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Random Diss Excerpt #2


‘The history of an environment is a history of the activities of all those organisms, human and non-human, contemporary and ancestral, that have contributed to its formation. We should liken the environment not to a container or backcloth within or against which life goes on but rather to a piece of sculpture, or a monument, except in two respects: first, it is shaped not by one hand but by many; and second, the work is never complete. No environment is ever fully created, it is always undergoing creation. It is, as it were, “work in progress”.’ (Ingold 1992: 50-51)

Ingold uses the term landscape to refer to the aspect of the environment that is immediately visible to us. A landscape is a totality of actions and interactions. It is the unfolding relations of beings and the environment, in congealed form. When we look at a landscape, we see ‘… a record of – and testimony to – the lives and works of past generations who have dwelt within it, and in so doing, have left there something of themselves’ (Ingold 2000: 189). Adam (1998: 54) also describes landscapes as evidence of mutually constituting activities, combining natural and cultural acitvities into a unified whole. Thus, as part of the landscape we humans are always taking up a view inside a landscape, rather than looking at it from a separate, cultural sphere, or a distant and external vantage point.

Adam emphasizes that a landscape serves not just as a record of human-, plant-, and animal-life, but also of weather, climate, and geological changes. In drawing attention to these, she points out that the environment is not wholly visible to us: ‘… the visible phenomena making up the landscapes have… invisible constitutive activities inescapably embedded within them’ (Adam 1998: 54). To create a receptiveness to the invisible aspects of the environment, she develops the concept of the timescape as an extension of the landscape perspective. A landscape and a timescape are not two separate environments. They are one and the same thing, except that the latter calls for a shift of emphasis from space to time. While landscapes are an embodiment of activities past and present, timescapes are the ‘embodiment of practised approaches to time’ (Adam 1998: 11). Thus, they are analogous in the sense that all activity is carried out in particular spaces and they take effect at particular times. Mbladkjgvaosdnbbbmflfffft!


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