Landscapes of the Post-Historical Present


Jeff Wall, Property Line (2015)

The following is the text for lecture I gave at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture (3 Aug 2016). An earlier version of this (‘Landscapes of Post-History’) will appear in Landscape and Agency, eds. Ed Wall and Tim Waterman, forthcoming from Routledge. Thanks to Tat Bonvehi for the invitation.



If we’re honest, we’ll recognize that there’s a certain magic we invest in the term ‘landscape’ today. Like ‘nature’, ‘democracy’ or ‘communication’ no one doubts landscape. As much as we are destroying landscapes each day (and perhaps precisely because of this), it has become a signifier around which undeniable truths orbit closely. The fact that landscape as a discursive category intersects with fields from architecture, urbanism and art to geography, political theory, anthropology and philosophy is surely in part a response to a shifting set of concerns that have taken hold under the shadow of climate change and the multitude of phenomena this has brought into public consciousness. Landscape, in turn, is one of the key sites in which a fledgling collective aesthetic is taking shape. Today, it finds itself as a category central to the ways in which discourses are being reshaped, opening up questions of land, geological strata, ecological processes, economies of extraction and production, social and legal divisions, infrastructural connectivity and processes of urbanization. Landscape today appears at once as a consistent background against which contemporary problems obtain visibility and, increasingly, the object occupying the foreground itself.

Landscape is often associated with ‘agency’. If there is agency in landscape practices, it is likely grounded in the ontological status of landscape itself. In discussing landscape urbanism in his seminal essay, Terra Fluxus, James Corner expounded this capacity of landscape perhaps most succinctly, ascribing four fundamental themes to the then nascent practice of landscape urbanism: Landscape urbanism would be a temporally-based processes, it would work through a medium of surfaces, as a practice, it would be grounded in realism, and it would aim to construct a collective imaginary.[1] While tied to a specific type of landscape practice (landscape urbanism), we can nonetheless see how these principles begin to open up a more general ideological understanding of landscape practices consistent with much of today’s ongoing work. Perhaps most fundamentally, unlike architecture, art, literature, music, or any other artistic medium, landscape pre-exists its creative becoming: to create landscape, is always to transform it. More than in any other creative practice, the ontological status of landscape lends itself to the ways in which practices of modifying come to be. In other words, to define what landscape is is also to define the means by which to transform it in practice. So, if we want to question the agency of landscape, we must first assess how landscape is ontologically constructed.

From Corner’s essay, we can begin to see how landscape builds itself around a dual agenda: it is, on the one hand, the site of dynamic, horizontal connectivities – the space of forces, flows and processes. As such, designing landscape is an affirmatively non-object driven practice, but rather a relational ‘staging’ of systems. Its status, unlike architecture’s, is a catalyst of multiple processes – an instigator for an ‘ecology of events’ to emerge. And indeed, across the discourses of landscape, terms like ‘engagement’, ‘plurality’, ‘non-hierarchical’, ‘indeterminate’, ‘ephemeral’ and so on seem to constitute landscape’s inherent properties as much as they also designate the basic outlines for practices of transforming it. On the other hand, the contemporary role of landscape in the city makes it a primary site around which to reimagine the contemporary public realm. Thus, all of its inherently non-hierarchical, relational and dynamic capacities are put to work toward constructing a practice equally invested in landscape as a representational medium – the surface on which an emergent symbolism can take root. The two sides of contemporary landscape reveal it to be at once biological and pedagogical; productive and narrative; functionally indeterminate and culturally over-determined.



Hutton Distributed evidence Figures11-19

Jane Hutton, Distributed Evidence  (2012)

We can imagine that contemporary landscape discourses and practices draw a certain influence from discussions around New Materialism and from renewed interest in Material Cultures. On the one hand, given the trajectory that landscape has inherited from the likes of Corner et. al., landscape is endowed with a kind of ontological predisposition toward agency. This sentiment has benefitted in part thanks to thinkers like Jane Bennett and her political ecology of matter,[2] which suggests an agency that dwells in the more-than-human ecology of actors. Landscape, in this sense, much like Corner’s version of it, may be seen as a kind of thickened substrate of ‘quasi-agents’ – “forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own.”[3] Not only is landscape the medium of naturally existing forces, flows and processes, but the very matter that constitutes landscape itself – the rocks, the soils, the fossils it produces – all add temporal, ecological and geological dimensionality to its ‘vitality’ – its non-human agency. On the other hand, this agency, if well documented in its materiality, can play a more interpretive role in constituting a kind of historical narrative of human culture – a means to probe the recent and deep past of the human condition in relation to objects extracted from or placed within the landscape. Taken together, these various discursive tendencies instigate a practice in which the rigorous documentation of materials, plants and their unique ecologies can be curated to reveal a kind of social and cultural agency that passes through the material fragments of landscape, entangling the human and non-human worlds in a complex, more-than-human ecology. Landscape, we could say, appears today as a kind of as-found archive of social and cultural history.

