First, the Forests examines some unexplored relationships between forestry, planning and design. Reframing forestry as an activity that creates highly designed environments with unprecedented scale, ambition and precision, the exhibition proposes an expanded understanding of the connections between natural resources, production processes, and designed form.
First, the Forests highlights four productive, culturally specific modes of managing forests: bureaucratic forestry, scientific forestry, tropical forestry and economic forestry. Each of these corresponds to specific geographies and phases in the evolution of modern forestry, from 16th century lists of forests and their owners in the republic of Venice, to architectural experiments in 1960s America. The categories are comprised of historical materials and contemporary artworks or design projects, which provide reflections on their main themes.
The exhibition seeks to surpass existing disciplinary preconceptions of relationships between architecture, cities and forests by focusing on the abstract nature of forestry systems, and the curious disciplining of natural environments to the logic of artificial organizations.
The vernissage for First, the Forests is 4 October, 2012, with a lecture from curator Dan Handel.