November 20, 2014

02_Things and object 

Cournon d’Auvergne is located in a region connected with nature. Two national parks protect the volcanic mountains of human influence.

According to Jane Bennett, things have power. A kind of craving power. This power engage the consommation potential.

During the industrial revolution, at the begining of this massive production, Henry Thoreau decided to leave the civilized world to live in osmosis with nature. He developed an ecological point of view of space transformation. At the opposite of anthropocentrism concept, Thoreau places human in the environnemental context.

My posthuman landscape (Cournon d’Auvergne) placed in his lush nature, is not unscathed to this « thing power ». Cournon is connected by water pipeline to the most important industry of the region since the beginning of the 19 century, financial lobbies seem also have influenced the city urban sprawl.

Things are mostly thought in the way to facilitate life, to do it more confortable and participate to an human interconnection. But as explain Jane Bennett nowadays, new is the power and generates trash. The attractivity of financially accessible new villa were participated to the sprawl in the 70’s.. The industrial part of the city has grown in the same time. But this massive suburbian occupation didn’t continue to be attractive for the new arrivant. The shape of the city without centralities proportionally to its surface and without soul, give too expensive villas. Nowadays, in the industrial district of Cournon some commercial sheds are abandoned, and can not be reused for reasons of pollution.

The collage shows part of the actual industriel area mixted to the Hashima island. In the middle the « CAMIF » building abandoned with a red panel warning about the «death danger of the SEVESO area». A part of the city was affected by massive yield (represented in the collage by other industrial compagny). In association the Hashima island is nowadays totally abandoned. This japanese ghost town seems to be in between science fiction and reality. This island has been overbuilt until 1974 in favour of mining activity. It was the most density of the world. From the end of coal deposit, the industry collapsed and the inhabitants moved completely, leaving an empty damaged space nibbled by nature.

Which kind of second life for this area ? Trash are not any more a « thing » question. Buildings are used as transitory as well. Beyond the buildings trash utilisation, cities follow the same misuse.

/Marie Delfau

Things and object :

The Force of Things: Steps toward an Ecology of Matter Author(s): Jane Bennett

Political Theory, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Jun., 2004), pp. 347-372


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