If landscape is an archive, then our interventions into it can become the making visible of the richness of its historical evidence; like a well-cut ice core, it must draw us into the past, narrating the unfolding of the human non-human relations layered into the ways in which landscape now speaks in the present. And if landscape is to be seen as a spatial and material record of the past, it is inevitable that this record then will speaks of past errors and inherited social systems, recounting – often indirectly – the exploits of capitalism, modernity, imperialism and episodes of human and ecological violence. Yet here, a surprising thing happens: as much as such material histories may open up questions of politics, by constituting this politics through the various ‘ecologies of matter’, it often has a counter-political effect: the complexity, violence and injustice that such material cultures of landscape may illuminate often appear ungraspable in the present, either speaking of histories long since past or inviting us to encounter ongoing atrocities such as climate change as comprehendible only through the sublime awe of total, inevitable catastrophe. Either way, when engaging landscape-as-archive, our perception of it seems trapped in one form of contemplation or another. If agency exists in the way the materiality of landscape reveals these histories to us, it comes at the cost of displacing agency from the political realm, suturing it instead to an exclusively material-cultural entanglement curated in a present which, itself, is drained of the political. This sentiment is captured acutely in the announcement of a recent exhibition at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Placing the Golden Spike: Landscapes of the Anthropocene:

Through photography, sculpture, video animation, film, performance, and participatory events, the exhibition invites us to contemplate how the manipulation of local ecologies and the global exploitation of natural resources will require new ways of living in the 21st century. The exhibition and accompanying programs challenge visitors to recognize the omnipresence of human impact on contemporary landscapes—suggesting that the closer and more carefully we look, the more places we may find to place a golden spike of the Anthropocene.[4]

Why is this? What is it about landscape as a category that forces what is overtly political in content to become passive in its reception? What effect does this have on framing the ways in which we intervene in landscape?



According to philosopher and geographer Augustin Berque, the modern understanding of landscape – as a theoretical form of knowledge – appeared in Europe in the fourteenth century when Petrarch ascended Mont Ventoux and was moved to reflect on the beauty it presented to him. This, he says, is the moment when landscape “begins to exist for the Europeans.”[5] Landscape, here, denotes a subject of thought for which the object (landscape) must exist as something representable. Notwithstanding its tautological definition, Berque’s is one that places landscape in the realm of the philosophical and the aesthetic. With this in mind, he marks a distinction between landscape theory and landscape thought, a divide that emerged with the modern construction of the former at the detriment of the latter’s more ancient status. This divide allows a rather moralized symmetry to cut through the entire text: landscape thinking is the more primordial, non-western, non-urban, ‘spontaneous’ way in which humans have for millennia taken landscape (again, tautologies aside) as an indispensable part of what it means to dwell in time and space. Landscape thinking requires an intimate and immediate sensitivity of land, its authentic processes, natural transformations, and the social entanglements it constructs across generations. Landscape theory, on the other hand, emerges as a reduction of landscape to ‘false’ representations of itself, seen from an otherwise ‘disinterested’ gaze looking from the city outward. It is landscape thinking in reverse, where landscape is constructed through a cold logic and becomes the space onto which projections of class structures appear; it is the formation of a rationality born of the artificial, elitist distance in between subject (the ‘leisure class’) and object (the landscape). He attributes this degraded view of landscape, and its subsequent invention of landscape as theory, to what he broadly calls the ‘CMWP’, or the ‘Classical Modern Western Paradigm’, that formed somewhere in the seventeenth century. The source of our contemporary, ‘corrupt’ fascination with landscape – coinciding[6] with our incessant destruction of it – is, Berque asserts, rooted in the CMWP.

