My in-process thesis project looks at time-based practices in landscape and the specific moments of connection between the human body and the environment that produce material change.
I begin with parallel examinations of the maintenance and management patterns in two seemingly geographically and typologically distant sites: Bos Park in Amsterdam and the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge straddling Oregon and California. Site visits in the summer of 2019 gave evidence for their composition as complex systems of feedback cycles between maintenance personnel, water, earth, plants, wildlife, and the public. Mapping and visualizing these systems at many different scales I aim to show how they are materialized in the landscape, particularly through machines, movement, and material exchanges at a body scale.
From detailing the spatial implications of the current patterns I will adopt a historical geography lens, projecting backwards in time to show how the management system has changed, both gradually and suddenly, and how the landscape has changed with it. Both sites benefited from depression-era labor crews, and both hosted forced racialized labor camps during WWII (Bos Park held three Nazi labor camps within it and Klamath held two Japanese Internment Centers in close proximity.) How did these different bodies, tools, and processes both shape and experience the landscape?
After this first phase, I will project forward,creatively assembling suggestions for ways that design can thicken and support time-based practice in the landscape, through an ethic of relational care with attention to labor and the human body.