Terrestrial Practice

"Two basic systems: Development and Maintenance. The sourball of every revolution: after the revolution, who's going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?"

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Maintenance Art Manifesto! -- Proposal for an Exhibition “CARE”

The Zamboni is a pinnacle of tool path efficiency. By sweeping every other row to account for its wide turning radius and then doubling back on itself to take care of the surface in between, the operator navigates the ice rink with elegance. A similar technique is performed with hay implements. With declining maintenance budgets, this technique can be adapted to signal that a site is still cared for - with half the time / half the fuel / half the money.  Every other row is left unmown, to be cut the following visit when the order is switched.

Zamboni was modeled in the liminal space created by the Belmont Bridge in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Because the site is infrequently mown by the city, it also becomes a test of the potential for maintenance to appropriate space. Mowing becomes the instrument for design activism and tactical urbanism, with an early mow communicating care and providing an aesthetic signature to vague terrain.
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