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Reclaiming aesthetics

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Title:
Reclaiming aesthetics
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Davenport, Katherine ( author )
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English
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Subjects / Keywords:
Reclamation of land ( lcsh )
Abandoned mined lands reclamation ( lcsh )
Landscape architecture ( lcsh )
Abandoned mined lands reclamation ( fast )
Landscape architecture ( fast )
Reclamation of land ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Review:
By studying post mining sites and reclamation practices in the western United States this thesis suggests an expanded role for aesthetics in reclamation practice. Looking to history policy extraction processes impacts and reclamation efforts an initial survey of the existing terrain of altered and reclaimed landscapes reveals the tendency for reclamation to prioritize the landscape s ability to serve a safe and productive human use. This emphasis tends to neglect or exclude ways in which these sites are already claimed by history memory sensory experience non-human processes and more. Relying on landscape architectural history and theory this thesis traces the capacity of aesthetics to construct knowledge about the world through sensory perception to act as a critical and interpretive framework and to work in combination with other frameworks to formulate problems and solutions in the landscape that acknowledge multiple meanings and values for landscape. Bringing forth existing and emerging methods for approaching site and representation in landscape architecture this research suggests ways in which these might reveal and find potential in alteration.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado Denver.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references.
General Note:
Department of Landscape Architecture
Statement of Responsibility:
by Katherine Davenport.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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930295511 ( OCLC )
ocn930295511

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Full Text
RECLAIMING AESTHETICS
by
KATHERINE DAVENPORT
B.A., Colorado College, 2005
A thesis submitted to the
faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Landscape Architecture
2015


2015
KATHERINE DAVENPORT
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


This thesis for the Master of Landscape Architecture degree by
Katherine Davenport
has been approved for the
Landscape Architecture Program
by
Joern Langhorst, Chair
Ann Komara
Anthony Mazzeo
Date:
mi
July 24, 2015


Davenport, Katherine (MLA, Landscape Architecture)
Reclaiming Aesthetics
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Joern Langhorst.
ABSTRACT
By studying post-mining sites and reclamation practices in the western United States, this
thesis suggests an expanded role for aesthetics in reclamation practice. Looking to history, policy,
extraction processes, impacts, and reclamation efforts, an initial survey of the existing terrain of
altered and reclaimed landscapes reveals the tendency for reclamation to prioritize the landscapes
ability to serve a safe and productive human use. This emphasis tends to neglect or exclude ways in
which these sites are already claimed by history, memory, sensory experience, non-human processes
and more. Relying on landscape architectural history and theory, this thesis traces the capacity of
aesthetics to construct knowledge about the world through sensory perception, to act as a critical
and interpretive framework, and to work in combination with other frameworks to formulate
problems and solutions in the landscape that acknowledge multiple meanings and values for
landscape. Bringing forth existing and emerging methods for approaching site and representation in
landscape architecture, this research suggests ways in which these might reveal and find potential in
alteration.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved by: Joern Langhorst
IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION
Background........................................................................1
Research questions................................................................5
Research aims.....................................................................5
II. METHODOLOGY
Research methods..................................................................7
Research paradigms................................................................9
Narrative........................................................................10
Dialectic........................................................................12
Visual methods...................................................................13
III. CONTEXT
Altering landscape...............................................................15
Reclaiming landscape.............................................................23
CASE: Summitville Mine...........................................................35
CASE: French Gulch...............................................................38
Claims and counterclaims.........................................................39
IV. THEORY
Which theory?....................................................................52
Art / Science....................................................................53
Tracing aesthetics...............................................................55
Romantic, Picturesque, Sublime...................................................60
The Post-Industrial Sublime......................................................64
v


Eco-revelatory aesthetics and toxic beauty........................................66
New Topographies..................................................................68
CASE: Vitondale Reclamation Park..................................................71
V. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
Reclaiming aesthetics.............................................................74
The agency of representation......................................................77
Methods and approaches for reclamation............................................79
a. The Dialectical Landscape..............................................79
b. The Topological Landscape..............................................82
VI. CONCLUSION
Reclamation as a critical cultural practice.......................................86
Politicizing aesthetics...........................................................87
BIBLIOGRAPHY..............................................................................89
VI


LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Research paradigms governing the process of inquiry..................................9
Table 2. Dialectical arrangement of terms relevant to the inquiry.............................13
Table 3. Mining-related Superfund sites in Colorado...........................................27
Table 4. Reclamation design strategies........................................................34
Table 5. Reclamation phases for Summitville Mine..............................................37
vii


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Map of areas impacted by mining activity in Colorado..............................2
Figure 2. Site of production, site of the image, site of audiencing.........................14
Figure 3. Acid mine drainage diagram........................................................22
Figure 4. Open pit gold and silver mine, Summitville, CO....................................38
Figure 5. Surface mining, French Gulch, CO..................................................39
Figure 6. Open pit molybdenum mine, Climax, CO..............................................41
Figure 7. Bench steps, Climax, CO...........................................................42
Figure 8. Overview of Climax Mine and Robinson Mine, CO.....................................43
Figure 9. Robinson Mine tailings impoundment, CO............................................44
Figure 10. Seeping at Robinson mine, CO.....................................................45
Figure 11. Summitville Mine, CO.............................................................46
Figure 12. Idardo Mine, CO..................................................................47
Figure 13. Ute Creek, CO....................................................................48
Figure 14. Seeping near Ute Creek, CO.......................................................49
Figure 15. AMD near Ute Creek, CO............................................................50
Figure 16. Open pit gold mine, Cripple Creek/Victor, CO......................................51
Figure 17. Photomontage of water treatment concept..........................................72
Figure 18. Plan for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility.....................72
Figure 19. Diagram for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility..................73
Figure 20. Robert Smithson, Project for Tailings, 1973....................................81
Figure 21. Sigirino Depot point-cloud model, Christophe Girot................................85
Figure 22. Monte Ferrino point-cloud section, Christophe Girot...............................85
viii


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Background
In a beginning Landscape design studio in fall of 2012, we were tasked with addressing a
former aggregate mining site that was in the process of being restored as a riparian corridor, Lake,
and native grass prairie. During an earLy site anaLysis phase I researched the mining processes that
had taken pLace: extraction, sorting, crushing, mounding and transporting. I aLso read accounts of the
transformations envisioned for post-mining restoration. The open pit wouLd become a scenic Lake
providing habitat for birds and pLant Life and a pLace for the nearby community to interact with
nature. As I Learned more about the pLans for the sites restoration, I began to feeL hesitant and
conflicted about this form of constructed nature invoked to conceaL scars Left by the mining process.
IncreasingLy curious about current approaches to site restoration and recLamation, I became even
more interested in the attitudes or motivations driving these Landscape interventions. Crafting a
research inquiry from this generaL interest, an initiaL set of questions arose: Why do we recLaim
aLtered Landscapes? What does this process entaiL? How does mining and recLamation construe vaLue
and meaning for Landscape? What methods, approaches, and attitudes are currentLy driving
recLamation projects? And, what roLe do Landscape architects pLay in these projects?
This research thesis focuses on post-mining sites and recLamation practices in the western
United States, a region that has been particuLarLy impacted my mining activity. As ALan Berger has
demonstrated in his book Reclaiming the American West, mining has decisiveLy and irrevocabLy
aLtered the American western Landscape. The scope of impact is startLing with more than 200,000
abandoned and active mines covering miLLions of acres of Land. Berger estimates that by the year
1


2250, the West will see reclamation projects claim over 100,000 square miles of land.1 This marks a
significant landscape intervention by any standard and will draw increasing attention from a number
of disciplines.
Figure 1. Map of areas impacted by mining activity in Colorado.
Altered landscapes and reclamation practices in the western United States can reveal much
about human culture and the way we perceive and value landscape. Staged from a landscape
architectural perspective, this thesis researches mining and reclamation as they currently construe
value and meaning for landscape and applies this perspective in formulating methods and
1 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
2


approaches for design interventions in post-mining Landscapes. Connecting attitudes embedded in
mining and reclamation projects to their broader cultural or historical context can facilitate a fuller
understanding of our position toward these Landscapes. This allows for an assessment of what these
practices are currently addressing in the Landscape and what they are neglecting or obscuring. This
also aids the formulation and critique of design criteria for reclamation projects.
The Context chapter surveys the ground upon which the research inquiry is staged by
identifying the particular processes acting upon post-mining Landscapes referencing mining history,
extraction techniques, ecological impact, and policy incentives. It then explores reclamation as it is
currently practiced acknowledging regulatory policies, design strategies, and underlying values. It
concludes with a deliberate sampling of precedent studies in Colorado to illustrate findings and
Locate practices in context. This chapter functions as a summary of mining and reclamation projects
in the western United States, illustrating both general trends and particular methods and
approaches.
The Theory chapter explores post-mining sites and reclamation practices as situated within
broader cultural and historic frameworks. Literature in Landscape architectural history and theory
describes our conception of Landscape as tethered to a succession of cultural phases ultimately
Leading to a crisis of meaning. According to several authors, a major contributing factor to this crisis
of meaning is our separation of the arts and sciences. Within Landscape architectural practice in
general and reclamation projects in particular, the tendency to prioritize ecoLogic and economic
modeling and to neglect aesthetic and experiential aspects of site is further evidence of this
separation. Approaching aesthetics as a framework that has shifted over time, this chapter
references the reduction of aesthetics to a surficiaL or stylistic category rather than a framework
connecting perception, experience and meaning. Asserting the capacity of aesthetics to act as a
critical and interpretive framework allowing us to interpret experiences, construct knowledge, and
3


assign meaning, this chapter frames the argument for a both/and approach to ecological and
aesthetic models in reclamation rather than an either/or approach.
Delving more deeply into Picturesque aesthetics, an aesthetic framework of foremost
relevance and importance to the inquiry, the Theory chapter traces its major tenets from their
emergence in the 18th century to their present influence. A review of existing scholarship on the re-
emergence of Picturesque aesthetics in contemporary landscape architecture facilitates a study of
how these tenets operate in post-industrial sites. Further exploration of the notion of toxic beauty
and eco-revelatory aesthetics in partnership with representational media in landscape photography
and landscape architecture aids the analysis and interpretation to follow.
The Analysis and Interpretation chapter centers on forming connections across areas of
landscape architectural history and theory as they apply to altered landscapes and reclamation
projects. Identifying a role for landscape aesthetics in reclamation practice, this chapter suggests
that we reclaim aesthetics as a framework capable of addressing underserved aspects of altered
landscapes. Emphasizing representation as an active agent, the potency of aesthetics extends not
only to the design of the landscape itself but also the way we represent those landscapes through
various media. In order to ground this claim, two practitioners or ways of working are presented here
to illustrate the specific ways in which landscape architecture might approach altered landscapes in
innovative and generative ways.
In conclusion, landscape architecture is called upon as a discipline and practice capable of
making meaningful contributions to reclamation projects. While ecology and engineering currently
take the lead in reclamation projects, landscape architects have the potential to lend valuable
insight and contribution as profession that applies both aesthetic and scientific principles to the
research, design and management of natural and built environments.2 Landscape architects have the
2 Walter Rogers. 2011. The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to
Starting and Running Your Own Firm. Ploboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p. 365.
4


potential to join aesthetic and ecological paradigms in innovative and meaningful ways and as a
discipline increasingly suffering from lack of engagement in larger cultural matters,3 such projects
could also prove a potent point of re-connection and recovery for landscape architecture.
One major assumption of this research is that ecology and economy have become the
dominant lenses through which we approach altered sites, perhaps to the exclusion of other lenses.
While this assumption is substantiated by research findings, it is a generalization and by no means
conclusive. Another major assumption of this research is that aesthetics can operate as a critical and
interpretive framework, and that this framework would be capable of functioning alongside
ecological and economic performance modeling to render a fuller understanding of and
consideration for of altered landscapes.
Research questions
How does mining shape landscape both as a physical place and as an idea?
What is reclamation, how is it currently practiced, and what motives drive these efforts?
What role does aesthetics currently serve in reclamation projects and how might this role
expand?
Can we formulate an approach to reclamation that reveals and finds potential in alteration?
What methods would allow for such an approach?
Research aims
To critically consider reclamation as it is currently practiced, examining the ways it
construes value and meaning for landscape.
To study our approach to altered and reclaimed landscapes within broader cultural and
historic frameworks.
3 James Corner. 1999. Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice. In Recovering
Landscape edited by James Corner. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
5


To identify ways in which reclamation might further engage neglected or obscured aspects
of site.
To apply general theoretical frameworks in landscape architecture to the particular
investigation of Colorado landscapes altered by mining.
To make connections across areas of landscape architectural theory and reclamation
practice through research and analysis.
6


