Call for Papers: Terrain Vague: The Interstitial as Site, Concept, Intervention
This collection of essays will focus on terrain vagueâ��marginal, semi-abandoned space in or along the edge of the cityâ��as abstract concept, specific locale, and subject of literary, architectural, or otherwise artistic intervention.
Ignasi de SolÃ -Morales defines terrain vague as land in a â��potentially exploitable state but already possessing some definition to which we are external,â�� or â��strange placesâ�� that â��exist outside the cityâ��s effective circuits and productive structuresâ�� (119, 120). Gil Doron similarly defines â��landscapes of transgressionâ�� as derelict sites where â��nature has started to reconstruct the built or (now) â��ruinedâ�� environment. . . . space[s] that opened in the dichotomy of what we perceive as city and natureâ�� (255).
We are particularly interested in responses to the idea, as expressed by Luc LÃ©vesque, that â��â��terrain vagueâ�� offers a counterpoint to the way order and consumption hold sway over the city. Offering room for spontaneous, creative appropriation and informal uses that would otherwise have trouble finding a place in public spaces subjected increasingly to the demands of commerce, the â��terrain vagueâ�� is the ideal place for a certain resistance to emerge, a place potentially open to alternative ways of experiencing the city.â��
We invite submissions from a range of fields, in particular literature, architecture, ecocriticism, urban studies, cultural geography, the visual arts, and film studies. Suggested topics may include:
Site and situation
Forms of documentation
Transgression and recreation
Urban natural history
Please send abstracts of 300 to 500 words, accompanied by a brief bio, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries are welcome.
The deadline for abstracts is 1 June 2010.
Completed essays will be due on 1 February 2011.
Manuela Mariani, The Boston Architectural College
Patrick Barron, University of Massachusetts, Boston
â��That zero panorama seemed to contain ruins in reverse, that isâ��all the new construction that would be built. This is the opposite of the â��unromantic ruinâ�� because buildings donâ��t fall into ruin after they are built but rather rise into ruin before they are built.â�� Robert Smithson, â��A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jerseyâ��
Doron, Gil. â��The Dead Zone and the Architecture of Transgression.â�� City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 4.2 (2000): 247-63.
LÃ©vesque, Luc. â��The â��Terrain Vagueâ�� as Materialâ��Some Observations.â�� http://www.amarrages.com/textes_terrain.html
SolÃ -Morales, Ignasi. â��Terrain Vague.â�� Anyplace. Ed. Cynthia Davidson. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995. 118-23.
Smithson, Robert. â��A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey.â�� Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Berkeley: U of California P, 1996.
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