Permission of instructor
The word landscape always implies a subject position. Unlike the categories of “nature,” “wilderness,” or “ecology,” landscape is something experienced (or observed, or represented, or cultivated) by human agents. We are interested precisely in that agency.
This seminar explores “land” as a genre, theme, and medium of art and architecture of the last five decades. A major opportunity afforded by the course is an optional field trip to visit major works of land art in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas during the summer preceding the term. Focusing largely on work in the United States, the course seeks to understand how the use of land in art and architecture is bound into complicated entanglements of property and power, the inheritances of non-U.S. traditions, and how the term “landscape” is variously deployed in the service of a range of political and philosophical positions. The work of artists, architects, and writers on art and architectural theory can offer rich insights into the tangled nexus of phenomenology, pilgrimage, and property development that has been conjured by landscape, in history and at present.