Imprints CELA 2nd Edition2010


Published on

The collection of essays presented in Landscape Imprints trace their origins to an international gathering of landscape architects and educators hosted by Clemson University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in the fall of 2003 at CELA’s annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

For the reader, the second edition of twenty-two peer-reviewed essays presents a range of significant topical discourse on the landscape in the first decade of the 21st century by leading authors in the field of landscape architecture and landscape studies. Sustainability, globalization, gendered landscape, landscapes of power and race, technologically-mediated landscape, the geography of terrorism, learning environments, and post-ethnic landscapes offer a brief spectrum of the dialogue that runs through the collection’s five topical sections on culture, history, sustainability, technology, learning and the landscape.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Imprints CELA 2nd Edition2010

  2. 2. LANDSCAPE IMPRINTS Edited by Robert R. Hewitt Select Papers on Culture History Sustainability Te c h n o l o g y Learning and LandscapeCELA Conference 2003 Second Edition © Copyright 2010
  3. 3. ContentsIntroductionRobert R Hewitt . . . . . . . . . iiiDisplacements . . . . . . . . 1Marc TreibEnvironmental Art as Sustainable Design: Mill Creek Canyon . . 10Earthworks and Effigy Tumuli SculpturesC. Timothy BairdMultiple Exposures: Reading Landscape Values . . . . 16in Contemporary Mass-media AdvertisingCarla I. CorbinRedefining the Cemetery Landscape: A Multicultural Perspective . . 25Arthi RaoStewarding Nature: A Natural History of Cathedral Pines . . . 37Paul KelshImprint of a Blues Stained Landscape . . . . . 44Michael RobinsonLandscape and Social Relations at Charleston Townhouse Sites (1770-1850) . 50Martha A. ZierdenSlave Landscapes of the Carolina Low Country: What the Documents Reveal 55Elizabeth BrabecPower Dynamics Imprinted by Turn-of-the-Century: Reform Women’s . 61Institutions and Boston’s Public LandscapeSuzanne M. Spencer-WoodPower as Reflected in the Cultural Landscape of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, . 70Staten Island, New York (1845-1900)Sherene BaugherThe Phoenix Indian School Park: Communal Space/Private Meanings . 75Hemalata C. Dandekar, Ph.D.Design with Nature: The South’s Evangel . . . . . 83Sarah Georgia HarrisonA Dialogue for Sustainability: People, Place and Water . . . 91A. Simon, T. Cordova, J. Cooke, P. Aguilera-Harwood, B. MieraExploring Spontaneous Uses in Urban Streams . . . . 98Chia-Ning YangBiomimicry as a Runoff Management Strategy for Multi-Modal Landscapes 104Robert D. Sykes, Lance M. Neckar, Aaron A. MikonowiczSprawl. Nicesprawl or Multi-modal Hydroburbia . . . . 111Lance M. Neckar Landscape Impreints i
  4. 4. ContentsAesthetic, Recreational and Ecological Value of Rural Landscape . 120at Town Edge: Public Opinion and 3D-Visualization TechnologySigrid Hehl-Lange, Ph.D., Eckart Lange, Ph.D.Strategic Environmetal Assessment: Change Detection . . . 125and Sustainable DevelopmentStephen L. SperryRemote Havens for Terrorist and Other Illicit Activity: . . . 142A Geospatial Modeling ApproachDouglas S. Way, Ph.D.International Landscape Architecture Programs: CELA . . . 148Schools in the United StatesRobert Hewitt, Hala Nassar, PhD,Structuring Teams for Learning and Performance: Criteria . . 154and Methodology forInstructor- Assigned TeamsKim L. WilsonAssessing the Potential Play Value of Vegetation: Outdoor . . . 161Environments of Preschools in Tuscon, ArizonaBeth W. Darnell, Margaret Livingston, Lauri Macmillan JohnsonLandscape Impreints ii
  5. 5. Introduction Robert R. HewittThe collection of essays presented in Landscape Imprints: Culture, History, Sustainability,Technology, Learning trace their origins to an international gathering of landscape architectsand educators hosted by Clemson University’s Department of Landscape Architectureand the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in the fall of 2003 at CELA’sannual conference in Charleston, South Carolina. For the reader, the second edition ofthe twenty-two peer-reviewed essays assembled here present a range of significant topicaldiscourse on the landscape in the first decade of the 21st century by leading authors inthe field of landscape architecture and landscape studies. Sustainability, globalization,gendered landscape, landscapes of power and race, technologically-mediated landscape,the geography of terrorism, learning environments, and post-ethnic landscapes offer a briefspectrum of the dialogue that runs through the collection’s five topical sections on culture,history, sustainability, technology, learning and the landscape. CultureThe first selection of essays addresses contemporary culture, and the relationship betweenenvironmental art, material culture, sustainability, multiculturalism and the landscape. Inthe first essay in this series, author Mark Treib examines Michael Heizer’s series of earthsculptures created between the 1960s and 1980s, which describe a range of “displacements”that Treib asserts are essential acts of making landscape. Defining each sculpture as anintervention, in effect a disturbance of a prior order, Treib observes that while landscapearchitects often stress addition when designing, they also shift and remove elements such asliving material, construction, or just earth. Displacements then lie literally at the very heartof landscape architecture, and are the foundation upon which all other operations build. Hissuggestion that we might imagine a lexicon of earthen displacement as a basis of landscapemaking that would modulate climate, provide defense, support ceremony, accommodatepurposeful activity, posits a method for creating landscape, which interweaves utility withintellectual and aesthetic pleasure: intertwining landscape and the realm of art.Envisioning environmental art as a source for landscape experimentation, Timothy Bairdexplores the meaning of Michael Heizer’s Effigy Tumuli Sculptures and Herbert Bayer’sMill Creek Canyon Earthworks. These pieces, Baird suggests, are representative of anemerging sense of sustainability in the environmental art movement of the 1970s and80s, which ushered in a new wave of landscapes, and dramatically affected the way manylandscape architects approached design. Accordingly, Baird advocates an adoption of thisearly sense of sustainability in environmental design through a measuring of human impactson the landscape, suggesting that the making of landscape as art must enhance and reinforcenatural processes over time to encourage the remediation of environmental damage and theimprovement of ecological health. In “Multiple Exposures: Reading Landscape Values in Contemporary Mass-mediaAdvertizing,” author Carla Corbin explores landscape as “material culture,” providingtangible connections between landscape as art, nature as cultural product and culturallandscape as object. Relying on landscape representation as an important source forunderstanding cultural values and the dimensions of power and social practices, she records Landscape Impreints iii
  6. 6. the contemporary role of landscape imagery in the pervasive advertizing that links brand-name commodities with social and cultural conceptions of landscape. For Corbin, theubiquity of media messages about social standing, personal relationships, and security thatuse images of nature or the outdoors to communicate health, purity, and lack of artifice,ultimately shape our consumer product preferences, our consumption behavior, and ourlandscape values.In the last of four selections focusing on the cultural landscape, Arthi Rao examinesthe changing relationships between multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, pluralism anduniversalism in her essay on the creation of cemetery landscapes in post-ethnic America.Defining mourning rituals as both cultural sanction and personal need, Rao explores howfunerary ritual and mourning processes unfold in contemporary cemetery landscapes. Inresponse to what she suggests is an increasing loss of functional meaning in cemeteries, sheproposes the transformation of existing cemetery landscape to reflect the diverse culturalmourning processes of contemporary societies and the landscape’s capacity to heal. HistoryThe second selection of essays presents eight perspectives on landscape history withparticular emphasis on the landscapes of the South and the Eastern Seaboard of theUnited States. The essays suggest multiple interpretations of landscape history fromintersections of “wilderness ideology” and natural history, to the relationship betweenhistoric landscape and the development of historic musical form, to the origins of Americanfeminist landscape, the landscapes of urban and rural slavery, to landscape archaeology andpreservation and contemporary biographyIn “Stewarding Nature,” Paul Kelsch, broadens the scope of Treib’s, Baird’s, Corbin’s andRao’s conceptions of landscape creation from the intersection of art, material culture, andritual to that of natural history. His “constructive history” of Cathedral Pines, an old-growthforest in Cornwall, Connecticut wiped out by a tornado in 1989 interprets the controversythat surrounded the influence of “wilderness ideology” on the reforestation of the historiclandmark. Emphasizing nature as an historical construct rather than abstract ideology,Kelsch proposes that human beings imprint the land through use and modification; and thatthrough those imprints subsequently construct landscape as a product of both landscapeecology and imagination.In “Imprint of a Blues Stained Landscape,” Michael Robinson explores historicalrelationships between the creation of music and landscape form. His essay traces thedevelopment of archaic country blues (the Delta Blues) in the Yazoo Mississippi Delta at theend of the 19th century, focusing on the transformation of the Delta from wildland-swampto flat alluvial cotton plantations, jook joints, railroad depots, steamboat landings, andturpentine camps. In tracing the musical origins of the Blues from West African traditionsof music, agriculture and labor, to freed slave and sharecropper traditions of weaved workhollers, track calls, and ring shouts used to fell forest, drain swamps, clear land for crops,and lay railroad tracks, Robinson exposes the often tenuous connections between culturalnarrative, art form, and the creation of landscape.Martha Zierden examines the landscape as more than a reconstruction of social elite and theenslaved visible in the buried debris exposed through archaeology and research by gardenhistorians, landscape architects, and material culture specialists. According to Zierden,Charleston’s urban landscape was more than an amalgamation of individual landscapesLandscape Impreints iv
