Dig Down

ln its original meaning, ‘landscape’ was not a net draped over the surface of things. lt was a thing shaped from, and the act of shaping, the earth. It was the digging of ditches and canals, the mounding up of berms and walls, the shaping and reshaping of these things over centuries. The substrate was the matrix of this shaping. Landscape went deep beneath the feet into the topsoil, into the gurgling bubbling under that, then deeper still into rock and heat. This early, earthy side of landscape was all but lost in the seventeenth century, and we live in the shadow of that loss. For without knowing the world under your feet, you will never fully know the world before your eyes.

So: get down on your knees. Lay your hands on the ground, then start digging and do not stop until your hands are bloody. Then turn your palms upward and smell the landscape there. Feel the roots of things. 

Thomas Oles, Go with Me. 50 Steps to Landscape Thinking. (2014)

THUPDI + Thinghua University, Shangai Quarry Garden (2010)


Plastic, Cosmological and Spatial

Does the landscape need to be linked to be present as a form of awareness? Does the body cooperate with the exterior in constructing liveable spatial and temporal coherence? It is the very possibility of our own body which makes interaction possible. Hence the question as to how my body can dispose of the landscape. The methodological elements in the present landscape didactic are: commitment, personal recognition of perception, announcement and production. The journey and experience of contours make it possible to unravel the concrete constitution of a space. Its edges will contribute as fully to its exploration as will its practices and uses. When the landscape and urban zones are conjectured as material and immaterial interrelationships of things and beings, students do not speak of objects but rather of relationships experienced within the mobility of time and the continuity of space. A means of conceiving the landscape is thus established.

The landscape is conceived of here as being a plastic, cosmological and spatial expression of the milieu affected by the bodily reality of living beings.

Françoise Crémel, A Plane of Consistency for the Landscape: the Body as a Documentary Tool (2013)

B.A.S. + Planergruppe Oberhausen, Therapeutic Park in Brilon (2015)