What is curious about this rather moralized hypothesis is how the concept of landscape, which is decidedly modern in origin, dating from the sixteenth century, accords for Berque to a predominantly pre-modern spatial ontology. While certainly not incorrect, since such an ontology is not replaced outright by the modern one (and that the modern/pre-modern ‘divide’ is itself a problematic trope to parse out history), Berque’s approach has the effect of portraying landscape as a timeless object that, at one point in history, becomes the hapless victim of the violence of the ‘CMWP’. In other words, landscape, for Berque, remains a constant; what changes is the way we humans understand it (either as an organic way of thinking or as an object of a disinterested, elitist and immoral gaze). Such a reading not only plays to an essentialist depiction of landscape, ignoring the political histories that helped give birth to the concept as we’ve inherited it, but, more crucially, it overlooks how landscape itself has also come to serve as a fundamental technology in the constitution of modern politics (what Berque might call ‘CMWP’).



fig47_Cassini-1744_Geometrical description of France-triangles

Casinni de Thury, Nouvelle carte de la Description géometrique de la France (1744)

Indeed, what is all too often left out of contemporary landscape discourses is the deeply political history of landscape: the modern history of this category is as much a history of a ‘disinterested’ aesthetic as it is a history of modern statecraft, and it is not by chance that the emergence of landscape coincides with that of territory.[7] Antoine Picon makes this co-production explicit, locating the origin of the modern concept of landscape in seventeenth century France as a direct consequence of the technological rationalization of its territory.[8] Emerging as a concept at the confluence of cartography, geography, politics, economy and gardening, landscape for Picon answered to the mounting demands for creating a space that could be scientifically measurable, economically calculable and controllable as a technology. In the wake of the great epistemological crises that rocked the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, shaking apart the remnants of the ‘pre-modern’ world in Europe, a new, urgent set of ideas occupied thinkers in their desperate attempts to impose order and stability in a world that suddenly seemed devoid of any. Turning away from a theologically ordained world to one organized by geometry and scientific reason, landscape, under the administration of Jean-Baptiste Colbert (minister of finances under Louis XIV), would be conceived as a geometrically disciplined space of controlled carrefours, boulevards and étoiles of circulation for the wealth and resources that would increasingly constitute the power of the state. Landscape presented itself to modern sovereign power as a space whose natural variation suddenly appeared empty of any inherent significance, and in turn opened itself up as a tableau of indifferent differences – a quantitative space available to the rational calculations and organizations of Raison d’État [State Reason].[9]

From the treatises of state theory of Giovanni Botero to those of Thomas Hobbes to the policies and programs of Colbert, it is landscape that plays an increasingly central role in the development of the early modern state and its new forms of power. Confirmation of this comes in part in the fact that the experiments carried out by the great French landscape gardener, André Le Nôtre, would singularly shape a century of infrastructural work executed by the Corps du génie, and later the École des ponts et chaussées, the state engineers who generalized practices of landscape, conceiving it in turn as a technological space measured by triangulation and modulated through standardized roads, bridges, canals and tunnels. Landscape under this new political rationality would become a space whose totality would be captured in evermore precise cartographic representations and whose borders would be heavily fortified by the military engineering of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. In other words, landscape, as a technology of territory, results when the space of the modern state is transformed both physically and epistemologically into a controlled space of circulation, extraction and resource distribution, governed by an increasingly infrastructural and economic form of knowledge. This knowledge and pedagogy by which to (re)produce landscape was not only firmly rooted in the core of the modern state: it was the means by which the state discovered its vast new powers.

Yet landscape is also a contested category. By the latter half of the eighteenth century with the growing confrontation between the state and its disenfranchised subjects, landscape again played a central role in the political reforms that rippled through the state, at once strengthening it as a modern paradigm around an evermore economic form of power, while at the same time laying the groundwork for its revolutionary transformation. Physiocracy would play a crucial role in this, advancing some of the first counter-state, macro-economic theories that shared a simple claim that all wealth has its origin in nature – in the landscape. Although the physiocrats’ influence in shaping policy was somewhat limited, their work would resonate more profoundly in social and cultural debates and subsequent economic discourses, and in particular with the engineers of the École des ponts et chaussées. Indeed, both the physiocrats and the engineers shared landscape as a common discursive object, allowing the adoption of the physiocratic tenets to the engineers’ practices of ‘improvement’: if the origin of wealth was in the landscape, and the source of its growth in its circulation, the physiocratic doctrine gave the clear outline for which engineers’ work could be constituted. It was no longer a matter, as it was for architects, of imitating nature, but rather of mapping it in order to ‘perfect’ it.[10] The drawings made by the engineers aimed to represent nature in its exactitude and totality. Like Francois Quesnay’s Tableau économique, these maps would become catalogues of nature itself.[11] ‘Reading nature’ meant creating a cartographic register of all productive lands, minerals and resources distributed throughout the land. The landscape appeared as an inventory of resources available to the state through its technical arm of engineers. Nature (as resources) and human artifice coincided in this category to form a self-justifying instrument of state-administered production. For wealth to grow, according to Richard Cantillon,[12] it had to be set into motion. Thus, mapping nature could lead to ‘perfecting’ it through systems of infrastructural communication, which is precisely how the work of the engineers came to correspond so tightly with the thought of the physiocrats.

