far-distant-countries:

Over on my (even and ever still) experimental unbook site, I posted “Sigils of Imagination” where I explore my engagement with personal territory, my own landscapes. Inspired in part by the coursework I had at the time and my own outside reading of John Brinckerhoff Jackson, including Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, I developed a narrative of my personal travel and compared that with various representations of the landscape where that engagement occurred. Within that paper I suggest an addition of “imaginal landscape” to go with the set of “political landscape” and “vernacular landscape” developed in the work of Jackson.

Personally I’ve been flirting with the notion of trying to engage myself in writing about “travel, pilgrimage and magical retirement to far-distant countries, in exterior, interior and liminal landscapes” as part of what I hope to develop as a group blog, a collective of personal narratives, at Pilgrimage to Far-Distant Countries.

Do you know of any examples or have personal narratives of these things I’ve mentioned?

Manufactured Landscapes

"It’s not a simple right or wrong. It needs a whole new way of thinking."

"MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of ‘manufactured landscapes’—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

In the spirit of such environmentally enlightening sleeper-hits as AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and RIVERS AND TIDES, MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES powerfully shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, without simplistic judgments or reductive resolutions.” [via]

General Orders No. 9

"What should the new map look like?"

"LOGLINE

An experimental documentary that contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South as potent metaphors of personal and collective destiny.

TAGLINE

One last trip down the rabbit hole before it’s paved over.

SYNOPSIS

Awarded for its visionary cinematography, General Orders No. 9 breaks from the constraints of the documentary form as it contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South.

The stunning culmination of over eleven years’ work from first time writer-director Robert Persons, General Orders No. 9 marries experimental filmmaking with an accessible, naturalist sensibility to tell the epic story of the clash between nature and man’s progress, and reaches a bittersweet reconciliation all its own.

Told entirely with images, poetry, and music, General Orders No. 9 is unlike any film you have ever seen. A story of maps, dreams, and prayers, it’s one last trip down the rabbit hole before it’s paved over.” [via]

Yet, to research activism, without encountering the feeling what it means to be active and to be political when what you might uncover has a transformative effect about how you think about the world is something worthy of a headfuck. You are within an area, and therefore a network where the politics that you assess and debate are happening at the very same time, and quite rapidly within your own system. It is impossible to remain outside of it as to be outside of is to never understand what motivates somebody to participate within these online spaces, the hope that people might feel where their messages might get out their to a wider ‘audience’ than their own communities or the optimism subscribed to being able to take a platform and use it in a way that is not often considered to be ‘correct.’