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Agricultural Commons

Industrial systems pose as a non-architectural phenomenon, yet they reflect the seemingly expansive network of a globalized infrastructure that changes our understanding of a rural landscape into a formal one. 21st century Industrial developments in agriculture have irrigated farmland into a controlled “colony” underneath high tunnel structures. 

 

If the popular but misguided “Bilbao Effect” is a resurrection of urban identity through iconic architecture- what is left for the rural? While urban space has been a constant subject of demand in modern discourse, the countryside has been neglected as ‘negative space’ peppered with the occasional fantasy home.  

 

Agro-Industrial hubs such as Almeria, Spain or Westland, Netherlands has seen a geographical take over of climate- controlled farms. As miles and miles of greenhouses extend, an unprecedented scene has formed. 

These strange sights offer an opportunity for farmlands to claim a renewed regional identity, to such an extent that a culture of tourism is formed. 

On the other hand, horticultural towns such as Hveragerði, Iceland attempt to breed tourism in a sustainable manner. They highlight geothermally powered greenhouses as the future of living, rather than as an unnatural spectacle. 

 

The difference lies in that one is a sighting of neoliberal agrarian development, and the other is based on a localist economy.  While they seem to be on the opposite end of farming practices, could there be a better future that meets both halfway? What is the post-capitalist future for industrial agricultural space as a work place?

Following the likes of Joseph Beuys, or Jacques Charlier, I am refusing to conceal the process of production, nor objectify it through means of aesthetisization. Rather, much like Maurizio Cattelan’s 1993 Venice Biennale exhibit “Work Is a Dirty Job”, the project aims to speculate a “precocious proletariat” by turning wage labor into a self-controlled spectacle. 

 

Supported by the Morris R. Pittman Travel Fellowship (2017) 

O'sulloc Tea Museum, Jeju Island (2017) by Author

Site Visit: Lamorna Flower Farm, Kenya (2016) Image by Mina Lee

Site Visit: Lake Naivasha, Kenya (2016) Image by Author

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Site designed by Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee.