dredge @ studio-x nyc – mammoth // building nothing out of something

dredge @ studio-x nyc

We’re excited that we’ll have the opportunity in a couple weeks to do a live interview at Studio-X NYC:

For the first LI@SX of 2012, Studio-X NYC is delighted to welcome Rob Holmes and Stephen Becker of Mammoth and Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon, three-quarters of the Dredge Research Collaborative (with Brett Milligan of Free Association Design), for a short visual tour of hulking geotubes, silt fences, sensate geotextiles, and other monuments of the dredge cycle, followed by a lively Q&A and informal discussion on the unrecognized architectural possibilities of dredge.

While dredge is commonly considered a linear act of industrial engineering — a dredging machine arrives at a site, sucks up a great quantity of sediment, and deposits that sediment on some other site — we argue that dredging is better understood as a component of a wider network of anthropogenic sedimentary processes which generate a fascinating array of interconnected landscapes.  Fluid topographies are restrained by bright orange silt fences; dredging barges continuously empty shipping channels which are promptly re-filled with sediment disturbed by upstream farms and new subdivisions; sensate geotextiles monitor the stability of landscapes they are literally embedded in; hulking geo-tubes lay engorged with dredged sediments in streams on Filipino golf courses and along Mexican beaches and on the coastal dunescape of Virginian spaceports.  Silts, sands, and clays flow rapidly between these landscapes in liquid suspension, linking them and re-shaping the earth’s surface.  Collectively, the choreography of these landscapes embodies a vastly quickened counterpart to conventionally defined geologic cycles — the Dredge Cycle.

The Dredge Cycle is landscape design on a deliriously monumental scale, but unrecognized as an architecture. So far, it remains the domain of logistics, industry, and engineering, a soft successor to the elevated freeway interchanges and massive dams that captured the cultural imagination of the previous century, a new infrastructural vernacular for the self-aware Anthropocene.

At Studio-X, we’ll be talking both about what extant landscapes of dredge are like, and what potentials for design intervention they might offer.  The event, which is on January 24th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, is free and open to the public; Studio-X NYC is 180 Varick Street, Suite 1610.

The evening’s conversation will serve as a prelude to a limited-ticket Festival of Dredge tour this summer, for which LI@SX attendees will be given reservation priority — look for more details on the Festival in the future.

5 Responses to “dredge @ studio-x nyc”

  1. namhenderson says:

    I guess The Dredge Research Collective is putting on the Festival of Dredge? Any partners?… Wish I could be there, any chance to participate digitally? Live stream maybe?

  2. Chris says:

    I would love to see this – oddly enough it conflicts with my graduate class on performative landscape, which references your work, and I won’t be able to make it. A recording would be great!

  3. rob says:

    Nam, Chris — you should definitely keep an eye on the @studioxnyc twitter account during the event (or afterwards), as Geoff and Nicola usually do a pretty good job of live-tweeting Studio-X events, but I don’t think there is going to be a stream, unfortunately. I’m sure that the event will leak out onto the internet in other forms (posts, etc.), as well.

    • rholmes says:

      Nam, Chris — it turns out, while we weren’t able to stream, there was a recording made — hopefully we’ll be able to post it sometime relatively soon.