Here we see how the language surrounding landscape, depicting it as an eternal source of natural truths, would assist in deliberately covering over the deeply political ambitions in the work of the physiocrats and the engineers they influenced. Their intervention, brief as it was, presented as a necessity the opening of state trade to a ‘world market’ based on laissez faire policies. The predominant view of nature they adopted saw freedom in economic terms, as the freedom of circulation, which they justified on the grounds of the natural, self-regulating mechanisms inherent to commerce, since commerce itself was nothing if not an expression of nature. Quesnay went furthest in this sense with his development of the ‘Droit naturel’, an immutable law which purported that all human actions within the course of physical events regulate themselves according to ‘moral law’.[13] Not only did landscape as a rhetorical device help to naturalize absolute political power, but it would provide the ideological cover under which a political reformism could take place, as Foucault has famously shown, in which an emergent diagram of biopower could take refuge,[14] concealed even from its protagonists behind a moralized, enlightened cloak of apolitical critique.[15]

Landscape, as both philosophical-aesthetic object of contemplation and the techno-political medium of territory, is the site of a great experimentation of a new, modern instrumental reason, a politics of prognosis and calculation, the medium of a great, artificial machine, and the source of its biological reconstitution in the nineteenth century. It is a concept at the core of modern politics and modern power eternally capable of doubling back on itself as a self-evident category of natural, apolitical truth. Like many others born of its time, it is a notion bound far more to conceptions of calculation, control and instrumental reason, than it would to denote the philosophical-aesthetic site of wonder that seems to occupy its more timeless meaning so common in contemporary architectural, art and urban discourses.




Edward Burtynsky, China Recycling #8, Plastic Toy Parts (2004)

It may be the enduring quality of modern landscape to continually double as both a surface onto which we project orders and the source of innumerable truths that, in turn, vindicate them. For much of the language we use today to speak about landscape seems to rehearse a similar motif in which landscape has been understood for three centuries: both a site of truth and the object of endless struggles over the ability to transform it; a category which opens itself to political instrumentality while constantly retreating to re-present itself through the narrow lens of eternal philosophical contemplation. Yet there is something equally as present in the contemporary moment that both Vilém Flusser and Peter Sloterdijk have referred to as ‘post-history’[16] which, today, allows us to speak of landscape as an archive rich in political history, while being completely unable to comprehend its political status in the present. Writing in the early 80s, Flusser asserts that, following Auschwitz, Western culture has fully realized its complete objectification of human life and has now entered into ‘post-history’ – a cybernetic world in which programming life becomes the only objective and the annihilation of life, the only outcome. Building on Flusser’s ideas, Sloterdijk’s more recent interrogation of contemporary capitalism as ‘world interior’ traces the history of globalization across millennia, whose contemporary outcome in neoliberal capitalism has produced a world space of interiorized comfort and security in which both politics and history have expired and space has been reduced to the fiction of its complete techno-economic scalability.[17] In a crystal palace that appears without an exterior, ‘post-history’ assembles itself as the creation of witnesses to a history (and thus a politics) that remains out of reach. Captured in popular tropes of ‘awareness’ or in the diligence of mapping and pedagogy of ‘making visible’, agency in the post-historical present appears as the transcoding of events, histories and politics into narrated communication – the controlled traffic of information: Design that bears a clearly post-historical agency helps to displace politics in its seemingly endless fascination with producing a spatial-material lexicon of good intentions.

