One State After Another
April 2010 Knowlton School
A site-specific practice of “critical disturbance” arises in the intersection several fields: the nascent discipline of urban ecology, experimental geography, process and earth art, and the “devastated landscape” genre in contemporary art. In this lecture I discuss recent shifts in theories of both urban and disturbance ecology, ecological aesthetics, and site-specific practices, and how these theories offer a framework for both landscape interpretation and site work. I introduce the notion of “latent rarities” in sites around Columbus, by speculating how disturbance can be engaged as both progenitor and actor in guiding the emergence of idiosyncratic landscapes and ecosystems.