Friday, July 29, 2011

onze: Crane to Heaven

Diana F+
Fuji Superia
Salt Lake City, Utah
January 2009

The built environment that sustains urban life consists of an array of complex structures - manifested in both infrastructure and more importantly, ideaology - that have been created by human perception of what the world is, what we want it to be, and of course, what we have the ability to turn it into. Of these manmade systems, religion plays a foundational and greatly influential role in shaping human interaction with nature, probably because humans often turn to religion in search for truth, in search for an answer to what this life is all about. However, it seems like the answer we find in doing so, at least as far as the literal interpretation of the Bible is concerned, is that our species exercises a God-given dominion over the earth - a "responsibility" that many in our Christian nation seem to have little trouble accepting and one that has had undeniable impact on the environment.

But what if we turned instead to the landscape for answers, if we considered the inherent life principles of the very thing we've determined ourselves to be supreme to and separate from? Each and every ecological system would produce similar results, but hydrology perhaps represents the counterpart to dominance more blatantly than the rest. It represents unity and interconnectedness in their truest forms - values that human beings as a species could learn much from, values that if practiced could change the way this world works.

(This is an excerpt from a project from the Urban Ecology class I took last semester. The assignment was to choose one urban system, one ecological system and then explore how the two interact with and impact one another. I chose (kind of) religion and hydrology. And this is what ensued.)

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