CHAPTER II
METHODOLOGY
Research methods
Qualitative research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. Qualitative
research consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible. These
practices transform the world.4
This is a qualitative research project focused on critical and interpretive approaches to
collecting, describing, analyzing and interpreting data. I consult primary and secondary sources to
describe mining and reclamation history, policy and current practices. I use deliberate sampling5 to
present a selection of precedent studies illustrating how general practices apply in particular
projects. I consult a broad body of literature in landscape architectural history and theory to locate
underlying conceptual frameworks relevant to the inquiry. I use concept mapping and diagramming
to explore the nature of potential relationships between concepts, data, and areas of existing theory.
Visual and textual analysis centers on identifying narrative threads and other organizational
structures by overlaying data. Visual methods facilitate a connection between aesthetic frameworks
and visual data.
Analysis focuses primarily on identifying current methods and approaches in reclamation
practice, assessing what those methods and approaches are capable of addressing in the landscape,
and suggesting methods and approaches from the field of landscape architecture that may be
capable of addressing reclamation in new ways. This research draws extensively from landscape
architectural history and theory to contextualize research within the field and discipline and to make
connections across areas of existing theory. It also emphasizes the potential for knowledge to be
4 Norman Denzin and Y. Lincoln, eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. SAGE:
Thousand Oaks, p. 3.
5 Joseph A. Maxwell. 2004. Qualitative Research Design: an interactive approach. Applied social
research methods series. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, p. 72.
7


revisited, reinterpreted, or regenerated by connecting general theoretical concepts to particular site
investigations, in this case post-mining sites in the western United States.
Methods by type
Data collection:
Historical Research (Mining history) texts, maps, photographs, interviews, archival data.
Foundational research (Theory) collection of literature to frame and support analysis and
interpretation.
Precedent studies reclamation practices in context.
Data analysis:
Textual analysis identifying narrative/dialectic structure, cultural and historic situation.
Visual methods Gillian Rose, Visual Methodolgies.
Concept Mapping Joseph Novak.
Data interpretation:
Observer impression site observations, connections observed across theory and data
analysis.
Methods by chapter
Context:
Historical research
Deliberate sampling
Precedent studies
Theory:
Foundational research
Textual analysis
Analysis and Interpretation:
Reveal, critique, overlay
8


Form connections across findings
Conclusion:
Contextualize findings
Articulate implications for practice
Research paradigms
Referencing the research paradigms identified by Yvonna Lincoln and Egon Guba in
Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences, I approach this research
through traditions developed in literary theory and textual analysis. Critical theory and
Table 1. Research paradigms governing the process of inquiry.
Item Critical Theory Constructivism
Ontology Historical realism virtual reality shaped by social, political, cultural, economic, ethnic, and gender Relativism local and specific constructed realities values; crystallized over time
Epistemology Transactional/subjectivist; value-mediated findings Transactional/subjectivist/created findings
Methodology Dialogic/dia lectical Hermeneutical/dialectical
Inquiry Aim critique and transformation; restitution and .... understanding; reconstruction emancipation
Nature of knowledge , . individual reconstructions coalescing around structural/historical insights consensus
Knowledge accumulation . ... more informed and sophisticated reconstructions; historical revisionism; generalization by similarity vicarious experience
Validity historical situatedness; erosion of ignorance and ,. .... trustworthiness and authenticity misapprehension; action stimulus
Ethics . ,. intrinsic: process tilt toward revelation; special intrinsic: moral tilt toward revelation problems
9


constructivism structure the research inquiry and the methods, aims, and underlying assumptions.
Historical insight, critique and dialogue are emphasized as primary mechanisms for the continual
construction and reconstruction of knowledge.
Narrative
This research reveals how mining and reclamation not only impact landscape but also
construct meanings and values for landscape. In order to conduct an assessment of reclamations
methods and approaches, it is necessary to identify the narratives that shape and underlie altered
and reclaimed landscapes. Narrative according to Susan Chase is meaning making through the
shaping or ordering of experience.6 There is no single narrative that encompasses all meanings and
values for landscape from all points of view. In order to research a subject as broad and complex as
mining and reclamation, it is necessary to not only identify primary approaches and narratives but to
also identify what is not being addressed.
Narrative is central to the way we read, understand, and interpret landscape and includes a
consideration of larger cultural ideas and historical situatedness. This thesis looks to narrative
structure as one primary way of arranging and interpreting data, which allows for meaning making
through the shaping or ordering of experience. In one sense, this research tracks the narratives that
mining and reclamation practices construct about landscape. In another sense, the altered and
reclaimed landscape itself can be read as a narrative about human culture describing the way we
conceive of and value landscape. Additionally, as an investigation of methods and approaches for
reclamation practice, this research structures a narrative describing how particular methods of site
investigation and representation allow for particular problems and solutions to be identified in the
landscape.
6 Norman Denzin and Y. Lincoln eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. SAGE:
Thousand Oaks, p. 415.
10


According to historian William Cronon, narratives shape our histories and orient us in the
world. He references two diverging accounts of the same event to demonstrate how our narratives
are shaped by memory, experience, and interpreted meaning. Narrative in this sense is never a
neutral, factual account but rather the result of a process of inclusion and exclusion mediated by the
narrator. Cronon identifies that while narrative may not be intrinsic to events in the physical
universe, it is fundamental to the way we humans organize our experience.7 He also acknowledges
a post-structuralist view, which goes further to argue that narrative is not only a social construction
but a suffocating framework we impose upon a reality that bears little or no relation to the plots we
use in organizing our experience.8
Positivist frameworks targeting empirical, objective, universal, or reproducible methods and
findings craft research inquiries to arrive at a single true or correct conclusion. Critical theory and
constructivism argue that such an approach silences too many voices. These researchers seek
alternative methods for evaluating their work, including verisimilitude, emotionality, personal
responsibility, an ethic of caring, political praxis, multivoiced texts, dialogues with subjects, and so
on. While this research thesis does not presume to adequately serve all these arenas, it does
emphasize narrative as a collection of stories rather than one single version of truth or reality.
Analysis primarily works from an overlay in which these layers interact to reveal threads or
connections across different aspects of the inquiry. Emphasizing layered or multiple outcomes does
not allow analysis to function entirely without constraint, however. While analysis centers on
revealing and interpreting meaning through narrative structure, interpretation relies on a
7 A position established by Martin Heidegger in Being and Time. In A Place for Stories: Nature,
History, and Narrative by William Cronon. 1992. Journal of American History, Volume 78, No. 4, p.
1368.
8 Ibid, p. 1368.
11


consideration of the context of production, the context of reception, authorship, intended audience
and more.9
ALL texts have a narrator estabLishing the texts point of view and subject position.10 Point of
view refers the characteristics of the narrator whiLe subject position refers to the attitude or position
taken by the text. Subject position can be identified as a particuLar attitude that a text codes for in
the reader. In this sense the interpretation of texts is not entirely open but rather, the text itself has
already established a position for the reader.11 This way of understanding narrative facilitates a
connection between ideas and the attitudes they code for, which is particularly helpful in connecting
specific ideas or occurrences to more general cultural or historic contexts.
Dialectic
Dialectic is central to the way that we perceive, create and interpret Landscape. Dialectic is a
dialogical arrangement of terms in which a primary term (thesis) is joined by an opposing term
(antithesis) to formulate a third term (synthesis). Dialectic originated in ancient Greece as a means of
constructing knowledge through dialogue and questioning, especially to address paradoxical or
competing ideas and claims. Whereas in ancient Greece this was mobilized through conversation,
German thinkers such as Hegel and Fichte Later recognized dialectic as a process occurring within
thoughts and ideas themselves, allowing for the continual construction and reconstruction of
knowledge. Dialectic serves as a research framework and structures the inquiry in both general
terms (nature/culture/landscape) and specific terms (beautiful/sublime/picturesque).
9 James Holstein and J. Gubrium. The Constructionist Analytics of Interpretive Practice. In Denzin,
Norman and Y. Lincoln, eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. SAGE: Thousand
Oaks.
10 Here texts include images, dialogues, Landscapes anything that is produced. The narrator of a
text is not necessarily the author.
11 Morton, Timothy. 2012. From modernity to the Anthropocene: ecology and art in the age of
asymmetry. International Social Science Journal, 63: 39-51.
12


Table 2. Dialectical arrangement of terms relevant to the inquiry.
Thesis Antithesis Synthesis
nature culture landscape
1st Nature 2nd Nature 3rd and 4th Nature
ecology economy art
utopia dystopia heterotopia
beautiful sublime picturesque
natural artificial hybrid
order disorder chaorder
Visual Methods
While analysis and interpretation focuses primarily on aesthetics as a framework connecting
meaning and experience, visual methods facilitate a connection between underlying concepts and
visual data. Gillian Roses Visual Methodologies provides a framework that draws from traditions
developed in textual analysis and literary theory but has been applied more specifically to the
research and analysis of visual materials. Her distinction between the site of production, the site of the
image, and the site of audiencing inform analysis and interpretation addressing the ways that images
and landscapes are produced and re-produced within different contexts.
13


MII #0*UJ' tO 9t,s
Figure 2. Site of production, site of the image, site of audiencing.
Gillian Rose, Visual Methodologies.
14


CHAPTER III
CONTEXT
Altering landscape
Landscape is in a constant state of flux and undergoes continual alteration. Alter means to
change or to become otherwise12, in some sense a given condition for any landscape. The term
altered landscape, however, has acquired a more particular meaning and denotes landscape change
of a certain scale, scope, and nature. To open this research on altered landscapes, this chapter
examines the identity we assign the altered landscape in light of the range of meanings and values
that landscape holds for human culture.
Describing something as altered draws attention to the difference between a present
condition and a prior condition. In Greater Perfections, landscape historian John Dixon Hunt outlines a
framework for viewing both the altered landscape and the landscape that precedes. His concept of
the Three Natures ascribes the term 2nd Nature to cultural landscapes or landscapes modified by
human use. Originally developed by Italian humanists, the term 2nd Nature was referred to as alteram
naturam, an alternative nature, or second of two13. The Three Natures encompass 1st Nature as
pristine, unmediated wilderness, 2nd Nature as altered or alternative nature fitted toward productive
human use, and 3rd Nature as the garden; a sophisticated and deliberate mixing of nature and
culture. 4th Nature is an addendum to this framework describing landscapes in which natural
processes re-assert themselves in 2nd and 3rd Nature. The Four Natures are referenced throughout to
distinguish between different ways of conceiving and valuing landscape.
The framework of the Four Natures not only describes our various positions toward
landscape, it also influences our decisions about how we should intervene in landscape process. This
12 Oxford English Dictionary.
13 John Dixon Hunt. 2000. Greater Perfections: The Practice of Garden Theory. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 33-34.
15


chapter explores altered landscapes through the framework of the Four Natures to identify the
narratives comprising and surrounding these landscapes. These narratives assemble to reveal an
approach or posture toward altered landscapes, which it turn influences our approach to reclamation
and the methods and criteria employed by reclamation efforts. Consulting authors who have
addressed altered landscapes and accounts of history describing these alterations, this chapter
illustrates the way we have positioned altered landscapes and the meanings and values they hold
for human culture.
Within the framework of the Four Natures, altered landscapes can be defined as sites that
have been altered to serve a productive human purpose but have since ceased to become
productive. Altered landscapes are frequently deemed abandoned or vacant because they no longer
serve their prior productive purpose and have not yet been assigned another use or purpose. In this
sense altered landscapes are an in-between, existing between stages of articulated purpose or
identity, or between 2nd nature and 3rd nature. Examples of altered landscapes include landfills,
brownfields, post-mining and other post-industrial sites.
Carla Corbin confronts the notion of vacancy in her essay entitled Vacancy and the
Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response focusing particularly on post-industrial sites. She
claims that landscape is never vacant as it is always occupied in some sense by histories, memories,
artifacts, successional processes and more. Corbin suggests that the notion of vacancy in landscape
indicates a tendency for language and culture to obscure what is not materially present or visually
accessible.14 She speculates that landscape architectural theory, art, and design might assist in
recovering what has been obscured, and that such a strategy would be appropriate during a phase of
the urban growth cycle when industrial development is waning and vacant lots are proliferating.
14 Carla Corbin. 2003. Vacancy and the Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response.
Landscape Journal. Volume 22, Issue 1, No.3, p. 12.
16