  7. 7. of the elite, middling, and poor, slave and free, but a unique and definable type of its ownthat is simultaneously collective and contradictory. These landscapes expressed not onlythe elaborate and innovative formal landscapes of the powerful, but the landscapes of filledswamps, refuse dumps, maintenance yards, and livestock pens, reflecting a myriad of socialrelations that were played out in the constricted space of our historic cityscapes.In “Slave Landscapes of the Carolina Low Country,” Elizabeth Brabec, examines thelandscape settings of plantation slave communities and their day-to-day lives. Brabec’sessay is particularly valuable as a companion to Zierden’s in its presentation of formaland informal characteristics of the rural plantation, providing a richer understandingof the range of social landscapes developed in antebellum South Carolina. Brabecconvincingly illustrates that while the myths and realities of slave life have become largelyindistinguishable in period plantation depictions, valuable interpretation of the regional,temporal and cultural aspects of those landscapes are still possible through an examinationof plantation plats, extant plantation sites, archaeological findings, plantation owners’journals, travel accounts; slave narratives, and Civil War era photographs.Suzanne Spencer-Wood explores a very different kind of social landscape in herexamination of urban transformation, gendered landscape and American civic culture. Inher depiction of the Women’s Reform Movement and the American Playground Movementin Boston at the end of the nineteenth century, she describes the creation of playgrounds,parks and other green spaces influenced by the belief that women landscape designer’scontributed to a more moral, natural, and domestic public realm. She suggests that thesetransformations represent a significant form of early feminism that has shaped Boston’spublic landscape, which has in turn shaped Boston’s Women’s Heritage Trails preservingthe important role of women in shaping Boston’s landscape.Sherene Baugher further elaborates the role of gender in shaping the landscapes of theNortheastern United States in her description of New York’s Sailors’ Snug Harbor in 1831as a model charitable institution for retired and injured seamen. Buagher suggests thecreation of two interrelated landscapes at Snug Harbor: one which perpetuated on land themale hierarchy, power dynamics, and strictly ranked society that had existed onboard shipsat sea; and another which reflected the charitable organization’s institutionalization of classroles that were the foundation of nineteenth-century American industrial society.In her essay describing Phoenix, Arizona’s Native American School as an example of“assimilationist education for the Indian problem,” which took place between 1890 and the1930’s, Hemalata Dandekar proposes a process to interpret and interconnect new landscapecreation with historic cultural landscape preservation. She suggests that in creating theseintertwined landscapes, we best employ public democratic processes that respond to theneeds of all users, even those oblivious to the past. Dandekar refers to a typology forthe meanings of gardens based on faith, power, ordering, cultural expression, personalexpression and healing. In recognizing that a park represents the interplay of landscape asidea, physical space, and as action, she proposes that we can raise awareness of the complexhistory of landscape that respects and celebrates Native American meanings and symbols;yet meets the multicultural community needs of current, and future inhabitants.In the last of the essays that address landscape history, Sarah Georgia Harrison pays tributeto regional landscape architect Robert E. Marvin, examining the intimate intersection oflandscape and personality so often revealed in the biographies of those closely tied to nature Landscape Impreints v
  8. 8. and the landscape. Her essay describes the evangelical zeal of an early landscape moderniststeeped in the traditional settings of the Southeast that nourished profound physical,emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs. Her reading of Marvin provides importantinsight into conceptions of our regional and national landscape that embodied the creationof landscape in the South during the second half of the twentieth century. SustainabilitySeven essays follow the first two series of essays on the cultural landscape and landscapehistory, addressing two increasingly important dimensions of contemporary landscapediscourse: sustainability and digital technology. Four of these essays explore prevailingstreams of thought on sustainability related to the urban landscape, the rise of “greeninfrastructure,” the psycho-ecological role of urban streams, and the deliberate “mimicry”of natural processes in landscape creation. The last of the seven essays elaborate theincreasing influence of digital technology on landscape creation, representation, andconceptualization at the beginning of the 21st century, examining issues of communityparticipation and landscape visualization, urban sprawl, and global terrorism.In “A Dialogue for Sustainability,” Alf Simon and Teresa Cordova argue for the generationof a new ‘technologically sublime’ landscape similar to those that were admired andcelebrated in the early twentieth century. They suggest that rather than the isolated andarguably unsustainable energy, water, drainage and waste systems of contemporaryAmerica, we should instead create profound social, cultural and ecological infrastructureas part of a psychologically and socially significant interconnected urban network. Assuch, infrastructure and urban sustainability would be joined as balanced multi-dimensionalprocesses that assimilate social, technological, political, environmental and economicdimensions within the contemporary landscape.Chia-Ning Yang explores the social, cultural and environmental ramifications of the kind of “greeninfrastructure” proposed by Simon and Cordova in her essay “Spontaneous Uses in Urban Streams.”In her study of Brentwood California’s urban streams, Yang posits whether “wild and scenic rivers”better serve wilderness purists, waterfront resorts better serve comfort recreationists, andwheter the majority of the urban streams can ever be genuinely wild or completely tamed.Her research suggests the promotion of spontaneous use as a central theme of urban streamrestoration based on the therapeutic effects of nature, on the beneficial effects of play, on thebeneficial social effects of raising environmental literacy, the ecological benefits of habitatpreservation, and on the ecologically dynamic benefits of human interaction with naturalprocesses.In “Biomimicry as a Runoff Management Strategy,” Sykes, Neckar, and Mikonowiczpropose biomimicry as an important component of sustainable landscape developmentbased on two underlying principles: its deliberate replication of natural processes to solvehuman problems, and its incorporation of ecological evaluative standards. Their essayproposes a combination of quantifitative and qualitative approaches to sustainable landscapeevaluation intended to define landscape in a manner capable of influencing political decisionmakers.In the last of the four essays on sustainability and the landscape, Lance Neckar examinesa genetic code for urban sprawl inflected by runoff treated as waste, and settlements assubdivisions. Comparing the effects of conventional development based on Euclidiannotions of zoning, and on Commuter Rail-Oriented Development, Neckar suggestsLandscape Impreints vi
