Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions Review

Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions by Geoff Manaugh

Geoff Manaugh of BLDBLOG gives us a look into the future in studying the landscapes of  the world with the latest look at the technology coming out to do so. With studies from all over the world on shaping it. This includes many art projects examining or bringing to light different elements of the lay of the land, environmental and human factors at risk. Not just physical elements, but social, economic, religious and other human factors. The book pulls together multiple interviews and essays from  designers, artists, scientists and architects on different tech or art projects they've used or attempting to create to not only study the world, but to show what we don't see with our eyes.

Not all of it is realistic goals on let's say the mapping the hidden Wi-Fi out there. Liam Young's interview in the book has focus on his art project of showing off monsters based on technology specific to Japan, a new technological bestiary. Now if you focus on Japan like I have you might know some cynical dark jokes are ahead based on Young's work. Young traces his idea from bestiary and it's creation from the mythology surrounding Godzilla, who was and always will be a great example of Japan's fear of the atomic bombs dropped. Not at all covering how it connects to the technology side of Japan such as cell-phones and toilets that are almost Japan-only friendly, he came up with the "suicide monster." Based on the infrastructure of suicides that happen all to commonly in Japan and specifically Aokigahra Forest ,Young creates a Japan specific monster. A monster whose victims are killed painlessly and then its excrement makes wonderful fertilizer for cherry blossom trees. Geoff does counter with how positive will the payoff be on such long-winded jokes. Young counter's back with his work teaching by getting the information out there more than it just being a true study.

The debate/friendly interview does go on and Young is at least someone always looking out to explore. His 2012 project on flying drones that would instead of blocking the internet like a military might use for warfare would now allow people to connect and share on a network hovering in the sky.
Young is one of many interviews with their own creativity and ideas on how landscapes should be studied or the ways we can share information about them.

Chris Woebken's interview differs greatly being about gaining the powers of animals and insects and how they see the world. We get into a apparatus attached to your head to battle like a beetle or a simple periscope helmet that let's you see farther away akin to a giraffe.

Not yellow and black like a giraffe's color, Futures is filled with black and pink font and photos, a simple feature that sets it apart from other books and makes its interior stand out a bit more. It's like munching into something with a bit of pink frosting on the inside.

Landscape Futures is filled with these wonderful  natural and modern unlike many books where interviews seem so sullen and robotic. These artists and others do get ask what are the use of these projects and what are they trying to accomplish. The book accomplishes at being a thought provoking read at the changing ways we look at our world and sitting in on a nice chat with those who are doing it.