Altered landscapes might also be viewed as existing in-between clear or sanctioned
purposes, identities, or stages of development. The identity of a landscape may change over time, or
change according to the group who is assigning meaning or value. Altered landscapes have already
undergone a shift from 1st Nature to 2nd Nature; they are no longer wilderness but have been
adapted to serve a human purpose. Their identity as 2nd Nature has since expired, but these sites
have yet to be reclaimed for another human purpose or use. In this sense they exist in-between 2nd
Nature and 3rd Nature, or between two different formations of 2nd nature as 4th Nature. This is
frequently an in-between phase in which obscured or underrepresented human and non-human
processes begin to occupy a site.
The word alter contains more than the mere notion of change. The Latin root alter means
the other, invoking a consideration of the embeddedness of alterity, difference, and strangeness in
the identity we create for altered landscapes. Alterity is both an identity and a quality; it is the fact
of strangeness and the quality of that strangeness. Strangeness means that neither prior experience
nor knowledge prepares us to encounter this specific other.15 In Landscape Architecture as Modern
Other and Postmodern Ground, Elizabeth Meyer articulates what she sees as a dialectical
arrangement of terms placing landscape as the void, the negative, or the other to architectures
transcendent male subject.16 This general conception of landscape as other can be extended even
more specifically to altered landscapes not only because of their physical or spatial qualities (empty,
void) but also because of their unsuitability toward serving a particular human purpose.
Altered landscapes are largely disquieting to us because of their vacancy, their lack of clear
purpose or identity, and their strangeness. In other words, they do not tell us what they are for or
how they are to be used. These notions of vacancy, alterity, and strangeness denote a particular way
15 Emmanuel Levinas. 1961. Totality and Infinity translated by Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquense
University Press, 1969.
16 Elizabeth Meyer. 1994. Landscape architecture as modern other and postmodern ground. In The
Culture of Landscape Architecture edited by Harriet Edquist and Vanessa Bird, 13-34. Melbourne:
Edge Publishing, p. 18.
17


of viewing and valuing landscape. To sum up this position, Corbin quotes Grady Clay: The idea of
empty occurs chiefly to people who valuefuLL17 For a culture that values landscape for its ability to
serve a productive human purpose, the altered landscape is found devoid or lacking. In a different
sense, landscapes possessing a less rigid sense of purpose or identity might suggest themselves as
open to multiple uses or interpretations.
From a general inquiry into the identity of altered landscapes, this chapter looks next at the
particular processes acting upon post-mining landscapes. Locating mining as a process of altering
landscape encompassed in 2nd Nature, it explores the scale, scope and nature of impact on landscape
in the American West. It demonstrates that mining has significantly shaped not only the landscape
external but also our idea of landscape and the meaning and value it holds for human culture by
looking at the social, cultural and material forces acting on landscape. Focusing primarily on
identifying stands within Western expansion and development that may be necessary to connect
mining activities to underlying ideas about nature, culture, and landscape, this chapter illustrates
how landscape is altered through large-scale human alterations of land for resource extraction,
focusing primarily on hardrock mining.18
The dominant narrative describing expansion and development in the West shifts the role of
landscape from 1st Nature to 2nd and 3rd Nature:
We have had many myths about the West but the principle one was a story about a simple,
rural people coming into a western country and creating there a peaceful, productive
life...By the millions they would find homes in the undeveloped vastness stretching beyond
the settlements, bringing life to the land and turning it into the garden of the world. Never
17 Ibid, p. 16.
181 focus on hardrock mining because of the national trend toward increased hardrock use, the
relatively significant impact of these practices in Colorado, and the flexibility afforded in
reclamation policies surrounding these practices. Reference to Belinda Arbogast. 2000. The Fluman
Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS Circular, 1191, Denver.
18


mind that much blood would have to be shed first to drive out the natives; the blood all be
on others hands, and the farmers would be clean, decent folk dwelling in righteousness.19
This passage highlights the conception of the West as a wilderness to be tamed or cultivated, the
moral certitude enforcing that action, and the artifice of this construction given the presence of
native inhabitants. This history underlies a pivotal position towards nature, culture, and landscape
that has mobilized a series of actions shaping landscapes across the West.
With the role of landscape shifting from first to second nature came a troubling sensation
that Donald Worster identified as the Western Paradox:
Two dreams are then tugging at our feelings: one of a life in nature, the other with machines;
one of a life in the past, the other in the future. Nature makes us what we are, we still like to
think, makes us good and decent; but it is technology that makes us better. If the West has any
spiritual claim to uniqueness, I believe it lies in its intensity of devotion to those opposing
dreams.20
Ultimately the West could not be all that the earlier passage suggests; at once pristine and
productive, righteous yet cultivated. Contained within this paradox is a seed of guilt or regret that
accompanies the progression from 1st to 2nd Nature.
While agriculture, forestry, and hydraulic engineering all contributed to significant
alterations of landscape and were instrumental to developing the West, no other industry has
shaped the region as profoundly as mining has according to historian Patricia Nelson Limerick.
Following the California Gold Rush of 1849, the territory that would become Colorado in 1876 drew
an influx of prospectors throughout the second half of the 19th century with its abundance of gold,
silver, and other precious metals21. The sudden influx of labor and capital investment significantly
accelerated development in the West establishing structures of governance, land ownership, and
19 Donald Worster. 1992. Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, p. 6.
20 Ibid, p. 81.
21 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting
for a Better Future. Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report from the
Center #7, 2005, pp. 7-10.
19


modes of production particular to this unique set of circumstances. In many ways most significantly
with property division and ownership, water and mineral rights, and mining laws and regulations -
these on-the-fly establishments continue to have profound and lasting impacts on landscape to this
day.
Mining alters landscape in ways that differ from other natural processes of alteration.
Human impacts on any area that humans disturb for this discussion, by mining, in particular -
include long-term changes to landform (movement/massing of earth), water table, and texture (soil
disturbance and exposed rock surfaces. Nature changes a landscape through long-term processes
such as weathering (wind and water erosion) and short-term events, such as volcanic eruptions,
earthquakes, and flooding.22 Mining eliminates surface vegetation and changes topography, which
in turn affects drainage patterns, accelerates erosion and stream sedimentation, lowers water tables,
and impacts habitation patterns.23
Mining activity is commonly distinguished by excavation type: surface or sub-surface.
Surface mining involves removing layers of vegetation, soil, and bedrock to expose material while
sub-surface mining requires tunneling into the earth to reach ore bodies. Surface mining is most
common in the United States and accounts for 98% of precious metal extraction. Surface mining
includes open-pit (metals), quarrying (stone) and strip-mining (coal) techniques. The ore to be mined
takes the form of placer deposits found in alluvium or lode deposits found in veins or masses or
rock. Mineral processing frequently occurs at the site of extraction and involves crushing, grinding,
washing, and chemical leaching to separate the target material from the waste material. Placer ore
can be processed using gravity separation methods while lode ore must be crushed and separated
chemically. Solid waste material is massed into waste piles while tailings or slurry (pulverized waste
material in a water or chemical solution) are contained in ponds.
22 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS Circular, 1191, Denver,
p. 8.
23 Ibid, p. 4.
20


Advances in technology continue to change the way we mine landscape. Excavation and
processing methods are now very different from what they once were with prevailing shifts toward
large-scale open-pit strategies and new chemical leaching options. While it was once more cost
effective to rely on precise surveying and disturb only the ground that was absolutely necessary in
order to access target ore bodies, modern machinery has made it easier to disturb larger areas in
pursuit of target material. New chemical leaching techniques have also made it possible to re-mine
minerals from what was previously considered waste material.24
Several sources suggest that the ecological impact caused by mining is less than is
generally perceived, but that that the aggregate impact is still substantial and warrants attention
and concern.25 The impact of primary concern in hardrock mining practices is the increased presence
of heavy metals and acidity in water, which adversely affects water quality, soil, vegetation, and
habitat. Massive landform disturbances caused by open-pit mining in particular also affect drainage
patterns and cause slope instability and accelerated erosion.
Acid mine drainage is the term used to describe the most pressing impact that mining
activity has on water quality. Veins of ore containing precious metals like gold and silver tend to
also contain large quantities of metal sulfide minerals such as pyrite. When these sulfides come into
contact with oxygen through mineral extraction processes they produce acidity and sulfate, which
are released into the areas water supply. The increased acidity then dissolves other metals such as
cadmium and zinc, contributing to an increased presence of toxic heavy metals in the water supply.26
24 Victor Ketellapper. 2008. The Wellington Oro mine-site cleanup: integrating the cleanup of an
abandoned mine site with the communitys vision of land preservation and affordable housing. In
Berger 2008, 77-86.
25 Ibid, p. 77.
26 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting
for a Better Future. Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report from the
Center #7, 2005, p. 16.
21


Acid mine drainage is frequently compounded in the presence of the bacteria Acidithiobaciiius
ferrooxidans, which thrives in acidic conditions and proliferates by oxidizing ferrous iron into ferric
iron. Because the bacteria can speed up oxidization by as much as a million times, the combined
occurrence of acid mine drainage and Acidithiobaciiius ferrooxidans is highly problematic from a
water quality standpoint. Scientists are currently researching strategies to limit the presence of this
bacteria in order to mitigate the effects of acid mine drainage.27
WHAT IS ACID MINE DRAINAGE?
pyrite + oxygen + water
4FeS 2(s) + 1502(g) + 14H20 (/)

4Fe(0H)3(s) + 8S042(ag) + 16H+0(ag)
yellow boy + sulfate + acid
a
Figure 3. Acid mine drainage diagram.
A study conducted by the USGS of mining districts in the Central Western Slope of Colorado
indicates that in the majority of cases, high acidity levels and hazardous concentrations of heavy
metals are mitigated naturally within 2 to 3 miles of point sources. Concentrations of zinc and
cadmium tend to be the primary offenders in terms of water quality with levels for aluminum,
27 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting
for a Better Future. Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report from the
Center #7, 2005, p. 18.
22


copper, iron, Lead, and manganese also being slightly above standard.28 While concentrations of
these dissolved metals may not decisively pose serious or immediate threats to human health, they
are toxic for the fish inhabiting these streams. High acidity Levels and the presence of dissolved
metals make streams unlivable for fish and once metals fall out of solution they form deposits along
stream beds preventing fish and insects from nesting and spawning.29
Reclaiming landscape
reclaim: 1. Retrieve or recover something previously Lost, given, or paid; to obtain the return of;
2. Bring waste Land under cultivation; recover for reuse.30
Reclamation as a practice emerged in response to massive Landscape alterations caused by
industry, energy production and resource extraction. The escalating impact of these alterations
coinciding with our ability to model and interpret cause and effect relationships Linking those
processes with environmental outcomes Led to increasing concern and calls for accountability.
Reclamation responds to practical concerns about Land that poses threats to ecosystem health or has
ceased to serve a productive human purpose. It also addresses notions of diminished aesthetic value
for altered Landscapes and our ethical responsibility toward those Landscapes. This chapter begins
with a closer examination of the meaning of the term reclamation and the values and motivations
underlying the term.
In his book Reclaiming the American West, Alan Berger explores what it means to reclaim
altered Landscapes tracing etymology, connoted meanings, and applications in practice. He Locates
the Latin root reclamare, which means to cry out against, a response to an unwanted action.
28 J. Thomas Nash. 2002. Hydrogeochemical Investigations of Historic Mining Districts, Central
Western Slope of Colorado, Including Influence on Surface-Water Quality. USGS Digital Data Series
DDS-73, p. 1.
29 Dissolved metals are absorbed through the fishes gills and accumulate in their gastrointestinal
tracts. Reference to Patricia Limerick. 2005. Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West:
Prospecting for a Better Future. Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report
from the Center #7, 2005, p. 19.
30 Oxford English Dictionary.
23


Dictionary definitions citing contemporary usage of the word equate reclamation with rescuing,
reforming, or recovering all for the better or Good. Attendant in all of these terms is a judgment
deeming a prior landscape condition better, more desirable, or more right than the subsequent
condition. In this sense, reclamation is a formula for intervening in altered landscapes that values
landscape in a particular way.
In Valuing Alteration, Fredrick Turner drafts a series of questions to trace the values and
motivations underlying reclamation as a concept and practice. Practical questions What is
reclamation? How is it done? What are the constrains? give way to big value questions: What should
reclamation be? What is good reclamation? Good for what? For whom? Turner identifies three primary
stakeholders for reclamation: human beings, non-human nature, and a mysterious third entity which
he describes as the inner destiny of a given piece of landscape in itself: the suggestiveness of its
beauty, its mysterious promise and potential for the future.31 With the likelihood that different
stakeholders have different priorities, reclamation becomes an act of negotiation.32
Uncovering multiple and at times conflicting ideas about what is good, better, or preferred
complicates matters for reclamation. To shed light on these competing motives, it is necessary to
further explore the differing ways in which reclamation projects conceive and value landscape. In an
earlier essay entitled The Invented Landscape, Fredrick Turner outlines four positions that apply to
reclamation as it is currently theorized and practiced: preservation, conservation, restoration, and
invention. Preservation places an intrinsic value on nature and advocates for the protection of
landscape as wilderness or 1st Nature. Conservation values landscape as 2nd Nature, a resource to
be used by humans and like the sustainability agenda advocates for intergenerational sharing of
resources. Restoration also places an intrinsic value on landscape as first nature and attempts to
restore landscape to a prior condition following major incidences of impact, alteration, or
31 Fredrick Turner. 2008. Valuing Alteration. In Berger 2008, p. 5.
32 This negotiation is problematic given our anthropocentric dilemma.
24


disturbance. Invention advocates for the creation of new Landscapes and ecosystems, valuing
landscape as 3rd and/or 4th Nature.33 Rehabilitation equates the altered Landscape with a sick
patient who is in need of care and requires assistance to return to a healthy state. This might fall
under either restoration or invention depending on what process is envisioned to achieve that
healthy state. Rehabilitation (or mitigation the terms are used differently by different authors)
often responds to threats or dangers to ecological health caused by alteration such as acid mine
drainage, water and soil contamination, erosion, Loss of habitat and more.
As demonstrated by this variety of positions, there exist within reclamation radically
different ways of conceiving and valuing Landscape. To field the obvious and immense question
why do we reclaim? the answer must be it depends. To the preservationist who values pristine
wilderness, reclamation must cry out against acts of alteration and preserve wilderness. To the
conservationist who values Landscape for its utility, we reclaim altered Landscapes to serve another
productive human use. To the restorationist, we reclaim to restore the Land to a prior condition. To
the inventionist, we reclaim by imagining and realizing future potentialities in the Landscape.
To connect these positions to contemporary practice, this chapter follows with a summary of
federal and state regulations of reclamation to demonstrate how various priorities become
mobilized through policymaking. Introducing aesthetic and ethical considerations as they appear in
the Literature consulted and following with guidelines formulated by Landscape architects involved
in reclamation work demonstrates a range of positions and approaches in contemporary practice.
This acts as summary of reclamation as it is currently viewed and practiced, which will allow for an
assessment of what is currently being addressed in reclamation practice and what is being
neglected.
33 Frederick Turner. 1994. The Invented Landscape. In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and
Inventing Landscapes. University of Minnesota Press, pp. 35-6.
25


