Over the past year or so I have been reading a lot more work that focuses on issues such as space, place, and nature. More anthropologists have been looking into these issues in the past ten years. Setha Low and Teresa Caldeira are two really good examples. I have also been reading a lot of work by geographers--Neil Smith, Henri Lefebvre, Edward Soja, Doreen Massey, and others. Soja argues that while many researchers in the social sciences and humanities take consideration of things like culture and history as fundamental, they often neglect concerns about space. This is an important point. Regardless, the more I read along these lines, the more it infects my thinking. This is a good thing. Take, for example, this set of images. They were taken during a recent walk in a nearby park, when I was working on some geographical readings. Parks are pretty fascinating places. People go to them to experience "nature," but it's a very ordered, constructed, bounded, manicured, and ultimately human induced sort of nature. We like to make "nature," in essence, with our gardens, walls, pathways, and such. Anyway, here's a few of those images, with some captions for good measure.
|I am not going to say a lot about this one because if you look at it in a certain way it speaks for itself. This is a clearly defined space for "being in nature." Fascinating. The concrete pad is the best part. Sit here to view nature.|
Cross-Posted at Plurality Press.