benchmark #1

BM_1In a comment to a recent excellent blogpost survey of a move ‘towards new landscape aesthetic‘ I suggested to the site’s author, Eddie Procter, a label of radical topography rather than deep topography for this movement. Radical topography is arrived at:

via the process of and interest in deep topography. It pulls topography out more broadly to make its relevance to all more urgent perhaps. This links through to Guattari’s The Three Ecologies. In a collection of essays on the ecology of Deleuze and Guattari (Ed. B. Herzogenrath, 2009) Hanjo Berressem’s suggests a move from Naessian deep ecology to radical ecology to explode the subject/object divide and here that could help blur the culture/nature one. It also overcomes the ‘landscape as palimpsest’ trope which you mention. I think this ‘radical’ element could also be moved on to ‘radical place’ as well to leave behind the arrogance of local authority (etc.) ‘place-making’.

This concept of radical topography combines nicely with the concept of the autopoietical landscape. Movement and flux is embraced as a counter mechanism to homogenization. This flexibility is also championed by Gregory Bateson in his Steps to an Ecology of Mind (flexibility as ‘uncommitted potentiality for change’ (505)). Could this radically flexible aspect of landscape be a challenge to the wind farmers blanding of Esgair Cwmowen as “a moderately attractive landscape with few features of note” for example?

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