Category terrain vague & derelict urbanism

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 — Rob Holmes 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 […]

Staring at Goats VIII: the In-situ Field Guide

[Anonymous text at the Belmont field, as we saw it just prior to the return of the goats.  We are fond of this sign’s shrewd use of materials consisting of a plastic 3 ring binder with the back ripped off and its binder clips retooled as clasps.  Delivered without punctuation, it has a wonderfully ambiguous […]

Staring at Goats VII: Feral and Very Urban

[Canadian Thistle, Cirsium arvense, up close (above) and in its urban habitat (below).  Along with Bull Thistle, this plant likely made its accidental introduction to North America from Eurasia and North Africa through contaminated seeds or hay.  Extremely difficult to eradicate, Canadian Thistle was one of the first plants listed on the U.S. Government’s noxious […]

Staring at Goats VI (Version 2.0)

[Click the bottom image for a much larger view] As of yesterday, the Goats on Belmont project is now in its second trial run, merging urban ecology experimentation with land management strategy and urban event.  If you are wondering what we are talking about and/or missed our series of posts that ran concurrently with our […]

The Engine that Never Was, yet Was

[The abandoned Aerojet-Dade rocket engine factory in the Florida Everglades, seen in its present state via flickr user aviatorr727] At nearly the same time our cold war efforts were experimenting with garment designs for space travel, we were simultaneously busy designing the rocket engines to get astronauts into space.  If you have yet too view […]

Vote for Griffintown

[Police Station, ‘Variables on a Theater‘] “Griffintown Interrupted is an international ideas competition which invites speculation on temporary inhabitation, the urban potential of post-industrial lands, and the possibility of dynamic, incremental architectures…an open platform for discourse and debate which blurs the line between competition and collaboration, merging the traditional aims of the competition (winning authorship) […]

Staring at Goats V: Ruminant Urbanism

[Opportunities in the void: locations of vacant land (orange) in central Portland, OR.  The circled 2-acre lot is the location of the now complete Goats on Belmont experiment.  The unassisted, free-growing vegetation on this single field was able to sustain a variable-sized herd of goats for nearly four weeks.] Having completed our ‘work‘ at the […]

Staring at Goats IV: Time + Specificity

[view of day 9 of goats on Belmont (above and below).  We are currently in day 15] One of the questions I’ve been asked most while in the field with the goats is how long they are going to be there. This has turned out to be a hard question to answer with more accuracy […]

‘Specimens’ from the Most Polluted River

Via Orion Magazine and artist Amanda Koller Konya comes Specimens: “Common modes of conveying information, such as science and journalism, fail to represent the complex reality of the New River [considered the United States’ most toxic and drains into the Salton Sea], which flows north from Mexico into California—its use by illegal immigrants as a […]

Roving Living Levelers

[Goats on Bunker Hill, Los Angeles. Source] In connection to our recent posts on emergent and constructed forests, NPR just ran a brief story on the annual return of goats to Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles.  For the past three years the goats have been brought to the stepply-sploed site to level the weedy […]