Session 4 Paper Stream 1: Climate Change and Desertscapes in the Americas
Richard Lowenberg: "The Energy & Information Eco-Systems of the Colorado Plateau: A Field Study"
A presentation on initial partnering, collaborations, inventorying, mapping, assessment and creative understanding of the energy and information ecosystems of the four-state Colorado Plateau.
Our greatest local-global ‘Grand Challenge’ is to develop ‘an ecological unified field theory’, integrating physical, biological, environmental, information, social and economic processes, to move our understandings, intents and actions towards the most challenging, yet ultimately most important humane goals of our networked contemporary society: ‘demosophia’ (people wisdom). We cannot address the critical issues of changing climate, water, energy, food or health without better understanding the dynamically integrated matter-energy-information environment, and our need to take “steps toward an ecology of mind”.
1st-Mile Institute’s “Mapping the Information Eco-System of the Colorado Plateau” is a new multi-year project. It is a personal extension of Richard Lowenberg’s having prepared the New Mexico “Integrated Strategic Broadband Initiative” plan and report for Governor Richardson in 2008, and having coordinated all federal Broadband Stimulus projects in the state and neighboring states from 2009-13. These efforts and continuing work now make possible access to greater public and private sector network infrastructure and services data, which has not been used to date for eco-social or cultural benefit.
Mapped relational data layers will include: natural resources (water, mountains, forests), population centers, tribal areas, other primary infrastructure, telecom. services coverage, government, corporate and military facilities, socio-economic strata and much more.
A long-term objective of this project is use of the integrated information mapping as basis for regional ecological-economic modelling. Information, like water, the air we breathe and the sounds of healthy children, is designated as ‘intangibles and externalities’ by our dominant political (dismal science) economic systems. Such ‘common pool resources’ are the true determinants of quality of life. The flows of water, energy and of information are fundamental constituents of an ecological Earth Economy.
“The Energy & Information EcoSystems of the Colorado Plateau” is intended to creatively augment other Four Corners regional ecosystem assessments, mappings, learning and decision-support initiatives, providing emergent patterns for interactions and interventions.
Research + GIS Mapping + Drawings + Photographs + + Performance + Narratives + Interactive Web Site
Peter Friederici and Peter Goin: "A New Start at the End of Nature: Lake Powell in the Era of Climate Change"
What happens to a beloved water recreation area—and a place vital to the West’s thin-stretched water infrastructure—when the climate changes? That’s the question this photo/text project examines. A New Start at the End of Nature is a lyrical exploration, in words and photographs, of Glen Canyon/Lake Powell as a quintessential landscape in the new era of climate change. Made with a large-format 4x5 Horseman view camera and a 40-megapixel Mamiya medium-format camera, the color images by a renowned photographer of human/nature interactions present in lavish detail the ambiguities and incongruities that make up the lake and canyon landscape today. The text, by a writer who has published several books of reporting and essays about today’s natural landscape, will examine why the uncertainties inherent in the future of the lake and canyon landscape herald an unpredictable new future for many places around the world. This presentation will be a lyrical exploration of place that points a way to the questions that need to be raised as people negotiate new understandings with their surroundings in a world of climate change.
Stacie Widdifield and Jeffrey Banister: "Mexico City's Water and its Objects: An Archive of Interventions"
Mexico’s past is archived into the present through a host of spectacular museums located in its capital, constituting an itinerary of objects, places, and interpretations. No visit to Mexico City would be complete without a pilgrimage to Chapultepec Park, with its many compelling sites and monuments, chief among them the National History Museum and the National Anthropology Museum. Recently, however, a previously neglected area of the park, Chapultepec’s “second section,” has become an important part of the itinerary for its Water Garden Museum. Here, visitors can experience a number of monuments to the capital’s complex history as a hydraulic city that, since the 14th century, was developed over a series of ancient, and now mostly drained, lakes. The museum’s two centerpieces are the Cárcamo de Dolores, with its mid-twentieth-century water-tank mural and mosaic fountain, created by Diego Rivera, and four early-20th-century towers that mark the presence of enormous underground water storage tanks. Just as the park’s other museums create a particular narrative of Mexican visual culture and history, the Garden neatly packages within a beautiful green space the complicated story of environmental control within the Basin of Mexico. Water is not, however, necessarily central to the display; rather, visitors are presented with a collection of hydraulic-control objects. In other words, the intricate geography of springs, rivers, canals, and lakes that once constituted Mexico City as a hydraulic wonder are now effectively represented or replaced by a network of memorials and plans for future commemorative objects and sites. Such objects and sites thus appear in inverse proportion to the historic disappearance of water -- both potable and flood water -- from view. Using the geo-temporal exhibit builder, Neatline, we will present our ongoing research on the visual culture of the Mexico City water system, drawing from spatial, historical, and visual data to explore the relationship between water and the objects that manage it into and within the basin landscape. In doing so, we hope to contribute to ongoing efforts “reintroduce” the city to its hydraulic history and geography.