The Nature of Place: Land Art/Land Use

The first LHI Art-Sci Symposium, “The Nature of Place: Land Art/Land Use,” will be held October 24-25, 2009 at the San Antonio Toyota Manufacturing Plant Visitors Center located directly across the Medina River from the 1200 acre Land Heritage Institute site in the southern-most sector of San Antonio. The event will be FREE and open to all.

As defined by Land Arts of the American West, an academic program offered jointly by the University of New Mexico and Texas Tech University, “Land Art” is:

“the intersection of geologic forces shaping land with the complex cultural and ecological actions defining landscape. It connects the large array of human responses to specific places across time. In this context, land art and earthworks include everything from petroglyphs to roads, dwellings, and monuments as well as traces of those actions. Land Arts examines gestures both small and grand, directing attention from potsherd, cigarette butt, and mark in the sand, to human settlements, monumental artworks, and military-industrial projects like hydroelectric dams and decommissioned airfields.”

Land Art of the American West will be bringing its 2009 class to live on the LHI land for five days concurrent with the LHI Art-Sci Symposium concluding their 2-month tour of Southwestern US land art sites. READ THEIR FIELD REPORTS ON THE ROAD AT Land Arts of the American West.

Land Heritage Institute (LHI) interprets, maintains and develops 1,200 acres of open space on the Medina River as a living “land museum” preserving archeological, cultural, educational, historical and recreational resources for residents of–and visitors to–south Texas.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is the Los Angeles based “lead agency in the establishment of the American Land Museum, a network of landscape exhibition sites being developed across the United States.”

The CLUI book, OVERLOOK, “reflects on how the nation’s lands have been parceled out, put to use, and understood. Seeking out ‘the unusual and the exemplary,’ the CLUI serves as a kind of curator of the American landscape, a tour guide through ghost towns and show caves, past soap and shoelace factories, to open pit mines, casinos, landfills, and art installations, to the dry lakes where atomic bombs were tested and the ersatz villages where rescue workers train for toxic spills and other disasters. Sites like these rarely appear on street maps, but the Center believes that they are windows into the American psyche, landmarks that manifest the rich ambiguities of the nation’s cultural history.”

About the 2009 LHI Art-sci Symposium

LHI texture photos by Jason Winn, Fisher★Heck Architects