Terrestrial Practice

"The Non-Site (an indoor earthwork) is a three dimensional logical picture that is abstract, yet it represents an actual site in N.J. (The Pine Barrens Plains). It is by this dimensional metaphor that one site can represent another site which does not resemble it - this The Non-Site. To understand this language of sites is to appreciate the metaphor between the syntactical construct and the complex of ideas, letting the former function as a three dimensional picture which doesn't look like a picture."

Robert Smithson, A Provisional Theory of Non-Sites

Representing the materiality, ephemerality and expansiveness of landscape is always problematic, and the medium is unfortunately often compressed through the computer screen and onto a printed image. The juxtaposition of site (intervention, ephemerality) and non-site (documentation, displaced material, locus of discourse) is perhaps more relevant than ever to engage and communicate landscape outside of the prevalent mode of digital atmosphere. The beauty of the dialectical landscape lies in its frank admission that the non-site is forever inadequate at representing site, though there is access between in “a space of metaphoric significance,” which site objects help to bridge.
To communicate the site of middle field and the design research which took place there, a sectional model was constructed out of cedar, plexiglass and 6 field samples. Each sample corresponds to a specific maintenance and light regime, and continued its process of growth and decay over the two weeks it was exhibited. Common maintenance tools were also displayed to communicate the operations, sounds and smells of the experiment.
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