The New American Pastoral


Presentation Title:

  • The New American Pastoral




  • This presentation is about a pedagogical experiment involving students in the digital arts, landscape architecture and architecture and the conclusion they reached in response to the country’s “largest green development”, The South Waterfront in Portland Oregon. In the Fall of 2009 an Intel sponsored studio called The Machine in the Garden: Rethinking Urban Gardens in the 21st Century, was taught by Tad Hirsch, Liska Chan, and Colin Ives, at the University of Oregon. The course took Leo Marx’s text as a ‘playbook’ but in this case not gleaning signs of the pastoral in literature but rather using creative practice to examine the current movement of ‘green’ urbanism. This speculative studio concluded that ‘green’ was synonymous with Marx’s pastoral — that in its’ clear simple nomenclature conceals the unresolved tensions and conflicts that, like the pastoral, it harbors.