Coinciding with a period of increased awareness of and concern for the environment in the
1960s and 1970s, the U.S. Department of the Interior conducted a survey measuring the impact that
strip and surface mining had on the environment. The results of the survey led to the formation of
the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), the first federal act to address the
reclamation of mined landscapes. This act requires mining operations to reclaim the land for a post-
mining use and to return the topography of the land to its approximate original contour (AOC). The
primary purpose of the AOC requirement is to reestablish natural drainage patterns to secure water
quality and safety.34 This requirement applies to surface mining operations only and does not apply
to underground hardrock or aggregate mining.
Reclamation of hardrock mining sites is not federally regulated through SMCRA and varies
from state to state. Some foremost concerns for reclaiming hardrock mining sites include addressing
open pits and heaps of leftover material, mitigating erosion, and controlling or treating the chemical
leaching caused by water draining through leftover material.35 Highwalls in quarries can pose safety
threats and most states require that reclamation grades not exceed 35 degrees, the standard angle
of repose for leftover material.36 Reclamation of sand and gravel mining sites prioritizes erosion
control and habitat creation, which typically involves reducing side slopes, spreading topsoil, and
establishing vegetation on the side walls, with a shallow lake covering the pit floor. Colorado law
specifies that slopes not exceed 2:1 excepting areas near or below water line.37
State and federal laws currently require mining companies to reclaim land post-mining and
in most cases require a reclamation strategy to be formulated prior to mining. Accountability is less
34 Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act (SMCRA) enacted August 3rd, 1997. http://www.osmre.gov/lrg.shtm. Accessed
February 23, 2015.
35 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p. 80.
36 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS Circular, 1191, Denver,
p. 8.
37 Ibid, pp. 8-9.
26


certain in abandoned sites or sites that were mined before these Laws were enacted. The EPA assists
individual states through Superfund and Brownfield RevitiLization programs by conducting
assessments and enforcing accountability for reclamation efforts in abandoned sites. Such policies
have shifted over the years from rigid, top-down approaches to emphasizing collaboration and
participation from multiple parties at regional, Local, and site-specific Levels.
In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
(CERCLA) created the Superfund program, which was established to clean up abandoned hazardous
waste sites. The EPA places Superfund sites on a National Priorities List and conducts assessments
of site damage, implements clean up programs, and tracks down responsible parties for
reimbursement of clean-up costs. Colorado currently hosts 27 Superfund sites, 9 of which are post-
mining sites.38 39
Table 3. Mining-related Superfund sites in Colorado.39
Site Contaminants Mining activity
California Gulch Leadville, Co lead, arsenic, heavy metals, acid mine drainage gold, silver, lead, zinc
Captain Jack Mill Ward, Co zinc, cadmium, copper, manganese, arsenic, thallium, lead gold, silver
Clear Creek Idaho Springs, Co zinc, copper, manganese, cadmium, lead, arsenic gold, silver
Eagle Mine Eagle, Co arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc gold, silver, copper, zinc
French Gulch Breckenridge, Co zinc, cadmium gold, silver, lead, zinc
Nelson Tunnel Creede, Co arsenic, cadmium, lead, zinc, manganese silver, lead, zinc
Smuggler Mountain Aspen, Co lead, cadmium silver, lead
Standard Mine Gunnison, Co arsenic, lead, zinc, cadmium, copper, chromium, manganese silver
Summitville Mine Del Norte, Co copper, cadmium, manganese, zinc, lead, nickel, aluminum, iron gold, silver (open pit)
Because CERCLAs process was perceived by individual states to be slow, contentious and
costly, many states formed their own remediation approaches that offered financial incentives and
Liability protection for participants. In response to state voluntary clean up programs, the EPA
38 EPA, Superfund, http://www.epa.gov/superfund/about.htm.
39 Ibid.
27


created a number of brownfield-targeted programs with similar structures and agendas. In 2002,
Congress passed the Brownfields Revitalization Act, which provided funding for the assessment and
clean up of brownfields, clarified liability issues, and provided funds to enhance state and tribal
response programs. Under this amendment, the brownfield designation is extended to mine-scarred
land.40
In summary, brownfield reclamation has shifted away from the rigid, top-down formulation
initiated with CERCLA in the 1980s. This approach resulted in slow progress because liability
provisions created strong incentives on the part of responsible parties to vigorously fight any
assignment of liability by the government, in part because they could be held liable for the entire
cost of cleanup, even if their contribution to the contamination had been minimal.41 Current
strategies now emphasize 1) financial incentives for clean-up and redevelopment, 2) liability
provisions protecting property owners, 3) public participation through hearings and grants to citizen
groups, and 4) long-term stewardship.42
Acid mine drainage tends to be the most pressing concern when cleaning up hardrock
mining sites. Reclamation strategies formulated along with mining activity emphasize proactive
approaches to the problem of acid mine drainage such as siting waste piles on high points away
from drainage areas to minimize contact with water. Reactive strategies for limiting acid mine
drainage include 1) mixing a neutralizing material like limestone with waste rock, 2) capping the
waste pile with an impermeable clay and/or synthetic material, 3) diverting water flows around the
waste pile, or 4) building underdrains so that water passes beneath the waste rock.43
40 EPA, Brownfields and Land Revitilization, http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview/glossary.htm.
41 Elizabeth A. Lowham. 2012. Incentives for Collaboration: State-level Brownfield Remediation and
Redevelopment Programs. In Hula, p. 20.
42 Ibid, pp. 24-25.
43 Robert W. Micsak. 2008. The legal landscape. In Berger 2008, p. 157.
28


Stabilizing tailings impoundments is another important infrastructural strategy to minimize
water contamination. Tailings (or slurry) are the by-product of methods that rely on a water or
chemical process to separate the target minerals from the waste material. Tailings are usually a
mixture of pulverized metal and stone in a water or chemical solution and are contained in settling
ponds so that they do not drain in to the areas water supply. Lack of maintenance or storm events
can cause leaks in these impoundments leading to contamination issues.
In the past, reclamation efforts have been largely driven by restoration strategies that aim
to reconstruct prior ecologies. There are a number of problems with this approach; chief among
them are the impossibility of returning landscape to a past condition, the impracticality of such an
effort in terms of labor and capital investment, and the growing extent to which we acknowledge
that there is no escaping our human alterations to the environment.
Through the lens of ecology, reclamation increasingly relies on modeling landscape
processes and more specifically successional processes. At least two major shifts in the past 50 years
have affected the way we formulate and engage ecological modeling: 1) the theory of chaorder or
patch dynamics44 replacing the notion of stable-state equilibrium, and 2) the extent to which we
collect, process, and analyze data that extends beyond human scales into micro and macro scales.
With such shifts in underlying theories, technologies, and approaches to ecology, reclamation seems
to be moving from a restorationist approach to an inventionist approach.45
An inventionist approach to reclamation involves an intimate knowledge of how
successional process function within the niche constraints of a disturbed site and the ability to
engage these processes toward a perceived end.46 According to landscape ecologist Peter Del
44 See Frederick Turner, Peter del Tredici, and Daniel Botkin.
45 Peter del Tredici. 2008. Disturbance ecology and symbiosis in mine-reclamation design. In Berger
2008, p. 15.
46 Eric D. Schneider. 2008. Ecological succession and its role in landscape reclamation. In Berger
2008, p. 44.
29


Tredici, open-pit and surface mining tends to result in the total destruction of existing biological
communities by removing vegetation and topsoil and frequently exposes geologic formations that
would be characteristic of a much earlier successional state. He identifies four steps to achieve
ecologically sound mine reclamation: 1) chemically and physically remediate substrate to support
plant life, 2) enrich degraded soil with organic matter to increase water holding capacity and the
presence of bacteria and microorganisms, 3) instead of limiting plant selection to native species,
introduce high-tolerance low-maintenance species that manage well in existing conditions, and 4)
acknowledge a maintenance scheme early on in the design process.47
Both restoration and reclamation efforts tend to rely on aesthetics as a tool to conceal or
naturalize the altered landscape. Belinda Arbogast describes this as a camouflage approach:
plantings, grade change devices, and other design strategies are employed with the intent to visually
obscure or conceal the effects of mining. While a restoration approach attempts to return the
landscape to a past condition, a reclamation approach makes little attempt to restore the site to a
previous condition and instead attempts to reorder the landscape for a post-mining use.48
According to restorationist William R. Jordan, the aim of restoration is return land to a prior
condition and is in no way influenced by the way that the site performs aesthetically. He emphasizes
that all prior features are to be valued and restored regardless of whether they are deemed
beautiful, safe, or useful for humans. Restoration prompts us to restore all the features of the model
system those we find uninteresting, ugly, repulsive or even dangerous, not just those that we find
beautiful, interesting, or useful.49 In this sense, restoration values landscape for its associations as
wilderness or 1st Nature.
47 Eric D. Schneider. 2008. Ecological succession and its role in landscape reclamation. In Berger
2008, pp. 19-20.
48 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p. 61.
49 In Berger 2002, p. 61.
30


Restoration agendas are supported by arguments made for the intrinsic value of nature and
wilderness as outlined by Robert Elliot and others. Elliot argues that we have obligations to both
preserve and restore wild nature based on G.E. Moores theory of intrinsic value, consequentialism,
and an assessment of value-adding and value-subtracting properties in the landscape. While he
acknowledges that restoration ultimately creates an artificial reconstruction of wild nature, he
argues that [t]he value difference between the impoverished and the restored ecosystem is vastly
greater than the value difference between the restored ecosystem and the original.50
What is interesting about Elliots argument is what he identifies as the locus and carrier for
the intrinsic value of wild nature:
If wild nature has intrinsic value it is because it exemplifies value-adding properties. My
favoured candidates are naturalness and aesthetic value. The latter draws together various
other suggested value-adding properties other than naturalness, such as diversity, stability,
complexity, beauty, harmony, creativity, organization, intricacy, elegance and richness.
Particular such properties might be value-adding in their own right, but additionally they
might, in conjunction with other properties, constitute the property of being aesthetically
valuable, which is likewise value-adding.51
Elliot identifies qualities like diversity, stability, complexity, beauty and more as intrinsically
valuable in the landscape and suggests that our aesthetic sense is capable of detecting these
qualities in the landscape. He also adds that these qualities might lend value to the aesthetic
experience and appearance of the landscape.
While restorationists argue for our obligation to preserve or restore wild nature, this
approach is becoming less common or feasible as we move into a future increasingly replete with
altered landscapes. Growing demand for resources ensures that mining activity will continue to
escalate. Technology has also changed the way me mine, shifting hardrock mining strategies toward
larger open-pit operations. In short, post-mining landscapes are proliferating and the alterations
50 Robert Elliot. 1992. Intrinsic Value, Environmental Obligation and Naturalness. The Monist,
Volume 75, No. 2, pp. 153-154.
51 Ibid, p. 191.
31


caused by mining are broadening in their scope of impact. These factors all contribute to a shift
toward reclamation approaches as opposed to restoration approaches in altered landscapes.
Reclamation attempts primarily to reorder the landscape for a post-mining use,52 which
values landscape as 2nd Nature or for its ability to serve a productive human purpose. According to
Alan Berger, [t]he concept and practices of reordering in landscape reclamation involve much more
than visual issues. Visual aesthetics, while important, are always secondary to the conditions
affecting the stabilization of hazardous and contaminated materials.53 Aesthetics assumes various
roles within such reclamation projects, which can be categorized roughly as serving to naturalize, to
enforce the primacy of function and performance, to reveal site history and process, or to construct a
new identity for the site. These approaches can work alone or in combination with one another, and
each corresponds with a different way of conceiving and valuing landscape.
Reclamation projects employ a range of tactics to achieve their goals, often in combination
to target multiple benefits for multiple groups. Belinda Arbogast identifies nine design strategies for
reclaiming post-mining landscapes: camouflage, restoration, rehabiiitation, mitigation, renewable
resource, education, art, natural, and integration:
Camouflage strategies use plantings or grade-change devices along the site perimeter to
screen or conceal mining processes from view. This approach seeks to hide or obscure the
impacts of mining with a low-investment and low-maintenance approach. Focusing
primarily on the visual, it treats landscape as a scene or backdrop doing little to engage site
history or process.
52 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p.61.
53 Ibid, p. 61.
32


Restoration strategies aim to return a site to a pre-mining condition, which in the strictest
sense is not possible.54 In practice, this translates to either returning the land to its
approximate original contour and introducing a native or regionally-appropriate
groundcover, or restoring] the new habitat as close as possible to its original function and
recapturing] the landscape character.55
Rehabiiitation strategies emphasize new social or economic benefits to be enacted through
reclamation. Frequently this approach emphasizes recreational opportunities or mixed-use
development. Rehabilitation could be classified as either 2nd or 3rd nature in that it seeks to
reclaim the site for another productive human use. It could also be viewed as an
inventionist approach because it creates new potential or sense of identity for the site.
Mitigation strategies focus on ecological impact, analyzing factors such as geology,
geomorphology, climate, hydrology, soil, vegetation, wildlife, and habitat performance on
the site. Mitigation efforts target perceived hazards like erosion, soil and water
contamination, drainage and sedimentation, and significant modifications to habitat.
Renewable resource strategies try to responsibly manage input-output relationships and
minimize external costs to the environment. They often look for ways to collect or recycle
the energy expended in mining processes, or for opportunities to re-purpose or re-use
leftover waste material.
Educational strategies endeavor to make information available to the public about mining
history, site conditions, and options for future land use.
Artistic strategies celebrate the aesthetic qualities found on a site and attempt to reveal the
beauty of altered landscapes.
54 For large disturbed sites this approach is extremely resource intensive, impractical, and
ontologically and ethically problematic because it ultimately constructs a representation or referent
rather than the thing itself. See Robert Elliot, Faking Nature.
55 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. The Fluman Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS Circular, 1191, Denver,
P-15.
33