  9. 9. derivatives of three landscape types that define modern America: “sprawl,” “nicesprawl,”and “hydroburbia.” His essay stresses the continuing significance of scientific rationale as abasis for understanding and describing sustainable landscape quality. TechnologyIn their essay on the “Aesthetic, Recreational and Ecological Value of a Rural Landscapeon the Edge of Town,” Eckart Lange and Sigrid Hehl-Lange focus on subject matter at theheart of landscape architecture: the perception of aesthetic, recreational, and ecologicallandscape values. Their use of technologically generated images representing a varietyof landscape scenarios illustrates the changing methods of representation offered bytechnology, providing methods of landscape analysis reminiscent of English landscapearchitect Humphrey Repton’s use of analytical “Redbooks” more than two hundred yearsago.In the second of these three essays, Stephen Sperry expands the scope and scale oftechnologically-mediated landscape assessment, addressing the influence of regionalscale landscape on decision-making processes, policy formulation and urban developmentutilizing geospatial data rather than the visual representation, perception and experienceadvocated by Lange & Lange. In this essay, Sperry examines approaches to changingpatterns in land use, large-scale watershed change, ecosystems and biodiversity, as methodsfor change detection in deforestation, changes in vegetation phenology, agriculturalpractices, and water quality. His focus on contemporary change rather than scenariorepresentation, illustrate the extent to which landscape creation and conceptualization hasbecome a subject of both process and time.Douglas Way’s essay contributes to the short but rich history of landscape analysis andexperience at global scale using geographic information systems to explore the terrain ofinsurgents, smugglers, and terrorist bands. Way’s use of technology to define landscapesmediated by “stateless zones,” rugged terrain, distant populations with extended lines ofcommunication and control, and poor governance, suggests a landscape associated withmilitary and intelligence applications at a scale beyond traditional military engineering. Hisinclusion of quasi-legal territories and violently contested landscapes provides pragmaticcounterpoint to the landscapes envisioned by both the Lange’s and Sperry. LearningThe last selection of essays presents recent developments in contemporary landscapediscourse addressing education and learning. Robert Hewitt and Hala Nassar introducethis series of essays on learning and the landscape with their description of internationaleducation in landscape architecture. Hewitt and Nassar suggest that in an increasinglyglobalizing world, landscape architecture educaiton must encourage the realization ofsustainable, culturally and historically sensitive landscape at local, regional and globalscales. Their essay aptly addresses contemporary trends in international education,multiculturalism, and pedagogy, specifically related to landscape architecture in aglobalizing world.Kim Wilson, in her essay on learning and teams, identifies interdisciplinary andmultidisciplinary collaboration as a critical component of sustainable landscape. In herelaboration of criteria and methodology relevant to instructor-assigned teams, Wilsonexamines heterogeneous teams that mix technical skill, student preferences, learning style,interpersonal style, and aptitude to promote greater team learning and performance. She Landscape Impreints vii
  10. 10. aptly illustrates how interpersonal understanding of the spoken and unspoken preferences,concerns, and strengths of team members enables effective knowledge sharing andopen communication; and how proactive problem solving reinforces team learning andperformance, leading to more sustainable design.In their essay on the value of vegetation in learning, Beth W. Darnell, Margaret Livingston,and Lauri Johnson, examine the value of work and play integrated with physical, social,emotional, and intellectual development. They remind us that the educator’s role in thesesettings best reflects that of environmental facilitator, with play used as a tool for teachingand extending the play experience They recommend children’s outdoor environments thatare sensory-rich and that facilitate play involving all the domains of development (physical,socio-emotional, cognitive, and sensory). Citing the growing concern that opportunitiesfor outdoor play and direct experiences with nature are shrinking, they note the increasingpotential of attention deficit behaviors, childhood obesity, and a general lack of concern forthe natural environmentThese twenty-two essays in the second edition of Landscape Imprints serving as arepresentative body of contemporary thought on the landscape, reminds us of theextraordinary scope of contemporary landscape architecutre. This edition’s variousthemes related to landscape representation, landscape history, and the cultural landscapehave resonated for centuries, while emerging themes associated with power, gender,sustainability, material culture, ethnicity, and technology clearly reflect the continuingreevaluation of its subject. As such these essays, like the earthen imprints from ourearliest landscape displacements to the digital visual scenarios of our conceptual landscapecreations remind us that landscape reflects not just our thoughts and actions over time, butthe landscape as it was, what it is at the beginning of the 21st century, and what it mightbecome. Acknowledgements Reviewers Daniel Nadenicek Francis Chamberlain Ardi Rao Robert Hewitt Graphic Design Robert Hewitt Staff Assistance Reva KaufmannLandscape Impreints viii
  11. 11. Culture Displacements Marc Treib Environmental Art as Sustainable Design:Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks and Effigy Tumuli Sculptures C. Timothy Baird Multiple Exposures: Reading Landscape Values in Contemporary Mass-media Advertising Carla I. Corbin Redefining the Cemetery Landscape: A Multicultural Perspective Arthi Rao Culture 1
  12. 12. Displacements calls attention to the remaining dentures, or a gap in a bookshelf that shines new lightMarc Treib on a book long taken for granted, or a mass of building materials huddled on a street and blocking normal access — the void or the pile provoked the contemplation of prior conditions.In 1976 Michael Heizer created a sculpture, In the work of a sculptor like Michael Heizer,Adjacent, Against, Upon, on the Seattle disposition was a basic trait; displacement wasshoreline. [Figure 1]. The work’s title reflected the vehicle for the transformations.three plausible relations between a rough andmassive boulder and a smooth geometric plinth The sculptor’s early inscriptions in the desertof concrete. Heizer’s proposition embraced the surface were termed “drawings,” and thecontrast and affinity between the natural and excavated medium shared much in commonthe constructed, but also between bodies in with the crayon or the pencil. “When I made thespace. “Synthetics are intensifications of the negative sculptures, I realized the possibility of an entire vocabulary,” said Heizer in anorganic sources,” Heizer has stated, suggesting interview. “I felt that if you made sculpturesa continuum rather than a true opposition of like this with basic materials such as earth youmaterial orders.1 Behind many of Heizer’s should also develop the areas of drawing andworks from that period stood a proposition painting so as to expose the whole its instigating force. How were two objects I made the ground drawings and the groundrelated in space? At what angles might planes paintings with this index in mind.”4 Linear inrelate to the ground? How might the shifting aspect, the engraved line traced the route ofof matter transform existing conditions and shovel, using digging in place of graphite andhuman perceptions of them?2 the earth in place of paper. Taken in this respect, Double Negative of 1970, near Overton, Utah, may be read as a drawing at a gigantic scale, as firmly established in mass and space as an ink and wash drawing by Giambattista Tiepolo.5 But here, in the vast spaces of the American Southwest, the size has increased to the point where it enfolds the human being: the drawing becomes a space, and the space a commentary on a larger set of issues, historical, geological, and ecological [Figure 2].Figure 1. Adjacent, Against, Upon. Seattle, Washington,1976. Michael Heizer.Beyond these sculptural explorations was thesimple idea of displacement. One took something from somewhere and deposited it inanother place or situation. As a result of thatoperation both objects were fundamentallychanged. The sculptor’s act was thus essentiallyone of transformation of pre-existingconditions through intervention. Disturbing Figure 2. Double Negative. Near Overton, Nevada, 1970.existing conditions effected a new situation, Michael Heizer. [Photo: 1999]which garnered a change of our perceptions ofit.3 Form and space constituted the language In reading Double Negative one can followby which the intentions emerged. Changing differing tracks. The inclined planes thatexisting conditions changed perception of resulted from its earthmoving operationsthose conditions. Like the missing tooth that comment equally upon bulldozer and human2 Treib
