Jonah Susskind: In Between Frames: Seeing Ecological Time Across the American West | Architecture Lecture
As soon as photographic technology first became transportable, photographers like Eadweard Muybridge and Carleton Watkins lugged their giant, glass-plate land cameras and mobile darkrooms into the most foreboding reaches of the American West to capture images of Yosemite Valley, Emigrant Pass, Lake Tahoe, and hundreds of other now iconic destinations. The power of these early photographs, which captured the imaginations Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and others, was enough to help launch the early American environmental conservation movement. More recently however, environmental scientists have used these same historical photographs to refute some of the most foundational tenets of conservationist ideology and undermine more than a century of ecologically misguided resource management practices.
In this lecture, Jonah Susskind explores connections between image-making technology and the broader cultural ideologies related to landscape, ecology, wilderness, and our collective human footprint that they help shape. His talk will ask us to consider challenges associated with operating across expanded ecological time-scales which are often at odds with our ability to observe meaningful changes, and he will position the practice of repeat photography as a critical research method for practitioners in the Anthropocene.
About the Speaker
Jonah Susskind is a senior research associate at SWA’s design research and innovation platform – XL Lab. He is also co-director of research at MIT’s P-REX Lab. Susskind is an urbanist, artist, writer, and researcher whose work focuses on the social and environmental effects of urbanization. He has held research and teaching appointments at MIT and the Harvard Graduate School of Design ,where he earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture. He also holds a degree in critical visual studies from Pratt Institute. His research has been published in books and journals including the Harvard Design Magazine, Designing With Nature Now (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy), and Wood Urbanism: From The Molecular to the Territorial (Actar). Susskind is co-author of a forthcoming book about infrastructure adaptation.
Free and open to the public.
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