at Version>09 opening reception.
Paul Lloyd Sargent’s installation comments on the waterway management policies and practices by the Army Corps of Engineers, the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation, and other institutions regulating major American rivers. His engagement in this body of water parallels my interest in the Indiana harbor Shipping Canal (IHSC), which feeds into the Great Lakes – not only because of my particular involvement with the IHSC, but also because of the role of the artist and designer in this larger dialogue of the built environment.
This is a time when Artists and designers are exercising strengths in dialogues they were traditionally excluded from – such as in making decisions and designing the built environment. I touched on this topic when I asked about the Artist’s role in urban visualization in my post [ Drawing the Lines ]. Another aspect of the Artist’s role has been to bring into and from (reconfigure and re-equip) our visual culture what was either not seen or only seen peripherally at the margins. Much of this work is coming under a research designation of “Experimental Geography.”
We are at a moment of major change in how we address and prioritize voices in the decision making and design process when it comes to the built environment. We are beginning to see the authority traditionally given over to Architects folded under the the authority of “Landscape Urbanists” (often referred to as Landscape Architects, but I already think this is an arcane title). In this shift in roles we are opening up all sorts of new visual disciplines to re-orientate ourselves toward space and re-organize it in a re-development framework. You can see some of these changes in Urban Lab’s H2O project: [ Growing Water ], Valcent Product’s the [ vertical farming ], and William McDonough & Michael Braungart’s seminal book “Cradle to Cradle / Remaking the Way we Make Things.” Luckily there are so many examples springing up daily.