  13. 13. effort as they facilitate entrance and exit into framed to lay out the full range of possiblethis canyon created through displacement. The relationships, long before any specific formspath of descent is also a journey back through have been envisioned. In this, the practice istime: as the movement horizontally becomes similar to the anthropologist Claude Levi-transposed into vertical depth, the visitor Strauss’s use of the periodic chart of chemicalencounters geological strata and translates elements as a model for plotting kinshipdepth into eons passed. relations in tribal society.6 To Lévi-Strauss the marvel of the periodic chart was its embraceLike landscapes designed for a broader range of all possible relationships, even those thenof criteria, Double Negative guides movement unknown. Today we might simply term itand perception. We shift from the complete a matrix, and in some ways Heizer’s artisticopenness of the mesa top to the directive project has exploited certain properties of thechannel of the chasm, with our view leaping matrix as a basis for inventing and selectingthe gap between the two cuts. There is relief: the end of each cut, the talus has pouredoutward and taken a more naturalistic form,its static flow encouraging the visitor to lookoutward and downward to the distant river andsurrounding landscapes.As a group, Heizer’s sculptures from this periodoutline the range of earth movements that arepart and parcel of making exterior places. Eachdesign is an incursion into a prior order. Whilewe tend to stress addition when designing, wealso remove and almost always shift, whetheremploying living material, construction, ormerely earth. Displacements lie — literally —at the very base of landscape architecture, andthey provide foundations upon which all otheroperations build, unless the work is superficial Figure 3. 45°/90°/180°. Rice University, Houston, Texas,in a non-pejorative sense of the word. 1984. Michael Heizer.Heizer’s later works, which might be termed As Heizer inventoried the possible associationspropositional, furthered the investigations that of rock, plinth, mass, and void, we might alsofirst propelled his terrestrial incisions. They posit a lexicon of earthen displacement as apose questions about the relationships between basis of making landscapes [Figure 4].things, and between characteristics positiveand negative. Through the 1970s and 1980sthe sculptor executed a series of works thataddressed these permutations of oppositions.Elevated, Surface, Depressed (1969–81), forexample, referenced forms and voids relatedto ground level. Rock remained the ostensiblesubjects of the works, although the extractedor mounded earth could lay equal claim tothat status. The piece 45°, 90°, 180° at RiceUniversity in Houston, dating from 1984,posited the potential angular relationships ofa red granite slab to the plane of the ground,from the vertical to the horizontal; the supportstructure, while necessary, in many ways isextraneous to the instigating idea, althoughnecessary for executing the concept and Figure 4. Peat Bogs, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom.inescapable as part of the sculpture [Figure 3]. Among them we might note displacementIn Heizer’s works — and in designs by others to modulate climate, for defense, to supportso conceived — the proposition is generic and ceremony, to accommodate purposeful activity, Culture 3
  14. 14. and of course, for intellectual and aesthetic difference between action and residue and thuspleasure: the realm of art. These situations will between verbs and nouns. Perhaps all of this isbe discussed further below. It should be noted, a romantic (and somewhat academic) readinghowever, that the artist, unlike the designer, of a prosaic act, but in any case, there is littlehas an advantage in having to consider only as question that Asphalt Rundown was rooted inmany parameters as he or she might want. For the practice of displacement.example, James Turrell may focus completely(or nearly completely) on light and perception. Grading and drainage, cutting and filling, areHis interior installations use light as a vehicle part and parcel of most landscape operations,for sensing space as well as sensing ourselves and we could say that as the skeleton forsensing. His outdoor works explore either the garden or park or plaza, they are inchanges in lighting conditions over time, or themselves aesthetic operations. But they areother effects such as what is called celestial only one element of a larger constellation ofvaulting.7 Whether in a small work such as the landscape operations, and in many respects1996 Celestial Vaulting at the Kijkduin outside their identity is often lost once the planting hasThe Hague in the Netherlands, or the colossal been completed or the building erected. TheRoden Crater project in Arizona, Turrell’s significance of displacement in these artworks,reconfiguring of earthen contour heightens in contrast, derives from their continuing atthe perceived dome of the sky and reveals the forefront of perception. The question, then,periodic celestial conditions [Figure 5]. Here is whether we can maintain a focus on thesedisplacement serves artistic, and, one might displacements when incorporating them into aadd, philosophical purposes. larger set of issues and operations. The lessons of labor tell us that neither removing soil from, nor bringing soil to, the site constitutes the most efficient handling of earth movement. In an era of bulldozers, and dump trucks, perhaps this dictum is less universally applied, but in former times, when displacement meant shovels and manpower, the dictum was almost absolute. In no other situation was its rigor more desirable than for defensive purposes, in particular, for creating ramparts and moats. It would seem a truism that by complementing digging out with piling up fortification builders could reduce the effort involved in each by exactly one half. By using the earth excavated from the moat to create theFigure 5. Roden Crater. Near Flagstaff, Arizona, 1970s– adjacent bulwark any labor was given double2001+. James Turrell. agency by introducing water into the moat.A more obvious and focused use of displacementwas Robert Smithson’s Asphalt Rundown,executed in Rome in 1969.8 This piece raisesissues about the value of its operation and thedegree to which an aesthetic rather than an anti-aesthetic was involved, but it is a significantgesture nonetheless. Here a dump truck fullof asphalt unloaded its cargo along the bankof an abandoned gravel and dirt quarry. Asimple enough procedure. This could be takenas a mundane maneuver (except that freshasphalt in this particular location is somewhatstrange); in other ways, however, should weso desire, many of its aspects grant the pieceevocative qualities. Informing the work werequestions of gravity; of grain size, friction, and Figure 6. Stone Circle. Avebury, England, c. 2,300ultimately the angle of repose; of color, of the B.C.E.4 Treib
  15. 15. At the Avebury site in Wiltshire, England, provides excellent thermal mass for insulation,the displacement of earth served primarily whether used in simple heaps, or in a morereligious or ceremonial purposes (or so it is sophisticated fashion, as adobe bricks. Thebelieved), but the reformation operations were properties of thermal mass retard the passagebasic to those of defense.9 Each shifting of of cold to the interior and heat outwards (orterrain constitutes an essential disturbance to vice versa if so desired), and thickness onlyan existing order as a means for shining light increases the effectiveness of the mounding.on some new condition [Figure 6] In an era where passive solar performance has gained greater acceptance, the popularity ofOne reforms in order to refocus attention the berm has followed suit in short order. Butpsychologically, if not necessarily proscribe long before this recently acquired sustainablemovement physiologically. All mounded consciousness, projects such as Frank Lloydstructures — the Cahokia site in Illinois and Wright’s second Jacobs House in Madison,the Serpent Mound in Ohio are good examples Wisconsin of 1949, demonstrated the positive— require resources from somewhere, and in effects of attaching soil with stone.11 The norththe process, these tons of soil are reformed wall of the hemicycle features only restrainedto create a recognizable feature, either iconic amounts of fenestration and is backfilled withshape or at least massive in aspect. earth for insulation and to blend the stoneThe tenth-century Viking camps in Denmark, walls of the house more completely with thesuch as Trelleborg and Fyrkat, demonstrate surrounding landscape [Figure 8]. In contrast,how extracting and heaping soil for defensive the southern façade, partially sheltered by thepurposes ultimately proffered aesthetic concave geometry of the plan, is extensivelysubjects as well.10 Through their orientation, glazed to admit generous amounts of sunlightshape, and apertures, these earthen ramparts and radiant heat. In this house, Wright niftilyprotected a settlement of wooden structures, paired aesthetics with thermal modulationitself set in symbiotic relation to its earthen to achieve a house design in which a simpleenclosure [Figure 7]. For the most part the shifting of earth achieved considerable successresidential structures have retreated to the state in both arenas.of archeological evidence, but excavations andpartial reconstructions have revealed how thewall of earth and the wall of wood played uponeach other, both poised in a state of perceivedsecurity. Figure 8. Jacobs House II. Madison, Wisconsin, 1949. Frank Lloyd Wright. Turning from architecture, we might also look at the use of simple displacements toFigure 7. Fyrkat Viking Camp, Jutland, Denmark, 10th accommodate or regulate occupancy of thecentury. landscape for dwelling, production, or pleasure. At the root of these examples is the regard forEarthen forms modulate climate as well as the earth as the basic tray upon which lifeeffect defense and enclosure. In Iceland, is played out. Most students and historianswhere wood was so scarce it required study the work of André le Nôtre primarilyimportation, two walls of the house were in plan, which is a quite limited investigationmade in earth, leaving the narrow gable ends of his considerable talent. The French gardenas the sole wooden surfaces. Soil, of course, maker’s use of the section—his modulation of Culture 5
