Passage #347: 13 April 2016

The Ridge and Valley Set

We like to think that we are working with the land sometimes: when we follow its contours; when we take shelter in a storm; when we arrive at a peak and see our path in context. In the contemporary vision of the urban landscape, increasingly governed by flows of social and financial capital, the land itself is seen as rather dull and inert by comparison, so to say that we are working "with" the land might seem almost animistic.

But the effects of the land persist. We still feel the clarity of the ridge, the stillness of the valley and the ambiguous sensation at the point of transition from one regime to the other. If we are going to anthropomorphize, we might just as well say that the land is working upon us. And should the ridges be flattened and the valleys filled, what then? Will the land still work, and will we?

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