Natural strategies allow successional processes to take over a site, reclaiming it as 4th
Nature.
Table 4. Reclamation design strategies.56
Term (Arbogast) Term (Engler) Description
Natural / Allow nature to reclaim site with no or minimal human influence
Camouflage Camouflage Conceal mining facility using visual screens and buffers
Restoration Restoration Return the land to its approximate original contour
Rehabilitation Recycling Use site for public amenities
Mitigation Mitigation Repair a mined-out site from extensive human or natural damage
Renewable resource Sustainable Recycle man-made or natural resources on site
Education Educative Communicate mining or other resource information through outreach
Art Celebrative Treat site as work of beauty and unique experience
Integration Integrative Combination of approaches integrating art and science
While Arbogasts list is intended as a descriptive survey of design strategies currently used
in contemporary reclamation practice, Alan Berger has compiled a list based on what he believes
reclamation should do. Berger, director of P-REX (Project for Reclamation Excellence), has published
A Four-Point Reclamation Manifesto that outlines four design strategies he advocates for:
Conserve energy and mass in site transformation; material movements should approach
equilibrium (renewable resource)
Adapt use of site conditions; the designer must adapt by disturbing the disturbance 56
56 Belinda Arbogasts design approaches to reclaiming mine sites draw from Mira Englers study of
waste landscapes (1995). Arbogast, Belinda. 2000. The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS
Circular, 1191, Denver, p. 13.
34


Plant ecology and vegetation strategy; the designer must assess whether any disturbance-
adapted plant species have local populations
Interactive landscape circulation and infrastructure; design to avoid hazard and risk
exposure
Patricia Limerick has also compiled somewhat of a reclamation manifesto entitled Prescriptions for
Treating the Acidic Soul and Other Worldly Ailments. While less specifically design oriented, her list
outlines seven lessons she believes we should learn from our past in order to inform future
reclamation efforts:
Focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame.
Acknowledge that we all depend on and benefit from resources produced by mining.
Focus on limiting use and consumption, not just production it is hypocritical to expect the
rest of the world to keep us supplied with raw material while we regulate and reduce our
own resource production.
Environmental laws enacted in the 1960s and 1970s are not sacred, infallible texts that
will impart perfect wisdom for all of time. Responsive adjustments are necessary in order to
make forward progress.
High goals and standards are admirable, but can become prohibitive and limiting,
compromising their overall effectiveness.
Citizens should become directly involved in reclamation efforts rather than blaming
government policies or agencies for their shortcomings.
We have a responsibility to future generations to reclaim.
CASE: Summitville Mine
Summitville Mine operated by Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp., Inc. (SCMCI) is
located in the San Juan Mountains just east of the Continental Divide and 25 miles south of Del
Norte, Colorado. Gold and silver mining began in this area in the 1870s and continued intermittently
35


into the 1980s. Extraction techniques shifted over time toward Large-scale open-pit mining
strategies disturbing larger tracts of Land and relying on chemical Leaching to extract target minerals
from ore piles. The Leaching process involves removing ore and crushing it mechanically; ore is then
placed on a clay and synthetically Lined heap Leach pad where it is doused with a sodium cyanide
solution to dissolve the gold and silver.57
In 1986, only a few years after its construction, a Leak was found in the heap Leach pad and
SCMCI abandoned mining operations at the site. As a result of acid mine drainage caused by the
cyanide Leaching process, the Alamosa River drainage basin has been affected by drastically elevated
Levels of acidity and dissolved metals. While the site is isolated geographically and the AMD does
not impact the drinking water wells of residents Living in the nearly San Luis Valley, it does
compromise stream habitat in the Alamosa River. Reports also indicate that the acidity of the water
degrades the soil downstream and that Livestock in surrounding areas display elevated Levels of
dissolved metals in their blood.58
In 1994, the Summitville Mine was placed on the National Priorities List for Superfund sites
due to the amount of acid mine drainage generated by the site. The EPA partnered with the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment to coordinate emergency and remedial responses
including interim water treatment, heap Leach pad detoxification and closure, and mine waste
removal. The EPAs Superfund program emphasizes that contaminated sites should not only be
cleaned up but also retrofitted toward some productive future use. To this end, the site was
reclaimed as a hydroelectric plant in 2008 to generate clean and renewable energy.59 Following the
57 EPA, Summitville Mine, http://www2.epa.gov/region8/summitviLLe-mine.
58 Ibid.
59 The implementation of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated Land is a foremost
strategy when dealing with sites Like the Summitville Mine exhibiting high Levels of toxicity that
may pose threats to human or non-human health.
36


Table 5. Reclamation phases for Summitville Mine.
Operable Unit Action
OUO Interim WaterTreatment
out Heap Leach Pad Detoxification/Closure
OU2 Mine Waste Excavation and Mine Pit Closure
OU3 South Mountain Groundwater
OU4 Site-Wide Reclamation and Revegetation
OU5 Final Site-Wide Remedy
construction of an on-site powerhouse and turbine, the facility now generates 145,000 kilowatt-
hours of energy each year, which is enough to offset about 15 to 20% of the energy required to
operate the sites water treatment facility.60 This case illustrates that mining, although profit-driven,
generates significantly diminished returns when external costs are accounted for. In the case of the
Summitville Mine, it is estimated that reclamation costs will eventually exceed the profits generated
by mining.61 The Summitville Mine demonstrates a case in which the financial assurance provided by
the mining company was insufficient to cover reclamation costs, ultimately resulting in bankruptcy
for the Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp., Inc. and policy changes in the requirements
mandated by the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board.
60 EPA, Summitville Mine, Rio Grande County, Colorado Success Story: Hydroelectric plat powers
contaminated groundwater treatment at former gold mine,
http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/docs/success_summitvillemine_co.pdf.
61 Alan Berger estimates that the total value of gold mined at Summitville rests at $165 million
while reclamation costs are estimated at $150 million and counting.
http://waste2place.mit.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2012/03/PREX_BKl_Part2.pdf.
37


Figure 4. Open pit gold and silver mine, Summitville, CO.
Google Earth.
CASE: French Gulch
French Gulch in Breckenridge, Colorado hosted the former Wellington-Oro mine from the
1850s to the 1960s. Extensive underground and placer mining took place in this area leaving more
than 12 miles of underground tunnels and numerous shafts, dredge piles, waste rock piles, and
tailings. It was declared a Superfund site in 1990, leading to the formation of the French Gulch
Remedial Opportunities Group (FROG), a group of stakeholders committed to reclaiming the site.
Primary concerns on site include acid mine drainage and the destruction of plant life and habitat
opportunities resulting from placer mining and dredging processes.62
The need for more affordable housing in the area shaped a vision for the site to be
redeveloped into a residential community. After negotiating a real estate transaction with attendant
liability provisions and reclamation requirements, the Town of Breckenridge partnered with P-REX to
develop a new conceptual landscape plan focused on integrating mine reclamation with expansion
62 EPA, French Gulch, http://www2.epa.gov/region8/french-gulch.
38


of aquatic habitats for threatened species, integration of the recreational use plan, and preservation
of historic mining artifacts.63
Figure 5. Surface mining, French Gulch.
Google Earth.
Claims and counterclaims
Landscape meanings and values vary from place to place and from epoch to epoch in ways
that are little understood and seldom compared...Flow landscapes are identified and
thought about; what symbolic meanings and physical properties they embody; how purpose,
intensity, duration, realism, novelty, or impending loss affect our landscape experience -
these are questions of immense import for which we have few if any answers.64
The above research demonstrates that both mining and reclamation draw on a wide range
of positions, attitudes, techniques and strategies for intervening in landscape process. Flowever,
63 P-REX, Background/Flistory: A New Model for Reclamation in the American West,
http://waste2place.mit.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2012/03/PREX_BKl_Part2.pdf. p. 48.
64 Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. and D. Lowenthal, eds. 1986. Landscape Meanings and Values.
London: Allen and Unwin, p. 1.
39


there exist within this collection of data certain common structures, organizations, or narrative
threads that may warrant further consideration. In summary:
The term altered shifts the role of landscape from 1st and 2nd Nature to a position that can be
generally identified as vacant, in-between, and other.
Historical narratives surrounding mining activity describe landscape as something wild or
uncultivated to be tamed and put toward productive human use.
Mining processes alter landscape in a multitude of ways and extraction techniques vary
according to site-specificity, target minerals identified, and technological advancements
over time.
The ecological impact caused by mining is significant in terms of landform, drainage,
erosion, vegetation, habitat, soil, and water quality. The most pressing threat currently
posed by mining activity is soil and water contamination caused by acid mine drainage.
In economic terms, mining generates significant profit margins, but these margins diminish
drastically when external costs are taken into account.
The term reclamation reflects a preference for a prior landscape condition that is deemed
safe and productive, further articulating identities for altered and reclaimed landscapes.
While the motives driving reclamation efforts vary, both regulatory policies and practices
emphasize that cleaning up contamination and finding new productive uses for the
landscape are foremost priorities.
The Summitville Mine and French Gulch reclamation projects demonstrate how these
priorities are enacted differently according to specific conditions on site.
With an emphasis on cleaning up contaminants, re-establishing previous landforms and
groundcover, and creating new productive uses, reclamation currently focuses on making landscape
useful and safe for humans, perhaps neglecting ways in which altered landscapes are already
claimed.
40


Figure 6. Open pit molybdenum mine, Climax, CO.
Google Earth.
41


Figure 7. Bench steps, Climax, CO.
Google Earth.
42


Figure 8. Overview of Climax Mine and Robinson Mine, CO.
Google Earth.
43


Google Earth.
44


Figure 10. Seeping at Robinson mine, CO.
Google Earth.
45



Figure 11. SummitviLLe Mine, CO.
Google Earth.
46


Figure 12. Idardo Mine, CO.
Google Earth.
47


Figure 13. Ute Creek, CO.
Google Earth.
48


Figure 14. Seeping near Ute Creek, CO.
Google Earth.
49


Figure 15. AMD near Ute Creek, CO.
Google Earth.
50


Figure 16. Open pit gold mine, Cripple Creek/Victor, CO.
Google Earth.
51


CHAPTER IV
THEORY
Which theory?
The Literature consulted in this chapter provides a foundation for structuring research,
arranging data, and performing analysis and interpretation. It also provides the historical and
theoretical perspective necessary to connect general concepts about nature, culture, and Landscape
to the particular study of post-mining sites and reclamation practices. This research thesis relies
heavily on existing theory in order to critically consider altered and reclaimed Landscapes from a
Landscape architectural perspective.
Responding to research findings in the Context chapter regarding reclamations emphasis on
ecological and economic performance, this chapter consults Literature addressing the broader
cultural separation of the arts and sciences and the divisive impact this has had on Landscape
architectural practice. Noting our increasing emphasis on ecological modeling it traces the various
roles of aesthetics in Landscape architecture, Looking to ways that aesthetics has operated as a
framework allowing us to generate meaning and experience in the Landscape, a framework that is
viewed as superficial, ideological or political, and a framework that can reveal site history and
process provoking acknowledgement and response.
In tracing multiple roles for aesthetics in Landscape architecture, this chapter Locates these
roles as embedded in Larger cultural ideas about nature, culture and Landscape. Looking particularly
to ideas and attitudes in Romanticism, these ideas can be traced through the aesthetic framework of
the Picturesque. Referencing the emerging categories of the post-industrial sublime, eco-revelatory
aesthetics, and toxic beauty, this chapter begins to explore how these attitudes and frameworks
operate in contemporary post-mining Landscapes.
52