  16. 16. the terrain —was, in fact, equally if not more at Dampierre is reformed and leveled, neatlysophisticated than the planning of the axes and shaped and bounded by a series of canals thatbosks which structured most of his gardens.12 embrace a nearly square domain for the chateauThe axis on a slope, for example, was normally garden. To continue the thrust of the gardenstepped to provide increased level surface and across the valley, a counter axis took shape,more gradual ascents and descents. On the rise, excavating from the far hillside sufficienttheir subtlety also supported visual continuity earth to gnaw into the dominate swoop of thefrom level to level, and abrogated any radical landform—and not incidentally offer soil forfractures of perspective on the descent [Figure fill [Figure 10]. Given the almost complete9]. In actuality, the abrupt drop in elevation disappearance of the chateau’s vegetation,around the Latona Fountain at Versailles Dampierre is less visited today by landscapeis almost singular in le Nôtre’s work, for its architects and historians, and yet in its vegetalvertical dimension disrupts the continuity nudity its lessons are perhaps the most evidentfrom the upper parterre to the principal axis, of any of le Nôtre’s works.14creating two distinct zones. More often, theflow of the ground plane, and movement uponit, was invitingly smooth.Le Nôtre’s handling of earthen contour is todaymost evident at the chateau of Dampierre,near Port Royal, outside Paris. Built upon theremnants of a sixteenth-century structure, thenew chateau was designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and constructed from 1675-1683. Figure 10. Château Dampierre, France, 1683. André le Nôtre (attributed) In the last decade, the most identifiable use of earthworks has peppered schemes by the San Francisco / Cambridge firm of Hargreaves Associates. For sites as geographically dispersed as California, Portugal, and the American Midwest, the earthen form has become a signature element for the office’s work. OfFigure 9. Central Axis, Versailles, France, late 17th course, even today, using earth forms makescentury. André le Nôtre. considerable economic sense, balancing cutting and filling as conditions best allow. But there isThe reformed landscape provided a radical more to it than that. In some instances, the earthbase for the ensemble, with the mansion set forms serve as thermal protection, blockinghugging one bank of the valley. In several unwanted winds and creating still pockets toways, the layout is bizarre and audacious, catch solar rays and their thermal blessings.countering every normal axiom of classical Aesthetically, of course, the meandering cigarsite planning. As a river valley, one would shapes of the earthen landscape have producedhave expected the arrangement of the chateau a visually exciting modeling of the land’sand its gardens to follow the lay of the land surface, especially apparent in two- or three-and the direction of water flow. But le Nôtre dimensional representations. Their order, saidand company established the thrust of the to derive from the forces of hydraulic process,house and gardens as a cross axis to the sweep suggests the flow of liquids through lowlandsof the hollow, damming the river to form a and hillsides, even where the water may, in fact,grand pièce d’eau that suggests the grand be absent. In models and plans, the patterningwater parterres at Studley Royal in Yorkshire of earthen forms promises an exciting andof the following century.13 The river bottom varying field of modeled ground, one in which6 Treib
  17. 17. spatial and visual restriction and closure plays Landscape architects who have adopted theagainst release and the open vista. idea of the earthworks have often neglected to master the relation of formal complexityParts of Byxbee Park in East Palo Alto, with the scale of site, creating displacementsCalifornia of 1992, for example, are sufficiently which have been too few and too large, or toostrong to regulate both movement and view many and too weenie. As noted above, artists[Figure 11]. In other applications, however, — are privileged in their option whether or not tofor example, the Louisville Waterfront Park— deal with the full panoply of the factors thatthe gestures ultimately appear too small, too face designers. They can address as few asnumerous, and too similar—as a result, the one parameter should they so choose, perhapsexperience of one mound valley is more less the increasing the power of their work throughsame as any other. One questions, too, the use a concentration on fewer aspects. In someof forms said to be based on natural processes ways, however, we can regard these works asthat follow different orientations, at times more the pure research, while designers are facedor less perpendicular to the river or shore, at with development and application for broadertimes nearly parallel. It would seem that water human utility.doesn’t flow along more than one course inany particular situation, causing the thoughtthat one of them is accurate while the other isonly an affectation. Alas, in a number of theprojects, the promise of the models’ richnessis left unfulfilled in the realized work. At theother extreme — the recent campus landscapework for the University of Cincinnati, forexample — the gestures appear too complex,too stuttering, for the limited available terrain.They tend to fragment the space and furtherdivide rather than unify the spaces andtranscend the network of walkways.Getting this balance of size and complexityright is not an easy job, and one hopes that themeasure of success for the work will improve Figure 12. Broken Circle. Emmen, The Netherlands.with time and rigorous post-construction Robert Smithson. [Photo: 2001, with work thenevaluation. The power of the original submerged]earthworks like Double Negative or RobertSmithson’s 1971 Broken Circle derived in large But from them, and from other historicalmeasure from the singularity of the gesture — examples, we can learn. We can learn aboutessentially just one thought, one concept, one formulating a more conceptual approachform, or one void [Figure 12]. to the site free of specific function, and we can learn how enacting that proposition may accommodate the panoply of factors that determine the making of landscape architecture. While I have tended to present earthen displacement in terms of singular factors or intentions, in fact, each has served— and should serve — more than one purpose at any given time. We have seen how defense might also possess a ceremonial aspect, or that ceremony may also benefit from a thermal dimension. I return your attention here to the sculptures by Michael Heizer that I termed propositional at the opening of this paper. A consideration of the full range of relationships between earth and built form may suggest to us alliances until now unconceived.Figure 11. Byxbee Park. East Palo Alto, California, 1992.Hargreaves Associates. But I would caution against the use of this Culture 7
  18. 18. practice uncritically. It would seem that 2 Michael Heizer’s work appears in virtually everythe great landscape designs—and I will study of earthworks or land art, such as Johnoppose them to works which are singularly Beardsley, Earthworks and Beyond, New York:artistic—attack the problem on more than one Abbeville, 1984. On the other hand, monographsbattlefield, and integrate the positive aspects have been somewhat limited; principal among theminto works that, should they not achieve all is Julia Brown, editor, Michael Heizer: Sculpture intheir desired goals, at least achieve as many Reverse, Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporaryof them as is practical. Rather than utilizing Art, 1984, and Douglas McGill and Michael Heizer,the matrix of factors only for displacements Effigy Tumuli, New York: Harry Abrams, 1990.of ground, one needs to expand that matrix 3 The notion of disturbance is central Marc Treib,to include the propositional relationships that “The Presence of Absence: Places by Extraction,”enfold other aspects of design—for example, Places, Volume 4, Number 3, 1987, pp. 8-19.people and their activities, rather than formand aspect alone [Figure 13]. This is the greater 4 Interview with Julia Brown, p. 28.challenge for employing displacements, asit is the challenge for any other approach to 5 See Richard Koshalek et al, Double Negative, Loslandscape, whether social, vegetal, political, or Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art and Newenvironmental. York: Rizzoli, 1991, as well as sources cited in note 2. 6 See Claude Lévi-Strauss, Claire Jacobson and Brooke Schoepf, translators, Structural Anthropology, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1967; and Claude Lévi-Strauss, John Russell, translator, Tristes Tropiques, New York: Athenaeum, 1971. 7 Writings about James Turrell are extensive. The major publications are Julia Brown, editor, Occluded Front: James Turrell, Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1985; Craig Adcock, James Turrell: The Art of Light and Space, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990; and Peter Noever, editor, James Turrell: The Other Horizon, Vienna: MAK and Cantz Verlag, 1999. No writer I have read conveys the artist’s ideas as well as Turrell himself does and the interviews in many of the articles and catalogs provide extremely valuable insights into his life’s project. For example, see Interview with Richard Andrews and Chris Bruce, in Richard Andrews, editor, James Turrell: Sensing Space, Seattle: Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 1992. 8 See Robert Hobbs, editor, Robert Smithson: Sculpture, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981, pp. 174–177. The artist’s writings are collected in Nancy Holt, editor, The Writings of RobertFigure 13. Red Rocks Amphitheater. Morrison, Colorado, Smithson, New York: New York University Press,1941. Burnham Hoyt. 1979. 9 Construction on the Avebury site spanned centuries,Notes starting somewhere in the second millennium1 Interview with Julia Brown, in Julia Brown, editor, B.C.E. The stone circle site was believed “builtMichael Heizer: Sculpture in Reverse, Los Angeles: in the late Neolithic times, roughly between 2500Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984, p.14. Later in and 2200 BC.” Faith de M. Vatcher and Lancethe interview (p. 15), Heizer notes that in regards Vatcher, The Avebury Monuments, London: Englishto Adjacent, Against, Upon, “geometry is organic.” Heritage, 1976, p. 30.8 Treib
