November 20, 2014

03_Containers and matter

Before the 60’s Cournon was a small village producing wine. The main activities were linked to nature and landscape. The surrounding area is known for being one of the most fertile grounds, in the heart of the mountain, the plain was full of fields rich in silt.

In the begining of the XXth century, the rising of the main manufactures, the internationnal brand Michelin, and the democratisation of automobiles changed this relation with the nature. People found advantage going working in the city.

This manufacturing could be described as an aggressive tool who supplanted this relation between man and local supply. According to Heidegger and following the Zoe Sofia domestic survey, we can adapt the reasoning at the urban scale. Also it’s possible to compare the plain of the « limagne » as a jug. An unobtrusive maternal container (as an ustensil) who has been supplied by the massive Michelin industry (as an apparatus) by the way of the cars infrastructure network (as utilities). As is described in the following collage.

In 1977 the local urban planing of Cournon area was speaking about abundant land reserves. Many projects have been built nibbling even more the land. Nowadays with intensive agriculture no one can say that sprawl is more invasive than agriculture. The bio diversity is missing outside of the national parks. Cultivated lands have not a real value in the eyes of the urban planer.

In 1984 the new urban planning had realised that the local economic growth (the apparatus power) would not follow a regular way, and tried to minimise the idea of available land. Some instructions have been given to reuse the built ground.

However, close to the industrial area new projects are planned in rural fields, in spite of the abandoned buildings. The objective is to create new economical attractivity and beef up the apparatus. Only a small biodiversity area still is an argument to slow down a bridge project destined to extend the connexion (utilities) between the metropole and farther surrounding villages. It seems to be the last rampart to protect the urban extension.

In only 30 years the figure of the lands was totally changed. This comparaison seem to go in total accord with the unobtrusive ustensil theory of Zoë Sofia. As with the image of the Koala « no tree, no me », which destroys the environment destroys itself. The issue could be : does it apparatus and utilitie still if there are no utensils ?

/Marie Delfau

Containers and matter:

Zoe Sofia, ‘Container Technologies’ in Hypatia Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2000, pp. 181-200.


One Response to “LAND”

  1. Filip Mesko Says:

    On the topic of infinite urbanisation, which is indeed very interesting, see Pier Vittorio Aureli’s book The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, in which he (as others have done before him) connects urbanisation as the embodiment of capitalism’s inherent mechanism of infinite expansion. Here, the question of land value becomes essential as real estate becomes the “dump” of excess capital. I think David Harvey has written on this too. Dr. Frichot definitely knows more; please save me here!

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