Art / Science
Landscape Architecture is the profession which applies artistic and scientific principles to
the research, planning, design, and management of both natural and built environments.65
James Corner noted an irretrievable alteration of the role of theory coinciding with the
separation of techne and poiesis in the 17th and 18th centuries. The separation of techne
(understanding the world through theoretical and practical knowledge) and poiesis (understanding
the world through creative and symbolic representations) led to the formation of the very distinct
and opposed disciplines of modern science and modern aesthetics.66 This distinction is exemplified
in current reclamation practices and underlies the argument for a reformed approach to reclamation.
Contemporary landscape architecture draws considerably from methods and technologies
developed in the natural and applied sciences. Landscape architecture as a practice, however,
originated in the garden. A representational art that endeavored to create physical, material
embodiments of symbolic forms and relationships through the medium of landscape, the garden or
3rd Nature relied primarily on perception and experience to construct symbolic representations or
ideas about the world.67
This emphasis on symbolic representation faded during the scientific revolution, which
heralded objective reasoning as the primary means of understanding and interpreting the world. Art
was seen as too ambiguous, subjective and illogical to convey ideas in a sound or trustworthy
manner. Aesthetics became divorced from perception and experience and alternately grounded in
the notion of taste, which proposed to standardize or provide some reliable criteria for art. Under
pressure to reduce the intricate feedback system comprising our aesthetic sense to a hard set of
65 Walter Rogers. Rogers, Walter. 2011. The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A
Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Firm. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons,
Inc., p. 4.
66 James Corner. 1990. A Discourse on Theory I: Sounding the Depths Origins, Theory, and
Representation. Landscape Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2, Fall.
67 Ibid, p. 62.
53


criteria, taste became grounded in the consensus formed by those with wealth, power and
privilege.68
Attitudes imbedded in Romanticism, Modernism, and the sustainability agenda have in
different ways contributed to the separation of art and science within landscape architecture.
Several theorists now note the suffocating embrace69 of ecology in contemporary landscape
architecture as projects frequently emphasize function and performance metrics, systems thinking,
and the application of principles advancing from McHargs overlay analysis method and the
development of GIS technology. According to Anne Whiston Spirn in The Authority of Nature,
ecology has subsumed other design considerations to become (for a loud contingency) the only
defensible design approach.70 Spirn distinguishes between ecology as a descriptive science, ecology
as a norm for beauty, and ecology as a moral cause. While ecology as a science models the
interrelated nature of systems and processes, ecology as a norm for beauty or a moral cause tend to
find their way into what proposes to be a merely descriptive practice, guiding an ecological
approach to landscape architectural practice toward dogma.
While a number of contemporary landscape architects have found ways to bridge ecological
and artistic models and methods71, reclamation as a practice remains largely informed by ecological
and economic performance modeling.72 It may be that in the face of pressing issues like habitat
destruction and acid mine drainage, a concern for aesthetics might be considered superficial,
68 WJ.T. Mitchell. 2002. Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
69 Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. 2008. Landscape Theory. New York and London: Routledge.
70 Anne Whiston Spirn. 1997. The Authority of Nature: Conflict and Confusion in Landscape
Architecture. In Nature and Ideology: Natural Garden Design in the Twentieth Century edited by
Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, p. 36.
71 Elizabeth Meyer identifies Catherine Howett, Michael Hough, Anne Whiston Spirn, Michael Van
Valkenburgh and George Hargreaves as operating in this realm. Sustaining Beauty, 13.
72 I refer to research on reclamation history, policy, and current practices summarized in the Context
chapter.
54


irresponsible, or arrogant and misguided, given the weight of other considerations.73 It may be that
the views of landscape as a productive human resource and landscape as an aesthetic experience
are too fundamentally different. As Neil Evernden suggests in The Ambiguous Landscape:
the situation is analogous to viewing an optical illusion like the vase that on close examination
becomes two faces in profile only one version, one reality can be seen at a time. When the
resource version appears, the aesthetic version instantly dissolves.74
Looking to landscape architectural history and theory, this chapter traces multiple roles for
aesthetics in landscape architecture in general and post-mining landscapes in particular. Like
modern science, an aesthetic lens or framework comes with both strengths and limitations in terms
of how it allows us to construct knowledge, suggesting a both/and approach to ecological and
aesthetic models for post-mining sites.
Tracing aesthetics
If reclamation is to be understood and of value to our future, aesthetic sensibility must be
inclusive of the cultural agents that also lie beneath the surface.75
In an age of ecology, some would argue that landscape architecture already suffers from
associations with the pastoral or gardenesque scenes brought to mind by an invocation of landscape
aesthetics. As a term that has been appropriated in a multitude of ways, aesthetics has come to be
understood mostly as a standardized notion of beauty or taste76 rather than a way of constructing
knowledge and meaning through sensory experience. This chapter looks to the shifting role of
aesthetics from a lens or framework that allows us to understand, interpret and represent our
experiences in the world to a framework that is viewed as surficial, ideological, cultural, and
73 David Hays. 2008. Landscape Theory edited by Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. New York and
London: Routledge, p. 122.
74 Neil Evernden. 1981. The Ambiguous Landscape. Geographical Review, vol. 71, no. 2 (April), p. 157.
75 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press,
p. 143.
76 Oxford English Dictionary.
55


political. This shift can be seen as both limiting and expanding what aesthetics as a framework is
capable of addressing in the landscape.
Stemming from the Greek root aisthetikos, meaning sensitive, perceptive, aesthetics is
rooted in the realm of sensory perception. In this original sense, aesthetics is both a way of being in
the world and a way of understanding and interpreting that world. Art is directly related to
aesthetics as the mode or practice through which we form concepts and representations from our
perceptions. According to John Dewey, art (as enabled by our aesthetic sense) is proof of mans
consciousness of relationships found in nature. Further, art allows us to interpret and ascribe
meaning to these cause and effect relationships.77 This resonates with Frederick Turners formulation
of our aesthetic sense as our ability to organize and recognize meaning in the world around us and
act as a sound basis for future action.78
The reduction of aesthetics to surficial appearance was partly a result of the increasing need
to rationalize or make sense of what David Flarvey calls the humanization of nature. Alexander
Baumgartens aesthetic theory sought to liberate the human spirit through sensory experiences in
the world and he relied on reason to craft his argument. But as Terry Eagleton argues, [t]he rational
and the sensuous, far from reproducing one anothers inner structure, have ended up wholly at
odds.79 Lacking the precision, rigor, reproducibility, and universality of scientific methods, aesthetics
became increasingly difficult to rationalize or frame within a set of reliable criteria. Conversely,
when partnered with a rational approach that tried to provide these reliable criteria, aesthetics
seemed to lose its very essence and efficacy.
To reduce the impact of the color red upon our senses to its purely physical concept was to
lose something in exactly the same way that the reduction of landscapes meaning to a
77 John Dewey. 1934. Art as Experience. New York: Penguin, pp. 25-26.
78 Frederick Turner. 1994. The Invented Landscape. In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and
Inventing Landscapes. University of Minnesota Press, p. 52.
79 In David Flarvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge: Blackwell, p.
129.
56


description of its geological components was to lose the essence of what [ajesthetic
experience was about. [Aesthetics therefore had to remain at the level of surface
appearance, immediate impact and, most important of all, at the level of the totality.80
In this manner, aesthetics shifted from what was once a layered conception of meaning and
experience to something that was surficial, immediate, and universal. The notion of universality or
totality in aesthetics is especially important here as it establishes a norm by which to assign value
and meaning to landscape. Becoming divorced from continual perception and interpretation and
alternately grounded in the notion of taste, aesthetics began to operate within a particular
ideological construct.
As W.J.T. Mitchell argues in Imperial Landscape, landscape itself was from the first an
idealized aesthetic category. It stemmed from a genre of painting associated with a new way of
seeing from a particular perspective. Referencing John Ruskin, Mitchell describes mankind as having
acquired a new sense along with landscape painting that he calls Landscape perception: we are
suddenly able to fix the world as a picture or a representation in our minds. Landscape painting then
becomes a way of representing a representation and is situated within a particular style or way of
seeing. Mitchell connects the advent of landscape aesthetics with an imperialist posture and a
conception of the western European perspective as the universal human subject.81 Arguing for
landscape to be ultimately understood as a medium of cultural expression rather than an aesthetic
category, Mitchell reveals how landscape aesthetics is embedded in ideology.
While aesthetics as a norm for beauty has served to reinforce certain hegemonial power
structures, aesthetics has also been emphasized as a potentially liberating force. The Frankfurt
School has contributed to this notion through analysis and criticism responding to the failures of
Enlightenment strategies. Critical of positivism, they looked to the potential for aesthetics to revive
80 Ibid, p. 129.
81 Even further, WJ.T. Mitchell calls landscape the dreamwork of imperialism. WJ.T. Mitchell. 2002.
Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 10.
57


a sensory, participatory, and dialectical relationship with the natural world.82 Herbert Marcuse
counters the conception of aesthetics as a universal or totalitarian vision and instead emphasizes
aesthetics as a collective practice of generating value and meaning through experience: The
aesthetic universe is the Lebensweit on which the needs and faculties of freedom depend on for their
liberation...They can emerge only in the collective practice of creating an environment.83 Walter
Benjamin also notes aesthetics as operating within a cultural framework, but one that is flexible and
collectively shaped.84
James Corner, Neil Evernden, Frederick Turner and several other authors addressing nature,
culture, and landscape suggest a return to a hermeneutical or discursive approach to aesthetics that
would rely on continual acts of perception and interpretation. This approach would acknowledge
existing historic, cultural and ideological constructs but would become responsive rather than
beholden. Like Benjamins notion of aesthetics being embedded in a fabric of tradition that is
thoroughly alive and extremely changeable85, this approach understands our aesthetic sense as
being informed but not dictated by our cultural and historical context. If we fail in the act of
continually perceiving and interpreting the world around us, we perpetuate old values and meanings
that no longer apply given our current cultural context.86
Sustaining Beauty, Elizabeth Meyer outlines a place for landscape aesthetics in the
sustainability agenda, arguing that beauty has performative value and is central in shifting our
consciousness from an egocentric to an eco-centric perspective. Referencing Frederick Law
Olmsteds theories on the psychological effects of the physical characteristics and sensory qualities
82 David Harvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge: Blackwell, p.
135.
83 Herbert Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation, in Morton 2007, p. 24.
84 Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction, pp. 9-10.
85 Ibid, pp. 9-10.
86 Neil Evernden. 1992. The Social Creation of Nature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
58


of Landscape, she Looks to aesthetics not as a visuaL or styListic category but as a bodiLy experience
that can Lead to recognition, empathy, Love, respect and care for the environment.87 She
emphasizes the abiLity of aesthetics to extend an ethic of care beyond the reaLm of ecoLogicaL heaLth
into the sociaL and cuLturaL sphere, which is preciseLy what she deems missing from our
sustainabiLity agenda.
The design approach she terms Sustaining Beauty uses aesthetics as a tooL to engender
somatic, sensory experiences of pLaces that Lead to new awareness of the rhythms and cycLes
necessary to sustain and regenerate Life.88 In her manifesto outlining the tenets for such an
approach, she Lists 11 claims:
Sustainable landscape design is fundamentally a cultural act that requires
acknowledgement and engagement as such. This excludes designs merely created using
sustainable materials or technologies.
Hybrid concepts and terms are required to extend beyond traditional binaries.
Sustainable design must extend beyond ecological performance to include sociaL and
cultural engagement and efficacy.
Sustainable Landscape design should draw more from the processes and functions found in
nature than the forms.
Hypernature is a form of constructed nature that can be used to promote engagement with
surroundings.
Hypernature in design is revelatory, exaggerating and drawing attention to processes of
nature.
Aesthetics in sustainable Landscape design can construct transformative experiences, and
thus have performative value.
87 Elizabeth Meyer. 2008. Sustaining Beauty: The performance of appearance. Journal of Landscape
Architecture, Volume 3, Issue 1, p. 7.
88 Ibid, p. 15.
59


Sustainable beauty is particular and highly contextual.
Sustainable beauty is dynamic, ephemeral and fleeting.
Aesthetics can contribute to resilient and regenerative landscapes.
Sustainable landscape design can engender a form of learning.
Romantic, Picturesque, Sublime
As an aesthetic framework that encompasses the cultural and societal attitudes, political
ideologies, conceptions of beauty, and design principles embedded in Romanticism, a discussion of
the Picturesque is essential. The Picturesque emerged as a product of Romanticism, a movement
that emerged opposite and alongside Rationalism to achieve the Enlightenment ideals of
emancipation and self-realization. Romanticism responded to our loss of contact with the natural
world by seeking re-enchantment through sensorial, emotive experience. The humanization of
nature through landscape gardening became the primary means of achieving self-realization by
liberating the human senses to the sublime and transcendental experience of being at one with the
world.89
Romanticism was born in the late 18th century along with the Industrial Revolution and the
increasing rationalization of nature in the sciences. Promoting the free and creative faculties of the
individual, Romanticism was a way of thinking or being in the world. Both the ends and the means
to self-realization, it aimed to liberate the individual in order to open up new cultural, political,
material, artistic, or scientific potential for human development.90 Culturally notable tenets of
Romanticism are heightened awareness of self, consumerism, a longing for emotive and aesthetic
experiences in nature, pursuit of the unbounded and unattainable, and art with an agenda attached.
89 David Harvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge: Blackwell, p.
128.
90 Emancipation and self-realization were co-dependent and contradictory. Collective emancipation
in the public realm was seen as a precondition for self-realization, but individual self-realization was
necessary in order to achieve emancipation. See David Harvey, Ibid., p. 122.
60


The Picturesque is an aesthetic framework that encompasses Romantic ideas about nature,
beauty, art and Landscape. William Gilpin described the basic formal characteristics of the
Picturesque in his Remarks on Forest Scenery in 1791. For Gilpin, Picturesque beauty was captured
in the wild, unkempt scenes of nature, especially in forms that revealed processes of organic growth,
decay, and change over time. Uvedale Prices An Essay on the Picturesque further distinguished
Picturesque beauty as embodied in rough, irregular, asymmetrical scenes and objects. Richard Payne
Knight emphasized the Picturesque as an emotive response in the viewer rather than a set of
qualities by the objects or scenes to be viewed. This differing conception of the Locus of Picturesque
beauty whether in the scene/object or in the mind of the beholder is an unresolved complexity
of the Picturesque as an aesthetic mode.91
The Picturesque notion of beauty in Landscape derived not only from abstract formal and
conceptual ideals but also from more concrete social, cultural, political and material conditions. To
understand Landscape as a cultural idea and image rather than a visual scene or a collection of
objects requires a consideration of those factors underlying the formation of the Landscape idea.92
Picturesque scenes of untrammeled woodlands and pastures began to be celebrated at precisely the
time when such scenes where being threatened by increasing appropriation of Land for productive
purposes. The recent proliferation of the enclosed agricultural field created a homogenized
Landscape surface and had subsumed much of the regional variance in Landscape character. In this
sense, Picturesque woodland scenery was both a compensatory gesture referencing the Loss of such
91 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. Situating Modern Landscape Architecture. In Theory in Landscape
Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, pp. 22-
23.
92 Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels. 1988. The Iconography of Landscape. New York: Cambridge
University Press, p. 1.
61


