Industrial pastoralism post-productive arcadias in machine-modified landscapes

Spada, Marco and Molinari, Carla (2023) Industrial pastoralism post-productive arcadias in machine-modified landscapes. In: critic|all; V International Conference on Architecture Design & Criticism, Digital Proceedings, Delft 10-11 October. TU Delft Department of Architecture, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 316-326. ISBN 9788409547951

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The term “Industrial Pastoralism” concerns the process of industrial civilisation’s acquisition of values previously attributed to the picturesque rural world, destroyed or lost in industrialisation.
In 1964, Leo Marx’s ‘The Machine in the Garden’ describes the upheaval of the pastoral idyll as a result of industrialisation not only to the suburbs but also to the remote and pristine ecologies of the American Midwest and the prairies. Provocatively, we can observe the explosion of 19th-century pastoralism as a critical reaction to the picturesque: pastoralism warns against the dangers of modernity and invites the reader to seek a minimal and personal idyll, separated from the outside world. In the contemporary world, on the other hand, the values of knowledge and competence, of self-preservation, of rejection of the world hyper-technologization are no longer found in lonely experience (which after the pandemic has become dominant), but in the choral wisdom of the industrial world, criticised for its ecological and environmental aspects, but praised for the ethical dimension of working together.
We intend to study the relationship between the representation of the rural and the industrial environment in the processes of recovery and reuse of post-industrial landscapes. The process starts with the study of artistic representations of post-industrial society. Specifically, the study will compare pastoral paintings of XVII and XIX century (William Wyld and Hubert Robert) to contemporary photography (Edward Burtynsky and Lewis Baltz).
Through paintings and photographic representations, we will identify the transition of values and cultures towards the idea of an industrial civilisation, shifting from terms as “ruin porn” and “postindustrial” towards an Industrial Pastoralism.
This process is intended to establish a continuity between worlds hitherto represented as conflicting. Is it finally possible to find Thoreau’s Walden in the Ruhr, or in the coalfields of Wales?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: pastoralism, industrial architecture, picturesque, architecture, sustainability
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Marco Spada
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 10:52
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 10:52

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