Plying from Nought to Nought
14 | Uploaded on 11 September 2012 | 8 months ago
can't stop won't stop: 4:05pm
Worshipping the idea of “naturalness” over actual ability to feed people.
The reason the whole ‘local gourmet pickles’ movement so pervasive in Brooklyn and Portland (YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) is just failed modernism is that instead of utilizing actually cutting edge clean modern technologies (think vast plots of sealed hydroponic rooftop gardens) which, admittedly, would require either an especially benevolent billionaire or someone like Lyndon Johnson, it turns to this fetishistic agrarianism that is, while admittedly attractive and well branded & marketed, structurally unresponsive to addressing the larger social issues to which it claims to be a valid alternative to.
Also: twee as fuck.
I think it’s obvious that ‘local gourmet pickles’ aren’t the solution to anything, but it’s easy to glibly dismiss the idea of “local” agriculture as frivolous, or blame it for not somehow solving urban hunger problems. When it’s marketed as a luxury, then yeah, it’s pretty gross, but that says more about the tastes of the urban bourgeoisie and the commodification of authenticity (HAHA) than about local agriculture. The important idea for me is the propagation of agriculture inside the city and the erosion of that urban/rural opposition (vs “cities are where people live, and out there is where someone else grows our cheap food”). Techno-utopian solutions are fun to think about, but not all innovation photographs well. In Brooklyn, of course, it’s impractical, and that’s why it seems insufferably precious (as do most things that work well in places like Portland before they’re reënacted by much richer people — another reason why west Brooklyn is a parody of a real city). But most people live at much lower densities, where integrated agriculture is not only possible but practical. The real argument is, of course, about scale. Either way, alternatives to the chemical/agro-industrial behemoth are needed, and any trend in that direction is fine by me, even if it smacks of artisanal twee for now. Urban farms and trendy and easy to mock. There was a time, several years ago now, when all the avant-garde architecture thesis projects at the AA and SCI-ARC (and, later, at USC and Columbia, &c.) were parametric hydroponic farms growing on bridges and stuff like that. I once joked that if I really wanted to win any thesis awards I could just add a corkscrew-shaped Tom Wiscombe-looking marijuana farm to the roof because it would have been way more edgy than “just” a commuter station in the Valley. The project that won ? A parametric fog farm.
particleb0red reblogged this from unsubstantialtrade and added:
I’m not saying its a good or a bad thing, or that its the solution to anything. I’m saying they way it presents itself...
particleb0red posted this