• Building Nature in Detroit: Ruin Aesthetics, Historical Gaps, and the Urban Agricultural Imagination

    Author(s):
    Anne Pasek (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Subject(s):
    Art--Environmental aspects, Cities and towns--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Ruins, urban aesthetics, Art and environment, Urbanism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/346r-rq24
    Abstract:
    Urban Agriculture is increasingly forwarded as a tool for social and ecological renewal in the post-industrial city. However, much of the enthusiasm (and increasingly, scholarly analysis) of this phenomena focuses on its civic role rather than its tangible impacts on urban food systems. This suggests that there is a great deal of ideological investment not just in the practice of urban agriculture, but in its visual culture and broader social imagination. This paper makes these connections explicit by attending to the representations of farming in Detroit through two case studies: the 2014 television show Cosmos and a 2015 art installation Flower House. It finds that, while these visions of urban agriculture can productively trouble categories between the cultural and the natural in a way that is constructive towards meeting the challenges of a climate insecure future, these utopian imaginaries are often predicated upon a dystopian vision of the present. As a result, the temporal politics of green futurism can actually work against racial and classed struggles for the right to the city, creating a disconnect between ecological and social justice.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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