infrastructure – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Category Archives: infrastructure

landmarks

[Two images from artist Jenny Odell's series Landmarks, which traces "inadvertent monuments" produced by remote infrastructural operations, such as the Athabasca Oil Sands (top) and a network of "unknown detonation sites" (above) at the Nevada Test Site. The images can be seen in larger and much larger versions on Odell's website.]

environments of extraction

I’ll be at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York this Friday evening, speaking on a panel about “Environments of Extraction”: Resource extraction and urbanism have always had an intimate love/hate relationship. In the past fifty years, we have witnessed this relationship yield a series of global infrastructures and cities that are increasingly […]

glitches, flash crashes, and very bad futurists

Last fall, Vincent deBritto and Ozayr Saloojee invited me to come visit their Resilient Infrastructures project at the University of Minnesota; my main contribution was to deliver the lecture above, “Glitches, Flash Crashes, and Very Bad Futurists”. The lecture examines a particular class of landscape problem, which I’ve provisionally described as “glitches and flash crashes”, […]

sediment and wind

[The even grid of the world's largest offshore wind farm, the London Array, surrounded by swirling sediment in the Thames Estuary. Seen at NASA Earth Observatory: To date, the London Array includes 175 wind turbines aligned to the prevailing southwest wind and spread out across 100 square kilometers (40 square miles). Each turbine stands 650 […]

signs and obscure marks

[Lake Guntersville, Alabama's largest lake, which was created with the construction of the Guntersville Dam by the TVA in the late 1930's.] At Places, Shannon Mattern reviews various practices which she collectively terms “infrastructural literacy” projects, including “touring, collecting, and documenting infrastructure” (the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, for instance), “sensing infrastructure” (Nick Sowers’ Soundscrapers), and […]

elephant butte reservoir

[Elephant Butte Reservoir, New Mexico's largest reservoir, which supplies water to "about 90,000 acres of farmland and nearly half the population of El Paso"; the GIF above (by mammoth) combines NASA Earth Observatory satellite imagery from 1994 and 2013 to show the depletion caused by repeated droughts since 2000. Now off to start tumblrs of […]

sediment trap and release

[The annual sediment release procedure at Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yellow River in Henan province, China. According to the Daily Mail, "this annual operation sees more than 30 million tonnes of silt sent downstream a year, with more than 390 million tonnes shifted this way over the last 13 years". It is noteworthy, from the perspective […]

feedback: designing the dredge cycle

[Beach replenishment on Rockaway Beach, New York (well before Hurricane Sandy); image via USACE] Fellow Dredge Research Collaborator Brett Milligan and I have a co-authored article in the latest issue of Scenario Journal (formerly Landscape Urbanism Journal), 04: Rethinking Infrastructure. The article reflects on the after effects of Hurricane Sandy, the history and future of […]

the geopolitics of subtraction

[Map of the IIRSA's Amazonian axis, connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic across the Andes; from IIRSA document "8 Ejes de Integración de la Infraestructura de América del Sur"] Keller Easterling, speculating about “a new counterintuitive economic model” of “infrastructural subtraction” in Domus last November: “What are the points of leverage, trip distances or economies […]

future baroque

The following piece was published last summer in La Tempestad; given that La Tempestad circulates primarily in Mexico and is published in Spanish, we — Brett Milligan and I, who co-authored the piece — thought that it would be worth re-publishing it on our respective sites for English-language audiences. The article builds on a pair of […]

louisiana state university

So, I should say something about what I’m doing this spring, though this is kind of the brief version. I’m very excited to be joining the faculty and students at LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture as the visiting Marie M. Bickham Chair. In addition to taking in the extremely interesting work that they’re […]

ivanpah

[At Wired, a gallery of photographs of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, by Jamey Stillings. At completion, the Ivanpah facility is expected to be the largest operational solar power facility in the world.]

dredgefest nyc: video archive

[Audience discussion during DredgeFest; photo by Nicola Twilley.] One of the primary reasons that mammoth has been relatively quiet this year is the effort that Stephen and I, as two of the four current members of the Dredge Research Collaborative, have put into organizing DredgeFest NYC.  We did this with no small amount of assistance from […]

“a map for what?”

Shannon Mattern, writing “about material networks that span continents… and the strategies we devise to comprehend their scale and composition”: What is the “aftermath” of the touring, the mapping, the listening and smelling, the playing of games? The promises to “make visible the invisible” and thereby “raise awareness” are far too often regarded as ends […]

the commonwealth approach

[The following is the text and (a slightly condensed set of) slides from the presentation that Laurel McSherry and I gave at the Drylands Design Conference in late March. The presentation walks through our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution […]

the new modulated world of invisible fields

[A portion of Nicolas Rapp's map of the internet for Fortune magazine.] Writing for Quaderns, Kazys Varnelis argues for an infrastructural urbanism that not only embraces and seeks to design (or design with) infrastructure, but also imagines new infrastructures “more appropriate to network culture”: But we have not gone far enough yet. The Deleuzian modulations […]

collisions

[Via Pete Brook at Wired, Mary Lydecker's collages splice together scenes from vintage postcards to create images of Pruned-worthy vacation locales (like the infrastructural beach above) and bundles of skyscrapers improbably close to dams, mountains, and rivers, as if the cities they belonged to were crashing suddenly into some unorthodox planner's feverishly strict urban growth […]

venue interview with edward burtynsky

[Edward Burtynsky's "Drylands Farming #7" -- farms in Monegros County, Aragon, Spain.] Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley recently posted an interview with infrastructural landscape photographer extraordinaire Edward Burtynsky, as a component of their latest project, the continentally-roaming Venue (self-described as a “portable media rig, interview studio, multi-format event platform, and forward-operating landscape research base”). In it, Burtynsky aptly […]

zones and extrastatecraft

[A zone: Ebene Cybercity in Mauritius. As a bonus, Ebene is also an excellent example of the capacity of the Tubes to direct urban futures, as one of its prime selling points is that it sits at a landing point for the "the SAT3/WASC/SAFE sub-marine cable which links Southern Europe, Western and Southern Africa and […]

glitch jam

[The Placer County Courthouse, in Auburn, California -- imagine it swarmed by a glitch jam.] NPR reported this morning on a traffic jam in California caused by an algorithmic glitch “accidentally summon[ing] 1,200 people to jury duty on the same morning”. An excellent reminder of the tendency of algorithmic dysfunction to manifest as physical dysfunction, […]