If landscape today presents itself as an archive of social and cultural history, its status as an archive reveals its post-historical constitution since it presses the politics that its materials ‘speak’ of immediately into the aseptic frame of contemplative aesthetic consumption. We consume these politics because they are, as such, impossible to engage otherwise. Indeed, such a contemplative understanding of landscape invites us to comprehend our present by innocently cataloging the histories handed down to us. Landscape thus becomes the site on which a perception of a world bequeathed, yet never fully belonging to us forms – a world whose ‘objective’ innocence ironically helps to deprive it of vibrancy. Through this neo-realist, found-object past, an accidental modernism emerges in the implied, yet indirect, rejection of history as anything other than an archive of the evidence of past wrongs. This quasi-modernism constructs its break with the past not around a particular agenda to propose new and politicized imaginaries of worlds to come, but instead trades on its utopian innocence through which it discovered itself in the first place, giving way to a practice of radical pragmatism that cleverly avoids the possibility of constructing something we might one day call ‘history’. It is here where landscape-as-archive converts itself instantly into landscape-as-program, mobilizing the past it made visible as a post-historical, apolitical system of relational management and the celebration of complex human and non-human entanglements. As Kate Orff has said, “Climate change requires us to imagine this different scale of action, to generate a magnified understanding of the interconnectedness of systems and processes, to be science based, and to scale up our work to effect larger behavioral modifications.” Yet precisely by avoiding the perils of ‘history’, such a pragmatism remains unable to comprehend the very problems that its inquiries perpetually unearth: the political ecology of capitalism, the planetary politics of Empire, the biopolitics of infrastructure, the violence of urbanization and of course the long, ongoing history of landscape itself as a political technology. It is perhaps this that motivates Orff to imagine that the politics of global capitalism that produced climate change are somehow best confronted by up-scaling of cybernetic behavioral modification, while never capturing the political implications of such a proposal.

Ecocybernetic buoy designed to transmit details about water activity to cell phones of community members who subscribe SCAPE

SCAPE Landscape Architecture, eco-cybernetic buoys, Rebuild By Design, New York City  (2015)

What of landscape’s representational capacity? While such landscapes of post-history may not be able to effectively engage the politics they uncover, this does not mean that landscape has become an apolitical category. Far from it. Landscape across discourses has become a prominent medium in which we could say a new monumentality of post-history has begun to take shape: memorials to past atrocities, gardens of hope and peace, monuments of the victims of past (historical) politics, an iconography of previous ecological disasters… Contemporary landscape is a strange brew of the pragmatic with the semiotic, the scientific with the allegorical, the infrastructural with the representational. It suggests a practice as much engaged with the biological realism of plants, soils and hydrological infrastructure as it is with constructing a new collective symbolism.

peace garden

Dundas Roncesvalles, Peace Garden  (2016)

However, while its symbolism may seem to speak to the causes it is called upon to address (war, violence, destruction, etc), it is perhaps not here where this collective imaginary is constituted. Indeed, the symbolic gestures in many landscape practices appear as markers for its otherwise overtly pragmatic engagement with plants, systems and infrastructures. It is as if the symbolism it often employs to address historical events can only resonate in a post-historical world through the persistence and immediacy of landscape-as-technology: Landscape answers to impossibility of history with well-meaning adjectives of systems: dynamic, relational, productive, flexible, adaptive, open, contextual, inclusive… At a collective level, landscape congeals in a kind of aesthetic of the horizontal, which today serves more as a pedagogical medium that binds the status of infrastructure with collective socio-cultural understandings of the world. It is the milieu that, in its intimate connection to a botanical nature, trades on its ability to sustain life as a purely biological category – a life emptied of its historical and political consistency and thus also its subjective agency. Landscape, as such, risks becoming a medium on which an accidental iconography of the biopolitical-cybernetic present will take root.

StatenIsland _Water Portal Guide_5

SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Eco-cybernetic landscape, Rebuild by Design, New York City (2015)



If the practice of landscape today is trapped in the perpetual curation of its archival present, how can we reconcile its status as, at once, bio- and geopolitically entangled while also drained of its ability to promote a meaningful political agency? A clue to this may come from the notion of archive itself, a term whose root – arkhein – means both to begin and to rule; the archive as source and command. Practices that employ a deliberately political use of an archive to understand landscape reveal a far different way in which landscape, instead of foreclosing the political to a bygone era, relentlessly reconstitute it in the immediate present. The artist/activist collective World of Matter, for example, see landscape as just such an archive whose contents never stand as a source of contemplation, but are mobilized to force open a host of political debates. Ursula Biemann’s Black Sea Files (2005) for example, is a project that follows the construction of the BTC Oil Pipeline connecting the vast reserves of oil in the Caspian Basin to the global, sea-based network of its circulation. Biemann situates crude oil as an abstract resource in the larger political and social ecologies constituted by the material construction of this massive corridor, marking relations between the subjects of political struggles it produces (oil workers, sex workers, farmers) with the spaces and processes of its construction. Together, they depict the entanglements from which new forms of activism have emerged.By understanding the landscapes of materials, resources, infrastructures and lives they examine as eminently political ecologies, the archives they constitute are not only a means to frame a landscape politically, but, in their very presentation, they deliberately outline an activism by which to achieve a certain outcome.