Landscapes, and a demonstration of the wealth of the owner who could afford to possess property
that was not put toward productive purposes.93
The Industrial Revolution heavily influenced the formation of Romantic culture and society,
further transforming the Landscape idea through significant alterations to modes of material and
artistic production. Industrial capitalism transformed the relationship between producers of cultural
materials (painters, writers, poets, Landscape gardeners) and their audience both directly and
analogously. As the expanding middle class created more demand for these products and the role of
the patron diminished, industrial advances were also rendering these items more readily producible.
Artists asserted their creative and aesthetic sensibilities by enforcing a normative distinction
between the dynamic, organic processes of nature (which they associated themselves with), and the
mechanical, manufactured products of industry.94
In dialectical terms the Picturesque operates as a synthesis of the beautiful and the sublime.
In his book entitled A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful, Edmund Burke
distinguished between the graceful elegance of the beautiful versus the vast magnificence of the
sublime. In his Critique of Judgment, Immanuel Kant further reflected on the relationship between
these two opposing and intertwined notions. While Burke and Kant differ slightly in their
conceptions of the beautiful and sublime,95 their dialectical arrangement suggests that the terms
operate very differently on their own but converge as a new third entity.
Robert Smithson noted the dialectic formed by Picturesque notions of the beautiful and
sublime in his essay Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape:
93 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. Situating Modern Landscape Architecture. In Theory in Landscape
Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p. 25.
94 Denis Cosgrove. 1984. Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape. Kent: Crook Helm, pp. 224-225.
95 Most notably, whether the sublime is Located in an external object as suggested by Burke and
substantialism or whether it is an essence produced through an experience as asserted by Kant and
essentialism.
62


Price and Gilpin provide a synthesis with their formulation of the Picturesque, which is on
close examination related to chance and change in the material order of nature. The
contradictions of the picturesque depart from a static formalistic view of nature. The
picturesque, far from being an inner movement of the mind, is based on real land; it
precedes the mind in its material external existence. We cannot take a one-sided view of
the landscape within this dialectic. A park can no longer be seen as a-thing-in-itself, but
rather as a process of ongoing relationships existing in a physical region the park
becomes a thing-for-us.96
As a dialectical synthesis of the beautiful and the sublime, the Picturesque acts as an aesthetic
framework that mediates between subject and object, between presence and absence, between
resolution and uncertainty, between pleasure and terror. In this sense the Picturesque is less a set of
formal or visual criteria and more a product of human perception and experience; it is this human
experience in the landscape that reveals and generates layers of meaning. Elizabeth Meyer notes the
more recent recovery of the non-visual aspects of the Picturesque in Situating Modern Landscape
Architecture:
Temporal change, spatial sequence, memory and association, the inability to comprehend in
a glance...Geological layers and cultural memories have been uncovered, thus expanding
the Picturesques grounding in history, time, ruin, and memory. The picture plane of the
Picturesque has been thickened to include past and present, natural and cultural history -
all understood through movement.97
The Picturesque touches the pivotal concepts of nostalgia, self-awareness, and romantic
irony that remain central to a discussion of contemporary landscape aesthetics. The formal and
spatial mechanisms of the Picturesque as an aesthetic framework play with the notion of distance as
a screen or mediator between two simultaneous and conflicting conditions. The use of scenography
is one such strategy for mediating this distance. Scenography refers to a distancing between
spectator and environment created by establishing a background and foreground (and sometimes a
middle ground), composing the landscape as a scene to be viewed as if through a frame. Those
individual frames are intentionally choreographed to construct an experience in the landscape as
96 Robert Smithson. 1979. Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape. In The Writings
of Robert Smithson edited by N. Holt. New York: New York University Press, 1979.
97 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. Situating Modern Landscape Architecture. In Theory in Landscape
Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p. 28.
63


the viewer moves from frame to frame. This experience traditionally follows a narrative structure
allowing for the establishment of a norm, the development of a conflict, and some sense of
resolution.
The Post-Industrial Sublime
In her essay entitled Seized by Sublime Sentiments, Elizabeth Meyer positions two works
by Richard Haag Gasworks Park and Bloedel Reserve as operating within a new postmodern
form of the sublime. Meyer (like Kant and Knight) identifies the presence of the sublime to be
profound in terms of the experience it affords rather than the form it takes. Meyer denotes three
critical elements of this emerging form of the landscape sublime: the ability to destroy form (key
given landscapes embeddedness in the world), the representation of the invisible (parallel to recent
interests in making site processes and histories visible and spatial), and the central role of the
viewer in the construction of the sublime (recalling phenomenological and hermeneutical theories
dependence on the body, immersion in place, and subjectivity).98 She further suggests that sublime
qualities stimulate the individual unconscious, potentially altering the collective consciousness
surrounding these landscapes and even generating an ethical response.
Following Meyers scholarship on the post-industrial sublime, Susan Herrington studied the
particular ways in which contemporary landscape design operates within the basic tenets of
Picturesque aesthetics. Approaching the Picturesque as a style, an ideological operation, and an
aesthetic mode, Herrington argues that while contemporary landscape architecture has moved
beyond its stylistic and ideological operations, it continues to participate in Picturesque aesthetics.
Further, she suggests that studying landscapes and landscape representations through Picturesque
aesthetics will prove useful to students and professionals as a critical and analytic framework.
98 Elizabeth Meyer. 1998. Seized by Sublime Sentiments. In Landscape Views. New York: Princeton
Architectural Press, pp. 11-12.
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According to Herrington, as an aesthetic theory, the Picturesque is an attempt to grasp how
certain works of art form mental connections between sensations, ideas, and memories. The tenets
of Picturesque aesthetics operate in contemporary landscape architectural projects through (1) the
primacy given to the role of the imaginative spectator; (2) the use of artifacts that would be deemed
unsightly or even ugly without picturesque aesthetics; and (3) content in these works that is typically
unfamiliar to a twenty-first-century, service oriented culture.99 Shifting the human subject from
passive viewer to active participant emphasizes landscape as an iterative and exploratory process
that is actively created by the viewer through sensory experience and perception. The use of
unsightly artifacts brings forth another layer of site to overlay primary experience: memory.
Industrial artifacts function as Picturesque ruins, sparking ideas, sensations, memories, and a sense
of nostalgia in the imagination of the viewer. A precise distancing of the scene from the human
subject further provokes a sense of awe, wonder, and curiosity.
In his essay entitled Landscape as Not Belonging, Robin Kelsey proposes that landscape,
after becoming scenic, took a romantic turn that conjoined experience of not belonging with an
aestheticized longing. The aesthetic delight or poignancy of the romantic landscape derived from
the alienation of artist and viewer from the society of the depicted place.100 Kelsey suggests that
this fantasy of not belonging has everything to do with romantic distance, with insulating ourselves
from the effects of our actions, and being free from obligation.
The romantic ruin functions with scenography to carry the concepts of nostalgia, self-
awareness, and romantic irony through the aesthetic framework of the Picturesque. While
scenography creates a sense of distance spatially and choreographs an experience sequentially, the
99 Susan Herrington. 2006. Framed Again: The Picturesque Aesthetics of Contemporary Landscapes.
Landscape Journal, Volume 25, Issue 1, No. 6, p. 26.
100 In Landscape Theory edited by Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. 2008. New York and London:
Routledge, p. 205.
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ruin acts as a referent to connect the viewer with deep time, often invoking a sense of nostalgia or
displacement.
Eco-Revelatory Design and Toxic Beauty
The 1998 exhibit Eco-Revelatory Design101 bridged the ground between two divergent
lenses within landscape architecture: the ecological and the cultural. Asserting that ecological and
cultural phenomena are inextricably intertwined, the exhibit featured design projects revealing the
interrelationships between these systems and processes. According to Frederick Turner, the show
signaled a major transition in our basic cultural model of the human relationship with the rest of
nature...a transition from a heroic, linear, industrial, power-based, entropic-thermodynamic, goal-
oriented model, to a tragicomic, nonlinear, horticultural, influence-based, synergetic, evolutionary-
emergentist, process-oriented model.102
The exhibit categorized works under Abstraction and Simulation, New Uses/Deeper Caring,
Signifying Features, Exposing Infrastructure Processes, Reclaiming/Remembering/Reviving, and Changing
Perspectives. Among these works was a tendency to not only reveal ecological functions and
processes, but also relate or assign interpretive and symbolic meaning to these functions and situate
them within broader cultural or historic contexts. The project Testing the Waters by Julie Bargmann
and Stacy Levy presents an example of this approach as it applies to post-mining landscapes.
Toxic beauty, a term coined by Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T. Studios (Design Investigations
Reclaiming Terrain or Dump It Right There), relays the notion of this new and emerging form of the
post-industrial sublime. Bargmann works primarily with post-industrial sites and advocates for a
holistic design approach that is inclusive of cultural, economic, ecological, and spiritual aspects of
landscape. Rather than erasing traces of alteration and industry, she argues that landscape architects
101 The exhibit originated in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois
and was curated by Brenda Brown, Terry Harkness, and Douglas Johnston. Landscape Journal, vol. 60,
special issue, 1998.
102 Frederick Turner. 1998. A Cracked Case. Landscape Journal, vol. 17, special issue, p. 138.
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should work along with engineers and ecologists to address the complexities of such landscapes
through design. Her revelatory approach to landscape relies on a strategy she terms Industrial
Forensics, which attempts to uncover and make legible site history and process. While she sees a
growing awareness and support for this way of thinking, she notes that we currently lack the
vocabulary, methods, and design precedents to support such an agenda.103
Bargmanns notion of toxic beauty in part refers to the aesthetic appreciation of landscapes
that would not be considered conventionally beautiful. More specifically, toxic beauty refers to
landscapes that also pose real or perceived threats such as vast open pits or acid mine drainage. A
revelatory approach to these landscapes emphasizes the central role that representation plays in
both revealing and creating meaning and value for landscape. Toxic beauty emerges as a new form
of sublime in which landscapes acquire layers of meaning through the visibility, legibility, and
experience of interacting with industrial ruins. These ruins act as physical representations of site
history and allow the visitor to experience multiple layers of site simultaneously.
For the most part with landscape, expectations are locked into a pastoral ideal. But when
I've re-presented these industrial landscapes to the community and posed the question, "Do
you think these are beautiful?" they will say, "You know what? It's a stretch for me but they
are." And I think they're responding to their experience actually working on these sites. They
realize, "This is important to my memory." Clearly they're not proud of a toxic legacy, but
with that comes a memory of their hard work and supporting a family so to them, there's a
beauty to it. But this is only if they're even given an opportunity to see that. There are so
many people working out there who only show the community a menu of idealized
landscapes they don't even give them a chance to respond to the industrial landscape
itself.104
Bargmann challenges the idea that altered landscapes should be reclaimed to meet a preconceived
notion of a pastoral ideal. She also emphasizes the importance of representing these sites to
community members in ways that allow them to participate in the construction of meaning and
value. This shifts the role of landscape from a fixed object to be consumed to a dynamic experience
103 Heather Ring. 2006. DIRT Studio: Interview with Julie Bargmann. Archinect,
http://archinect.com/features/article/45200/d-i-r-t-studio. Accessed 17 January 2015.
104 Ibid.
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that involves the participation of multiple parties. Representation is the link allowing these
viewpoints to layer and converge.
New Topographies
Acknowledging the role that representation plays in shaping the landscape idea and the
meaning and value it holds for human culture, this chapter looks to the emergence of the post-
industrial sublime and toxic beauty in landscape photography. Referencing the New Topographers
as an early example105 of this way of framing the landscape, both images and commentary are
consulted to further explore the notion of sublime beauty in post-industrial landscapes.
The label New Topographers originated from an influential 1975 exhibition in Rochester,
New York entitled The New Topographies: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape. The show
exhibited a fascinating and unsettling balance between nature and culture, featuring images from
American artists Robert Adams, Joe Deal, Lewis Baltz, Frank Gohlke, Nicolas Nixon, John Scott,
Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel along with works from German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher of
the Dusseldorf School. While the photographers themselves did not assemble to express their work
as the beginning of a new movement, the curator of the show William Jenkins framed the works
collectively as such.106
In Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography, William Ewing traces landscape
photography from its origins with Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre in 1839 through several notable
phases: 1) Romantic Pictorialism in which the soft, ethereal qualities of photographs resembled
landscape paintings, 2) the vivid clarity of the 1920s in which the modern, material world was
captured in detail and from new vantage points including aerial and axonometric perspectives, 3)
the Romantic Sublime captured most iconically in the work of Ansel Adams, and 4) the altered
105 The New Topographers were forerunners in the United States the Dusseldorf School was
already working in this vein with vivid, large-scale prints of altered landscapes and post-industrial
sites.
106 William Ewing. 2014. Landmark: The fields of landscape photography. London: Thames & Hudson.
pp. 20-21.
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Landscape approach acknowledging the uneasy struggle between artifice and nature107 forged by
the New Topographers in the 1970s. While photographers working in the style of Ansel Adams
deliberately cropped out signs of human presence or influence in the Landscape, the New
Topographers began to chart and expose the increasingly visible extent to which humans alter and
inhabit Landscape. Photographer John Schott sees his work as a kind of dynamic tension, with
balance, wonder, Luminosity, method, and clarity...present under the same sky as satire, failure,
ignorance, fear a simultaneous reflection of and statement about human endeavor.108
According to critics we are still in the new topographic mindset and altered Landscape
remains the dominant mode of Landscape photography. The field has shifted slightly over the years
with contributions from photographers Like Edward Burtynsky, John Ganis, Richard Misrach andJ.
Henry Fair who aim to not only expose our inscriptions but also the processes driving them. While
the New Topographers of the 1970s were influenced by the notion of the cameras relative
objectivity in recording Landscape conditions, todays photographers acknowledge that behind the
Lens is an attitude or a position. In this sense the images aim to provoke the viewer or make them
curious, Leading to some form of acknowledgement or engagement with issues.109 Ewing speaks to a
cultural or generational difference in attitudes: the earlier generation Looked for spiritual growth
and enlightenment (some connection with the Romantic Sublime); the current generation is more
anxiously focused on more pressing existential issues, driven by the feeling that the clock is ticking
- what are we doing to the earth? What impact is my own presence having? And where is reality in
107 William Ewing. 2014. Landmark: The fields of Landscape photography. London: Thames & Hudson,
p. 21.
108 Ibid, p. 21.
109 John Ganis. 2003. Consuming the American Landscape. Sockport, UK: Dewi Lewis Publishing.
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this world of growing artifice?110 The images are meant to not only provoke some form of response
or engagement, but also draw attention to the notions of truth, objectivity, and deception in imagery.
In Toxic Sublime: Imaging Contaminated Landscapes, Jennifer Peeples analyzes the
images of photographers like Edward Burtynsky that reveal the strange beauty of altered landscapes,
creating a presence for such landscapes in the collective imagination. She notes that contemporary
photographers who work in this vein are criticized for obscuring the hazardous risks of polluted sites
by emphasizing their evocative beauty. Through textual and visual analysis, Peeples argues (like
Ewing) that these images ultimately function to encourage contemplation about these landscapes
and our cultural position toward them.111 Tracing the evolution of the sublime from sites of nature to
sites of technology, she defines the term toxic sublime as the tensions that arise from recognizing
the toxicity of a place, object, or situation, while simultaneously appreciating its mystery,
magnificence, and ability to inspire awe.112
Peeples distinguishes between the natural sublime attributed to acts of God and the
technological sublime attributed to acts of humanity. While the technological sublime marvels at our
human accomplishments, the toxic sublime invokes horror rather than awe by calling attention to
our neglect or maltreatment of the environment and our own response upon realizing our impact.
She identifies a diminishment of self that occurs upon this realization and a sense of separation or
lack of control. She also notes a response that in Kantian terms would be deemed a negative
pleasure or an indirect state of satisfaction in which one is simultaneously attracted to and repelled
110 William Ewing. 2014. Landmark: The fields of landscape photography. London: Thames & Hudson,
P- 25.
111 Jennifer Peeples. 2011. Toxic Sublime: Imaging Contaminated Landscapes. Environmental
Communication, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 373-392 (December).
112 Ibid, p. 375.
70


