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Fr
Nature reorganized

The history of humanity is a story of organized action upon the land, whether that is considered as a complex ecology that includes living and non-living things or as a functionally empty surface for the imposition of efficient systems and forms. If a place teems with hidden riches then these can be extracted as valuable views and useful materials. Such organization of the natural and its opposite is one of the first and perhaps most fundamental architectural acts.

Article 9 of 17

Waste-Wilderness

A talk by Peter Galison

“How will we cope with trying to speak to a future as far from us as we are from the ice age?”

As they are usually understood, ‘wasteland’ and ‘wilderness’ are opposites; when they merge on the sites of decommissioned weapons lands, when land is at the same time designated as a nature preserve and a toxic site, this circumstance is commonly seen as ‘paradoxical’ or ‘ironic.’ Galison argues that the two categories are far more elusive than this simplistic dichotomy suggests – and that their new-found overlap undermines the historical opposition of purity and corruption. These territories provoke a questioning of what relation we will have to nature, land, wilderness, and waste.

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Peter Galison visited us in 2010 to present his ongoing research on nuclear waste and land futures.

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