Image01a_UrsulaBiemann_Black Sea Files_oil train

Image01b_UrsulaBiemann_Black Sea Files_transit route sex work

Ursula Biemann, stills from Black Sea Files (2005). Images courtesy of the artist.

Similarly, the Forensic Architecture project led by Eyal Weizman[18] situates landscape as an overtly political category, thus denaturalizing it and allowing it in turn to enter into a public, political and legal forum as a tool used deliberately to ground the specificities of a given event and marshal them toward a political outcome. Lastly, the late artist Chantal Akerman’s recent installation Now (2015) takes landscape as its primary object, capturing it in five, multi-channel, symmetrically arrayed video projections of unnamed, yet contested desert landscapes in the Middle East, shot seemingly from quickly moving vehicles. A rumbling soundtrack of movement, gunshots, explosions and screeching accompanies the installation. At the center of which, a floor projection depicts an image vaguely reminiscent of a bed cover, juxtaposing the withdrawal afforded by domesticity with the violence of human displacement and conflict. Landscape here becomes a device that speaks not of itself, but of an immanent and ominous violence, drawing the viewer into the immediacy of ongoing warfare. It becomes a signature not of the truths we associate with a moralized ‘nature’ and its apparent loss, but of desperation and urgency of conflict in the immediate present. All of which focus on landscape only to destabilize it from its philosophico-aesthetic status of distanced contemplation.


Chantal Akerman, Now (2015)

In all of these cases, landscape is never the neutral bearer of a detached history, and thus always carries the inscription of a discursive and political position. Agency appears by allowing landscape to remain a tool (an archive) of power and a stage of human conflict. Its objects, materials and relations are then able to curate a directly political position. These practices offer one kind of possibility for landscape to draw from its inherently political consistency in the formation of practices of vibrant activism. Yet surely another kind of agency must engage landscape as the source of a new political imaginary – one not only capable of resisting dominant political forces, but of proposing radically new realities. Why remain so timidly fixated on preserving the conditions of the present (sustainability, resilience, etc.),[19] when it is in our very capacity to imagine the many worlds that exist within and beyond the anti-political landscapes of the post-historical present?



Special thanks to Ursula Biemann for her thoughtful comments and discussions and for supplying the original stills used here.

[1] Corner, James. 2006. “Terra Fluxus.” In The Landscape Urbanism Reader, ed. Charles Waldheim, 20-33. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press

[2] Bennet, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.

[3] Ibid., p. viii.

[4] An exhibition held at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee from March 26 – June 13, 2015. See: Accessed 20 February 2016.

[5] Berque, Augustin. 2013. Thinking Through Landscape. London: Routledge, p 2.

[6] This point is made clear in Olwig, Robert. 2002. Landscape, Nature, and the Body Politic: From Britain’s Renaissance to America’s New World. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

[7] For more on the notion of territory, see Elden, Stuart. 2013. The Birth of Territory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[8] Picon, Antoine. 2009. French Architects and Engineers in the Age of Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 100-101.

[9] On the notion of Raison d’État, see Foucault, Michel. 2009. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-1978. Eds. Michel Senellart, François Ewald, Alessandro Fontana and Arnold I. Davidson. Trans. Graham Burchell. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

[10] Picon. French Architects and Engineers in the Age of Enlightenment. p 109.

[11] Picon, Antoine. French Architects and Engineers in the Age of Enlightenment. p 217.

[12] See Cantillon, Richard. ca. 1730. Essai sur la nature du commerce en général. Paris.

[13] Schumpeter, Joseph. 1954. History of Economic Analysis. New York City: Oxford University Press. p 229.

[14] See lecture 2 (18 January, 1978) of Foucault, Michel. 2009. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France.

[15] See Koselleck, Reinhart. 1988. Critique and Crisis: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

[16] See Flusser, Vilém. 2013. Post-History. Trans. Rodrigo Maltez Novaes. Minneapolis: Univocal, and Sloterdijk, Peter. 2013. In the World Interior of Capital: For a Philosophical Theory of Globalization. Trans Wieland Hoban, Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press.

[17] See Löwenhaupt Tsing, Anna. 2012. “On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales” Common Knowledge 18(3): 505-524

[18] Forensic Architecture is a research agency led by Eyal Weizman based out of Goldsmiths College, University of London (

[19] Adams, Ross E. 2010. “Longing for a greener present.” Radical Philosophy 163 (September/October): 2-7.

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