  19. 19. 10 Basic information on the two sites can be foundin Poul Nørlund, Trelleborg, Copenhagen: NationalMuseum, 1968; and Olaf Olsen, Fyrkat: The VikingCamp near Hobro, Copenhagen: National Museum,1959.11 The second Jacobs House has been widelypublished in the extensive literature on Frank LloydWright’s residential architecture. See, for example,John Sargeant, Frank Lloyd Wright’s UsonianHouses: The Case for Organic Architecture, NewYork: Whitney Library of Design, 1976, 1984,especially pp. 82-83. Herbert Jacobs with KatherineJacobs, Building with Frank Lloyd Wright, SanFrancisco: Chronicle Books, 1978, traces the joysand tribulations of building two houses by themaster.12 Virtually none of the standard sources on leNôtre carefully examine his gardens in section. Thestandard work, Hamilton Hazelhurst, Gardens ofIllusion: The Genius of André le Nostre, Nashville:Vanderbilt University Press, 1980, virtually neglectsall mention of ideas about composition in section,although the shaping of contours appears in chapterson Saint-Germaine-en-Laye and Meudon. On theother hand, the Hazelhurst’s descriptions of viewand procession through the gardens implicitly citele Nôtre’s handling of the terrain. The same authortouches on the subject, however, in “Le Nostre andOptical Illusion,”VIA 6: Architecture and VisualPerception, Philadelphia: Graduate School ofFine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, 1983, pp.117–130. One of the view sources to address the leNôtre’s shaping of contour is Thierry Marriage, TheWorld of André le Nôtre, Philadelphia: Universityof Pennsylvania Press, 1999, pp. 37–40, whichexamines the question of techniques used for bothgarden building and military fortification.13 In the making of Studley Royal in the earlydecades of the eighteen century, a river wasdammed and its water converted to a series of waterparterres patterned on classical models. See TheNational Trust, Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal,North Yorkshire: The national Trust, 1988.14 Le Nôtre’s development for the terrace at Saint-Germaine-en-Laye also demonstrates the landscapearchitect’s effective leveling of a slope for maximumaesthetic effect. It bears certain parallels with alater English project, Rievaulx Terrace in NorthYorkshire created by Thomas Duncombe aroundthe middle of the eighteenth century.IllustrationsCredit All Photos: Marc Treib Culture 9
  20. 20. Environmental Art as “with ambitions to articulate, even to shape, the contemporary relationship to nature.”2 ThisSustainable Design: thread of ecological sensitivity continues todayMill Creek Canyon in the work of artists such as Buster SimpsonEarthworks and Effigy and Lorna Jordan.Tumuli Sculptures Long before the terms “sustainable design” and “sustainability” were in common use,C. Timothy Baird some environmental artists were creating landscapes that reclaimed abused land and, as a result, healed scars on the land and promotedIntroduction landscape regeneration. This paper will presentThe environmental art movement of the two examples of environmental art that were1970s and 80s ushered in a new wave of conceived in the context of land reclamation andlandscapes that dramatically affected the were, arguably, early examples of sustainableway many landscape architects approached landscape design. Herbert Bayer’s Mill Creekdesign. This new generation of landscape Canyon Earthworks in Kent, Washington andarchitects was influenced not only by the Michael Heizer’s Effigy Tumuli Sculptures,strong formal gestures on the land, but also by near Ottawa, Illinois, will be examined in termsthe conceptual ideas and writings of some of of their similarities and differences in formalthese environmental artists. The connections strategy, reclamation context, public process,between contemporary landscape design level of sustainability attained, and changeand the works, ideas, and writings of Robert over time. A comparison of these works,Smithson, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, through a review of the literature, site visits,Nancy Holt, Robert Morris, and others is well interviews of project participants and a closedocumented. Not so clearly documented, examination of documents such as drawings,however, is the level of sustainable design that models, photographs, and correspondencewas achieved by some of the environmental art reveals similarities in conceptual frameworkof the period. While sustainability was usually and emphasis on the landscape experience asnot typically a primary objective of these works well as sharp contrasts in the approach to theof art, there is much to be learned from careful public process and the time required to actuallystudy of these pieces and it will be argued that regenerate the despoiled or problematicsome have, in fact, achieved a certain level of landscape.sustainability.While environmental artists certainly have hada great impact on the profession of landscapearchitecture – from Robert Morris and NancyHolt to Robert Smithson (who referred toOlmsted as the first earthworks artist) – not all oftheir work could be considered environmentallysensitive.1 In fact, some of the work, such asMichael Heizer’s early pieces in arid areassuch as Complex One and Double Negative,was thought to be ecologically damaging tothe subtle and fragile desert environment.While some environmental artists like MichaelSinger, Alan Sonfist, and Helen and NewtonHarrison worked to reveal natural process andperhaps to remediate problems, for the mostpart the genre was more about moving out of thegallery and into the landscape (environment),in opposition to the commercialization of art,than it was about ecological sensitivity. Thework these artists were doing was originally Figure 1. Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks, M. Heizercalled earth art or land art. It was not untillater that it become known as environmental Both Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks andart, when more and more artists came along Effigy Tumuli Sculptures were conceived as10 Baird
  21. 21. abstract geometric compositions of landforms that does not impede the natural and culturalthat served dual purposes. For the former, the processes of a site but, in fact, enhances andpurposes were human enjoyment and storm reinforces these processes as much as possiblewater management; for the latter, human in order for the landscape to be sustained overenjoyment and the reclamation of strip-mined time. In addition, it is design that encouragesland were primary concerns. From these the remediation of environmental damage orcommonalities, the two works are distinctly the improvement of ecological health. Finally,dissimilar relative to their public acceptance, it is design that engages the public through itslevel of sustainability achieved, and physical aesthetic quality.condition since completion. Careful scrutinyof all facets of these two built works will Because of the need to quantify sustainability,provide those interested in reclamation and especially in architecture, the Leadership insustainable landscape design with insight Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)and information that could elevate the quality certification system was created. Theof future design interventions conceptually, problem with LEED is its lack of an aestheticformally, and ecologically. component that might address design quality. As James Wines, architect and author of Green Architecture, is fond of saying, “if a building is not beautiful and does not evoke a positive spatial experience, no amount of sustainability will ensure that it will still be standing in twenty years.”4 A more useful way to determine the degree of sustainability of a particular designed landscape might be to use a checklist such as that developed by Frederick Steiner and David Pijawka5 (Table 1), because it includes subjective categories like beauty, noise, stress, and silence. The obvious drawback of such an evaluation checklist is the inherently difficult and highly subjective nature of evaluating the aesthetic component. At the very least, this evaluation system incorporates the aesthetic qualities of a designed landscape.Figure 2. Effigy Tumuli Sculptures,Ottawa, Illinois If, in fact, a designed landscape is to be sustainedMichael Heizer. over time, it could be argued that there must be public acceptance. The degree to which theSustainable Landscape Design public embraces a landscape depends to someThe definition of sustainable landscape design degree on their inclusion during the designis somewhat elusive. Carol Franklin says and planning process and their appreciation ofthat “we need a broader and more pro-active its aesthetic and experiential qualities. This,definition of sustainable design and this is why of course, is where the designer must rely onit may be preferable to call the new paradigm his or her communication skills to convey‘Ecological Design’.” This is a design approach their conceptual ideas and proposed formalthat should go beyond the modest goal of strategy to the public. These two landscapesminimizing site destruction to facilitating will be assessed according to their sustainablecommunity recovery by reestablishing the design qualities by using the Steiner andprocesses necessary to sustain natural, social, Pijawka method. The works will be evaluatedand cultural systems. Robert Thayer prefers according to such criteria as their ability toJohn Lyle’s term regenerative in lieu of maximize open space, reduce stress, createsustainable because “it more aptly invokes beauty, provide wildlife habitat, and createprocesses that ensure healthy, functioning purer water and air.ecosystems.”3 Mill Creek Canyon EarthworksFor the purpose of this paper, sustainable Herbert Bayer’s Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks,landscape design is considered to be design completed in 1982, is a piece that clearly Culture 11
