Alessandra Ponte

PublisherArpa Journal2014
Architects experiment upon the world. Researchers extend outside the laboratory by co-opting existing structures of influence and crafting new techniques of engagement. Even the effects of proving grounds–from Coney Island to emergency drills–leak beyond their boundaries without any official sanction. Impacts are often unpredictable, but no less powerful. The practice of human subject research has yielded the benefits of the polio vaccine and the horrors of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, reminding us that, as a former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency once remarked, “When we fail, we fail big.” ‘Test Subjects’ focuses on the contended nature of application ...
Formerly announced as Maps and Territories, this collection of essays written by landscape historian Alessandra Ponte, begins with an investigation of the American obsession with lawns and then continues to collectively map the aesthetic, scientific and technological production of past and present North American landscapes. These include the American desert as a privileged site of scientific and artistic testing; the faraway projects of electrification of the Canadian North; the transformation of the notion and perception of waste and wasteland during the twentieth century; the photographic medium and its encounters with Native Americans; as well as an introductory essay, ‘The Map and ...

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