will be in town just in time for Dredgefest and still catch . Dredgefest is a collaboration between Studio X and the Dredge Research Collaborative, which we learn from the website consists of Tim Maly, Brett Milligan, and the fellows from Mammoth– Stephen Becker and Rob Holmes. Dredgefest promises to be:
“a heady mixture of scientific knowledge, technical expertise, architectural theory and heavy machinery, intended for anyone who is interested in the functional and generative role of dredging and other sediment-handling techniques in the life of an estuarine metropolis like New York City.”
While we are more than a little put off that there is no mention of landscape theory or practices (as if it were merely a subset of the aforementioned architectural theory), the speakers and field trip have been arrayed into a spectacular constellation that will absolutely be worth your time. The event is a Friday symposium bringing together design practitioners, theorists, activists, bureaucrats, and corporate managers to discuss topics such as the humans as geologic agents, paradigm shifts in industrial practices, and dredge as a resource for environmental and community regeneration, followed by a Harbor Tour on Saturday. However, instead of seeing the Statue of Liberty and new luxury apartments in the West Village with a tour guide telling flabby jokes, you will visit the dredge landscapes of the Ambrose Channel and Jamaica Bay accompanied by experts from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Parks Service and the good folks of Studio X and the DRC.
[the Tencate Geotube manifold system undergoing the dewatering process for consolidation and containment of dredged materials]
*Admittedly we have a fondness for the work of this group, especially given our own recent work on Landscape and Instruments; nonetheless, it sounds excellent, and we will be there. Also, the part about being in Morgan City was a lie, but we wish were there.