  22. 22. articulates the artist’s goal of unifying art and of the landforms were actually conditioned bylife under technology through its serene beauty, hydrologic principles to facilitate the flow andevocative experiential quality, and usefulness detention of society.6 This work of environmental art isactually a two and one-half acre portion of a The City of Kent, through its Arts Commission96-acre city park in Kent, Washington, near commissioned this project as a solution toSeattle. The Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks increasing urban storm water runoff and itsis a popular and renowned work of art that resultant flooding and soil erosion problems.challenges the status quo regarding ecological The environmental artwork was a means ofdesign and sustainability. It was one of only enlivening the plans for a proposed storm watertwo implemented works out of 8 proposals detention basin and creating a unique entrancethat were the result of Earthworks: Land to an existing public park. The city’s goalsReclamation as Sculpture, a symposium and were: to control flooding, to restore fish runs,watershed event in the field of environmental and to create an aesthetically pleasing facilityart as reclamation in Seattle in 1979. that would contribute to the enhancement of the park.7 One of the indicators of the support for this project was its varied funding sources; grants were received from local, county, state and federal arts agencies as well as the city engineering department and a community development block grant from HUD. The local citizenry, led by their mayor, was staunchly supportive of the effort from the beginning. In their quest to raise additional funds to supplement the acquired grants, the people of Kent sold signed Bayer-designed posters commemorating the earthworks and even held bake sales. This kind of grass roots support led to the implementation and long-term success of the project. The client’s goals were met with the creation of an internationally acclaimed work of art that reduces downstream flooding and its resultant stream sedimentation and erosion by detaining as much as 15 acre-feet of storm water whileFigure 3. Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks, M. Heizer accommodating and enhancing the local Coho Salmon habitat. It has, in fact, functioned asThe compositional strategy used by Bayer at Mill intended over its 20-year life and is in veryCreek Canyon is reminiscent of those he used good condition, given the steepness of itsin his earlier landscapes in Aspen, Colorado. slopes and the nature of its purpose.The conical landforms, circular pools of water,and ring-shaped landforms encircling water Effigy Tumuli Sculptureswere all a part of his formal repertoire evident Edmund Thornton, then CEO of the Ottawain Grass Mound and Anderson Park. Bayer Silica Company, was instrumental in havingintended to create a landscape of continually artist involvement in reclaiming 150 acreschanging spatial interest with varying degrees of his company’s former strip mine, locatedof enclosure and views both into and out of adjacent to the 34-acre Buffalo Rock Statethe spaces. The forms in the landscape were Park on the banks of the Illinois River in northfor the enjoyment of the user; they were to be central Illinois. After a failed attempt to getviewed as objects and experienced by moving Isamu Noguchi to take on the project, Thorntonthrough, around, and over them. The play of settled on Michael Heizer to transform the toxiclight and shadow across the landforms provides site to a more tranquil work of land art.8 Thean ever-changing visual display throughout artist’s penchant for work on a grand scale andthe day. Bayer was, in essence, creating a his love of vast sites seemed to make him theplace of experience and memory that would perfect candidate to work with the expanse ofsimultaneously serve the community as a despoiled land atop a sandstone plateau risingflood control device. The slopes and shapes ninety feet above the Illinois River.12 Baird
  23. 23. the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 were met, including removal of the standing acid water to prevent it from flowing into the river and adjacent roadway drainage swales, prevention of erosion and resultant sedimentation of the same, re-grading the property to its original contour, and re-vegetating the site. These were accomplished even though it took much longer than anticipated to establish complete vegetative cover on the acidic soils. As a result, severe erosion of the landforms plagued the project for several years. An almost annual re-planting of the site with variations on the original seed mix continues, as a series of experiments to find those species hardy enough to survive the incredibly hash conditions. An unanticipated benefit that illustrates the degreeFigure 4. Effigy Tumuli Sculptures,Ottawa, Illinois to which this site has finally regenerated isMichael Heizer. the abundant wildlife that has returned. Deer, turkey, numerous songbirds, coyote, and baldHeizer departed slightly from his definitive and golden eagles have been observed on theuse of geometric abstraction to create a site recently.landscape of five enormous earthen moundsrepresenting animals indigenous to the riverine Comparisonenvironment: a water strider, a frog, a turtle, a Similaritiescatfish, and a snake. His idea was to create Mill creek Canyon Earthworks and Effigy Tumuliabstractions through a series of planar, faceted Sculptures are both internationally recognizedlandforms rather than rounded figural forms; works of art in very different settings. Bothprismatic planes that, according to one critic, artists wanted very much for their work to beseem to relate to the crystalline structure of the about experience and not about the art object.mineral beneath the surface that was the prize The notion of controlling that experienceso eagerly sought by the mining company.9 through a series of picturesque “views” wasThe artist at once paid homage to the Native also counter to both artists’ intentions. Rather,American mound builders of the past and the they hoped for the freedom of the individualanimal species that had at one time inhabited to discover, explore, and interpret their workthe area. Construction began in spring of 1985 as each person saw fit. The perception andon the first phase of sixty acres that included experience of the user was important while thethe first of the effigies, the fourteen feet high, art as object was less so. Both works of art were80 feet wide, and 685 feet long Water Strider. conceived through similar formal strategies;The remaining 90 acres and four effigies were the two artists created a series of abstractedcompleted by the fall of that same year. landforms that in turn defined the spaces ofThe overburden left by the strip mining process their landscapes. And finally, both artists paiddisrupted the normal pattern of surface storm little attention to the long-term managementwater runoff and pools of this water collected of their work. Effigy Tumuli Sculptures has,within these basins created by the acidic soils. unfortunately, suffered more from this lack ofThe acid water spilled over into the Illinois appreciation of landscape maintenance. WhileRiver and into local roadway drainage swales at Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks has receivedevery rainstorm. At the time of the reclamation, better maintenance, the other parks and openthe pH of the soil on the site was between 1.0 spaces within Kent’s maintenance budget haveand 3.0, much too low for most plant growth. suffered because of the greater cost of caringBy comparison, the pH of vinegar is 2.0 and for this artwork.lemon juice is 1.0. Writer and art critic ErikaDoss claims that the soil was so acidic that it Differencesactually melted the soles of her shoes when she Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks was anwalked the site. exemplar of public participation while Effigy Tumuli Sculptures has been called a public artReclamation requirements set forth by disaster for its utter lack of public input.10 In Culture 13
