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Landscape in the Interaction Order

By Zachary Caple


Landscape in the Interaction Order explores the concept of landscape as a product of heterogeneous human practices and the life activities of other organisms. I argue that conventionalized understandings of landscape as visually integrated scenes obfuscate the labor and myriad material and semiotic practices that produce “landscapes.” As an alternative, I advocate that landscapes should be perceived as emergent outcomes of vast sets of practices and interactional happenings. By attending to these practices and interactions we are confronted with philosophical questions about the nature of social engagement, the operations of working bodies in political ecologies, and our responsibilities to develop livable worlds. In so doing, landscapes escape the fixity and background status of scenery and emerge as developmentally consequential relational structures that are of the utmost matter of concern. Through this political and ontological reconfiguration of the landscape concept, I challenge notions of intentionality, the meaning of human engineering, and categories of nature and culture. This work prompts consideration of the importance of responsive collaboration (however asymmetrical) inside worlds of cultural and species differences that are necessarily flush with an infinity of non-living forces

Topics: Landscape, Ontological
Year: 2010
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