Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay reads ruin photography as an attempt to interpret and respond to an apparent crisis in the modern project of progressive development and in the discourse of active human actors and passive nonhuman environments on which that project is founded. It identifies two distinct modes of contemporary ruin aesthetics: the first seeks to salvage the developmental model of history by identifying ruins as blank "natural" spaces open to development, and the second treats ruins as material evidence of the failure and deleterious consequences of development. The essay argues that in this second mode, images of urban ruins can be powerful tools for critiquing and dismantling modern understandings of history and human ecology.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6520
Print ISSN
1063-1801
Pages
pp. 355-386
Launched on MUSE
2019-08-19
Open Access
No
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