[ISEA2011] Panel: Joni Tay­lor – Land­slide: a New Urban Ecol­ogy

Panel Statement

Panel: Crisis Narrative of Landscape: Future Inherent

The paper will ad­dress how the Aus­tralian land­scape con­tin­u­ally forces its way back into the built en­vi­ron­ment.  It will at­tempt to ex­am­ine how a new urban ecol­ogy can be nur­tured, an ecol­ogy that does not de­fine sep­a­rate spaces for na­ture in ad­di­tion to the built en­vi­ron­ment, but one that em­braces these wild ecosys­tems as part of its own work­ings. In Aus­tralia these dy­namic forces have come to in­clude the now in­creas­ing cy­cles of fire, flood and ex­treme weather con­di­tions. Sim­i­larly, the al­ready vital flora and fauna within our cities need to be pre­served and not erad­i­cated. By util­is­ing new tech­nolo­gies, can build­ings exist in har­mony with ris­ing flood­wa­ters, and ar­chi­tec­ture be in sync with the an­nual bush­fires or mi­gra­tory pat­terns of birds? The paper will ex­am­ine how fu­ture urban de­sign can in­cor­po­rate the wild and the un­tamed, mak­ing cities open to adap­ta­tion, time and con­tin­gency.  The cur­rent urban con­di­tion bears wit­ness to a fu­ture where the acts of human de­sign, be they via ar­chi­tec­ture or in­fra­struc­ture, often con­tribute fur­ther to re­source de­ple­tion and pol­lu­tion. Sim­i­larly, the push to­wards car­bon neu­tral sky­scrap­ers and eco-friendly ar­chi­tec­ture often fails to con­struc­tively cul­ti­vate en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions that are al­ready pre­sent. In the blurry haze of utopia and dystopia, should the cri­sis not be averted, but adapted for a new fu­tur­ol­ogy?

  • Joni Tay­lor is a re­searcher and cu­ra­tor with a focus on the urban en­vi­ron­ment. She is a found­ing mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional art group Free Soil. She has been the re­cip­i­ent of grants from the Aus­tralia Coun­cil and ANAT, and schol­ar­ships from the Goethe In­sti­tute and the APA. She worked in Berlin for five years as a jour­nal­ist and has writ­ten ex­ten­sively for pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing Re­al­time, Ar­ti­choke, POLoxy­gen, DAMN and Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture Aus­tralia, and con­tributed book chap­ters on ar­chi­tec­ture, loca­tive media and land art.  She or­gan­ised the Urban Trans­for­ma­tions round­table dis­cus­sion se­ries DIY Ur­ban­ism and Wildlife in the City at the Per­for­mance Space and an Urban Wildlife Sa­fari for the MCA ex­hi­bi­tion In the Bal­ance: Art for a Chang­ing World. In 2009 she or­gan­ised the con­fer­ence Sculp­ture in Pub­lic (and Not so Pub­lic) Space at the AGNSW.  She was co-di­rec­tor of the Elec­trofringe Media Arts Fes­ti­val in 2001 and 2002. In her own work she aims to pre­sent rad­i­cal ways of en­vi­sion­ing and re­spond­ing to our land­scapes. She earned a de­gree in Art His­tory and The­ory from Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales, Col­lege of Fine Art (COFA) in 1996 and is cur­rently un­der­tak­ing a Mas­ters of Re­search on utopian city de­sign.

Full text (PDF) p. 2335-2338 [title somewhat different]