thenorthroom: Tumbleweed House & Farm Scans

Spatial Practices is a traveling, field-based seminar that asks questions of the meaning, economy, and politics of the built environment. This summer's inaugural seminar will be organized around the productive landscapes of the midwest, with a critical eye toward the changing natures, cultures, and infrastructures of the countryside. We will visit a range of sites that reveal the tensions within agriculture and conservation--from the last un- turned remnant prairie of Dunn Ranch to the genetic laboratories of Monsanto; from heirloom seed savers to agromanagerial institutions. The orientation of this seminar is to frame the countryside not as idyll or antidote to an urban condition, but as a constituent part in its production.

Participants will be introduced to a range of interpretive methods with an eye toward rendering the landscape--its meaning, textures, and processes--more legible. Readings from natural history, geography, art, ecology, and economics will help frame an historical understanding of the changes on the land, while cartographic and field surveys provide insight into how these changes inhere and accumulate in the landscape of the present. We will be on the road the entire duration of the seminar--discussing readings, staying in small towns, and producing field-recordings as we go. This experimental seminar is ultimately an effort in reading the landscape we inhabit and interpreting the cultural geography of our milieu.


Spatial Practices I:
Productive Landscapes

Jesse Vogler, Instructor
Sam Fox School
Washington University in St Louis

Andrea Godshalk
Xing Liang
Zhendan Ni
Huichong Tang
Ylan Vo
Joanie Walbert
Junru Zheng

Affiliated Researchers
Venus Bivar, Agricultural Historian WashU
Matthew Fluharty, Poet + Dir Art of the Rural
Kees Lokman, Landscape Architecture WashU
Richard Saxton, Artist + Director M12 Collective
Mimi Zeiger, Author + Editor





Field Guests
Doug Ladd, The Nature Conservancy
Donna Vestal, Harvest Public Media
Stan Cox, The Land Institute
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute
Ned Valentine, Clay Center Dispatch
Jeff Day, UNL + Min|Day
Mark Rasmussen, Leopold Center
Shannon Carmody, Seed Savers Exchange
Dave & Lisa Lubben, Farmers
Chad & Renee Adams, Farmers
Sarah Kanouse, Artist + UIowa
Craig Mack, John Deere Co.
Colleen Noel, Monsanto Learning Center
Daniel Tucker, Miscellaneous Projects

Field School
August 10-23, 2013
Midwest, USA

Sam Fox School
Fall 2013

Special Thanks
Bruce Lindsey, Dean, College of Architecture
Belinda Lee, Special Programs Coordinator
Chesney Floyd, Architect + Thinker
Sarah Lopez, Historian + UT Austin
Chris Taylor, Director Land Arts of the American West