what I should have done instead: landscapes of ugliness and dissuasion

With enormous and heartfelt thanks to [info]cdkExcerpts from Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Sandia National Laboratories report.

The place should not suggest shelter, protection or nurture…it should suggest that it is not a place for dwelling, nor for farming or husbandry.

We decided against simple “Keep Out” messages with scary faces. Museums and private collections abound with such guardian figures removed from burial sites. These earlier warning messages did not work because the intruder knew that the burial goods were valuable. We did decide to include faces portraying horror and sickness

This is what I should have done my PhD on: landscapes that are deliberately made forbidding and ugly. Amazing. The whole thing is worth reading. I find the suggestions for actual interventions in the landscape curiously attractive, though, like perverted Richard Long works.

The heat of this black slab will generate substantial thermal movement. It should have thick expansion joints in a pattern that is irregular, like a crazy-quilt, like the cracks in parched land. And the surface of the slab should undulate so as to shed sand in patterns in the direction of the wind.
That could be Walter de Maria talking.
concrete thorns (in Landscape of Thorns), and zig-zag earthworks emanating from the Keep (in Menacing Earthworks). The shapes suggest danger to the body…wounding forms, like thorns and spikes, even lightning. They seem active, in motion out and up, moving in various directions. They are irregular or non-repetitive in their shape, location and direction. They seem not controlled, somewhat chaotic

Tell me you wouldn’t go to see that in an art exhibit. Expressionist Caligari meets land art. The pictures are fabulous, too. They should totally build it, in Buffalo.


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