  24. 24. Table 1Sustainable Design Evaluation Checklist (partial list adapted from Steiner and Pijawka et al. 2000) Sustainable Completely Partly Neither Partly Completely Not Sustainable 1 Maximizes open space Minimizes open space 2 Builds on local context Disregards local context 3 Reduces stress (physical and psychological) Increases stress 4 Beautiful Destroys beauty 5 Remediates natural landscape Degrades natural landscape 6 Creates purer air Destroys pure air 7 Creates purer water Destroys pure water 8 Uses rain water Wastes rain water 9 Replenishes groundwater Depletes groundwater 10 Creates richer soil Destroys rich soil 11 Creates silence Destroys silence 12 Provides wildlife habitat Destroys wildlife habitat 13 Moderates climate and weather Intensifies climate 14 Uses local resources Imports resources 15 Encourages walking/biking Encourages automobile usefact, there was considerable public resentment (Table 1) and assigning at least a designation oftoward not only their lack of inclusion in “partly sustainable” for all applicable criteria,the decision making but also toward the art these two pieces achieve sustainability asitself. By discounting the local people’s shown below.previous use of the site and precluding it inthe future, the state, the patron, and the artist Both art works are successful in:created an environment of distrust that surelyplayed a role in the project’s painstakingly -Maximizing open space provisionslow maturation. Heizer was relentless in his -Building on local contextdisavowal of the connection between his art -Reducing stress (physical and psychological)and land reclamation while Bayer was equally -Creating or enhancing Beautyadamant that societal utility in the form of -Creating purer airflood control was as much a part of his art -Creating purer wateras the formal order of his landforms. Other -Creating silencedifferences include the remote location of Effigy -Providing wildlife habitatTumuli Sculptures as compared to Mill Creek -Moderating climate and weatherCanyon Earthworks, the relatively benign -Encouraging walking/bikingcondition of the existing site in Kent in lightof the highly toxic condition of the abandoned Effigy Tumuli Sculptures is successful in:strip mine, and the intimate scale of Mill CreekCanyon Earthworks when seen alongside the -Remediating the natural landscapemonumental scale of Effigy Tumuli Sculptures. -Replenishing groundwaterMill Creek Canyon Earthworks was established -Creating richer soilwithin two years of its construction and EffigyTumuli Sculptures is only now, in its eighteenth Clearly both of these works of environmental artyear, reaching establishment. Perhaps the have achieved a significant level of sustainablemost striking difference between these two design with Effigy Tumuli Sculptures meetingworks is that Heizer failed to sell his critically thirteen criteria and Mill Creek Canyonacclaimed idea to those closest to the artwork, Earthworks meeting ten.while Bayer intentionally worked closely with Conclusionthe public to gain their input and acceptance. Intentional or not, these two works have begun the process of landscape regenerationSustainability on their respective sites. Both of these highlyBy utilizing the Steiner and Pijawka approach acclaimed works of environmental art have14 Baird
  25. 25. achieved a significant level of sustainability, 6 Olin, Margaret R., Book Review of Herbert Bayer:even though sustainability was not a primary The Complete Work in Winterthur Portfolio (v. 21,goal of their creators. Summer/Autumn, 1986), 213.While Effigy Tumuli Sculptures scores higher 7 City of Kent, WA, Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks, (publicity brochure by City of Kent, WA, c.1982),than Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks on the 4-5.Steiner and Pijawka sustainability checklist,it does not score well as an artwork that is 8 McGill, Douglas C., Michael Heizer: Effigyembraced by the community. Tumuli, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.,1990), 17.If public understanding of and interaction withart or landscape is as important to the long term 9 Kertiss, Klaus, “Earth Angles” in Artforumsustainability of the built work as its ecological International, Vol. 24 (February 1986), – and I would emphatically suggest thatit is -- Effigy Tumuli Sculptures seems less 1 Doss, Erika, Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs:likely to be sustained over time. These two Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities, (Washington, DC: Smithsonianexamples underscore the importance of the Institution Press, 1995), 117.aesthetic value and design quality of a work ofenvironmental art or designed landscape to itssustainability over time and the significance of Notesthe ability or desire of the artist or designer to Portions of this article appeared in Baird, C.communicate his or her ideas to the public. Timothy, “A Composed Ecology” in LandscapeIf we are to create truly sustainable landscapesin the future it is clear that beauty, sensorypleasure, experience, and public engagementmust have equal footing with habitatenhancement, water quality improvement,increased storm water infiltration, and soilerosion abatement.References1 Nadenicek, Daniel Joseph and Hastings, CatherineM., “Environmental Rhetoric, EnvironmentalSophism”, in Environmentalism in LandscapeArchitecture, Conan, Michael, Editor, (Washington,DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library andCollection, 2000), 158.2 Beardsley, John, Earthworks and Beyond:Contemporary Art in the Landscape, (New York,NY: Abbeville Press, 1989), 7.3 For further examination of the definitionsof sustainable design and sustainability seeBaird, C. Timothy, “Sacred Ground: MustSustainable Landscapes Mimic the Form andSpatial Organization of Nature?,” in CELA 2002Groundwork: Selected Conference Papers,(Syracuse, NY: Faculty of Landscape Architecture,SUNY College of Environmental Science andForestry, 2003), 10.4 Ibid, 11.5 Steiner, Frederick, The Living Landscape: AnEcological Approach to Landscape Planning,(New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., Second Edition,1999), 294. Culture 15
  26. 26. Multiple Exposures: investment, and/or tourism–which, logically, shows destinations. Little has been done,Reading Landscape however, on the use of images of place andValues in Contemporary nature to sell other products.Mass-media Advertising Focus and Scope This paper examines the broad culturalCarla I. Corbin meanings and associations attached to place, read through their use in print media advertising. Ads in which pictures of place and nature playIntroduction an important part of the message, work becauseAmericans are exposed to an estimated daily these images have power as ‘commodity signs,’average of 1,500 advertising appeals. Only defined by Goldman and Papson as a “meaningabout 76 ads out of the total catch our attention, system that is summarized in an image”1 (82).but that multiplies to over 27,000 per year, a The prevalence and mechanisms of place-mass-media imprinting that communicates images as commodity signs is studied throughmany messages in addition to the primary a transect taken through one month of high-appeal to buy a product, listen to a radio circulation, general-interest magazines: Time,station, or vote for a candidate (West, 269). The Reader’s Digest, Better Homes and Gardens,mechanism of many visual ads is to link brand- Glamour, and Maxim. The investigation ofname commodities with social and culturally the sample is based on three questions: whatmeaningful images to create ‘commodity proportion of the total advertising in each issuesigns’ (Goldman and Papson, 81). uses images of L, N, and the B-Env, and what is the frequency in each of these three categories;The concern of this investigation is one subset what is the primary meaning system orof images—landscape, nature, and the built landscape association represented in each ad;environment (L, N, and B-Env)—and their uses and what products most often use this imagery–as sales and promotional tools. Which images where is it most effective? To begin, culturalof place and nature have this power, and what theory related to advertising will be examined,ideological stories they transmit and reinforce which supports the validity of advertising as ashould be of interest to landscape architects and source of insight on the cultural power of placeeducators. People – clients, user groups, voters meanings. The body of the paper is the analysison bond issues and legislation having to do of the sample, followed by interpretation of thewith public landscapes and conservation – see findings. The conclusion discusses significancemany landscape images in advertising, possibly for perceptions of landscapes in the physicalmore places than are directly experienced in world, and indicates directions for futurethe physical, sensed world. Further, these are work.powerful images, designed to persuade. The Contextconnection between these images and general Advertising mirrors culture. John Bergerperceptions of landscape has not been studied, writes: “Publicity is the culture of the consumerbut influences of media on behavior have been society. It propagates through images thatsufficiently documented in other contexts to society’s belief in itself” 2 (Berger, 139). Morewarrant investigation into the commodity-sign recently Goldman and Papson, scholars ofroles of L, N, and the B-Env in advertising. advertising media, agree that “advertising has upheld culturally predominant ways of seeingLandscape scholars, notably historians, things” (Goldman and Papson, 95). This mirrorfrequently examine representations as has little interest in truth, and is selective,important sources for understanding cultural purposeful, and informed, a combination ofvalues, patterns of use, and other dimensions art and science. The ‘science’ part may be aof power and social practices regarding flattering characterization of the testing that islandscape. But less interest has been shown in involved with major advertising campaigns,common representations in the contemporary but most are grounded in “a good statisticalmarketplace of media, with some exceptions in foundation” of strategy, design, mediawork by historians and sociologists. Significant planning, and evaluation (Jones, 3). Choiceswork has been done in the last decade on place about which images to use and the subtletiesadvertising—the presentation of towns, cities of their presentation are intentional andand geographic areas to promote settlement, calculated for effective resonance with targeted16 Corbin