by the sublime object. This would characterize the reaction of feeling that a contaminated site is
beautiful while also feeling guilty or responsible.113
In addition, Peeples notes the growing extent to which we are a visual culture and the
strong correlation between what we are presented visual evidence of and what we are likely to care
about in the environment.114 She demonstrates that individuals pay more attention to environmental
issues that are evocatively articulated rather than the issues that pose the greatest threat to
human or ecosystem health.
CASE: Vitondale Reclamation Park
Vitondale Reclamation Park was the pilot project for AMD + ART, an initiative to forge new
approaches to the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD). After years of coal mining activity, the
Vitondale site had become a dump for waste coal and other miscellaneous refuse. Primary
reclamation concerns revolved around treating the water contaminated by acid mine drainage and
removing waste. The resultant design is a wetland comprised of multiple chambers to contain and
treat water. The chambers display the water in various phases of treatment, highlighting the visible
progression of the vibrant orange acid runoff becoming clearer through each phase. The project was
completed in 2004 by an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers, scientists, and historians,
including Bargmann of DIRT Studios.
According to AMD + ART director and founder T. Allan Comp, their solution is uniquely
situated at the intersection of the sciences, humanities and arts. Recognizing the acid mine drainage
is more than a scientific problem, Comp emphasizes that reclamation needs to engage cultural
considerations: I suggest that the vast array of environmental-reclamation science and technology
is not sufficient, that the degraded environments we address are cultural artifacts as much as they
113 Ibid, p. 381.
114 Peeples references studies by S. Sontag (Regarding the pain of others, 2003) and C. Ferreira, A.
Boholm and R. Lofstedt (From vision to catastrophe: A risk event in search of images, 2001).
71


are problems for science, and that we must address these problems with the full range of the art and
humanities, as well as the sciences, if we are to be effective.115
From a scientific perspective, the passive treatment system targets contamination issues by
raising pH levels and removing dissolved metals. From an aesthetic viewpoint, the treatment system
can be seen as a work of art a visible, symbolic representation of both the contamination itself and
the process of removal. Socially and culturally, it can be viewed as a project aimed at legibility,
empowerment and community involvement in simultaneously revealing the past and projecting into
the future.116

Figure 17. Photomontage of water treatment concept.
http://www.dirtstudio.eom/#vintondale
115 T. Allan Comp, Science, art, and environmental reclamation: three projects and a few thoughts.
In Berger 2008, p. 63.
116 AMD + ART, The Solution, http://www.amdandart.info/tour_solution.html.
72


Figure 18. Plan for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility.
http://www.dirtstudio.eom/#vintondale
73


Rain falls
Infiltration underground
Acidification in the mine.
Neutralization
Iron precipitation.
re acidification
Iron reduction,
reacidification.
/ ACID BASIN
I Oxidation Sedimentation.
"* pH 2.9
(fe TREATMENT WETLAND
Reduction. Neutralization:
sulfate reducing bacteria
pH 3.1
S A P S
Oxygen stripping
' Neutralization: limestone
pll 5.5
/ SETTLING BASIN
jlf Aeration
Iron precipitation,
reacidiftcation.
pH 4.0
Is* 5.A.P.S.
") Oxygen stripping.
v NeulralizatkMv limestone
pH 6.2
£i SETTLING BASIN
fl'fe Aeration.
Iron precipitation,
reacidiftcation.
pH 6.0
W CLARIFICATION MARSH
1 Reduction.
Neutralization:
sulfate reducing bacteria.
Evapotranspirattorv
vegetation.
pH 6.5
(> EMERGENT WETLAND
a 'fc Evapotranspiration:
vegetation
pH 7.0
9
RELEASE CHANNEL
Treated water to creek.
pH 7.0
Evaporation to atmosphere.
SEQUENTIAL
ALKALINE
jm PRODUCING LIMESTONE SETTLING
> SYSTEM SPILLWAY BASIN
Rain falls.
Figure 19. Diagram for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility.
http://www.dirtstudio.eom/#vintondale
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CHAPTER V
ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
Reclaiming aesthetics
The altered landscapes in this book document the beginning of an emerging post-
technological landscape condition, one that absorbs alteration and reparation as part of the
landscapes new structure. They reveal our systems of production for land and scape. They
expand our aesthetic sensibilities beyond simplistic judgments of what is natural or
cultural. They unveil cultural edification for revaluing the landscape and the subsequent
creation of its new forms.117
As discussed in the Theory chapter, aesthetics has served multiple roles as a framework
allowing us to interpret landscape and generate meaning through experience to a framework that is
viewed as superficial, ideological or political to a framework that can reveal site history and process
provoking acknowledgement and response. The following analysis and interpretation focuses on
identifying the role that aesthetics currently serves in post-mining sites and reclamation projects.
Consulting concepts brought forth in the Theory chapter, it also suggests ways in which that role
might expand. Referencing the capacity for our aesthetic sense to generate meaning and value for
landscape by allowing us to experience, understand, and interpret the world around us, this chapter
reclaims aesthetics as fundamentally implicated in the practice of making landscape as an idea, as a
representation, and as a place.
Sources consulted in the Theory chapter suggest a perceptible shift toward revelatory
aesthetics for altered landscapes. While this shift is not reflected in the discourses surrounding
reclamation policy and mainstream practices that tend to invoke aesthetics as a tool to conceal or
naturalize the altered landscape, authors like Alan Berger, Julie Bargmann, Frederick Turner, Allan
Comp and more argue for design approaches to altered landscapes that would reveal site history and
process. As demonstrated through the altered landscape mode of landscape photography and
117 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p.
209.
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certain graphic trends within Landscape architecture, this revelatory strategy is expanding to include
not only specific site history and process through the use of industrial ruins, but using aesthetics to
make visible the connections to broader social, cultural, political, and economic patterns and flows.
While strategies to conceal or naturalize altered Landscapes would appropriate aesthetics as
a normative or ideological tool, a revelatory approach to these sites relies on aesthetics as a critical
and interpretive framework that is participatory, inclusive, and capable of discovering or generating
new meaning and value for altered Landscapes. If we rely on revelatory design strategies for altered
Landscapes, aesthetics then comes to the fore as the framework through which histories, memories,
and experiences allow us to understand and interpret these sites. While much of the Language
attending to Landscape aesthetics tends to be skeptical or dismissive, a closer consideration of how
aesthetics operates in altered Landscapes may be both critical and timely.
Several authors have explored toxic beauty and the post-industrial sublime as operating
within the basic tenets of the Picturesque as an aesthetic mode. Upon closer examination, toxic
beauty is also connected to underlying attitudes embedded in Romanticism, more specifically the
simultaneous and conflicting presences that appear through nostalgia, self-awareness, and romantic
irony. Post-mining sites are some of the best-suited models to explore how these concepts operate
in contemporary Landscapes because of the visible scars and ruins present and our increasing remote
visual access to these sites fostered through contemporary Landscape photography and other
representational media. By studying the way that we engage with and respond to these places and
images through an aesthetic framework, we can begin to further understand and articulate the way
that aesthetics operates in these sites and use that information to formulate our criteria for
intervening as designers.
Elizabeth Meyer has identified the post-industrial sublime as being capable of destroying
form, representing the invisible, and centrally Locating the viewer to construct meaning and
experience in the Landscape. She also suggests that aesthetics can provoke response and
76


engagement from the viewer. Susan Herrington, while rejecting the stylistic and ideological aspects
of Picturesque aesthetics, emphasizes that Picturesque aesthetics continue to operate in
contemporary landscapes through the central role of the imaginative spectator and the use of
industrial ruins and artifacts. Both authors connect contemporary Picturesque aesthetics or the post-
industrial form of the sublime with 1) revealing site history and process through industrial ruins and
2) the central role of the viewer in experiencing, interpreting and responding to these sites. They
suggest that the role of the designer is to reveal, and that the authorship of meaning and experience
in these sites is generated through the interplay between site history, processes, memories,
associations, experiences and more.
Nostalgia, self-awareness, and romantic irony in altered landscapes respond to the notion of
the landscape as a ruin. The visual, spatial, or symbolic qualities found in post-mining sites such as
open pits, piles of waste material, abandoned structures, or vibrantly-color tailings impoundments
act as a referent connecting the sites past and present. This distorts our linear conception of time,
creating a sense of displacement between two different temporal frames. Connecting this to the
notion of scenography, ruins frame and sequence the landscape using time rather than space. This
relies not only on the landscape itself to generate the content for these frames, but also our faculties
of memory and association. Through an aestheticized longing for the past, or nostalgia, we fix the
landscape as an idealized image or representation in our minds. Ruins mediate a very precise
distance between landscape and viewer by presenting scenes or objects as displaced from their
original context.118 In the case of post-mining landscapes, these ruins are just far enough removed
from the present to be viewed as a scene we do not belong to. Robin Kelsey describes this as a
fantasy of not belonging in which the concepts of nostalgia, self-awareness, and romantic irony
play a central role.
118 Referencing Gillian Roses context of production vs. context of reception, the viewer re-produces
these objects in the act of viewing them. Rose, Gillian. 2001. Visual Methodologies. London: Sage
Publications LTD.
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Toxic beauty in part refers to the aesthetic appreciation of Landscapes that would not be
considered conventionally beautiful. In this sense, toxic beauty in the Landscape is Like avant garde
art that seeks to defy or subvert conventional notions of what is beautiful. Like the Picturesque
sublime, toxic beauty also refers to a scene that appears dangerous or threatening such as a gaping
open pit or a toxic acid stream. These scenes are visually dramatic and engaging and provoke a
sense of both awe and horror from the viewer. Ultimately we are only able to conceive of these
scenes as beautiful because we have distanced ourselves as viewers. We feel terror, but it is a terror
that dissipates and resolves upon realizing that we are apart from the scene we are viewing.
The irony associated with this act is that we are not separate from these scenes. In fact, not
only are we in the scene but we are also the authors or creators. This new type of self-awareness in
the Landscape is markedly different from the Romantic Picturesque form of the sublime in which
nature acts as the agent for sublimity. Jennifer Peeples describes a diminishment of self that occurs
in this simultaneous and conflicting set of conditions that we create through the framework of toxic
beauty or the post-industrial sublime. Our fantasy of not belonging extends not only to our
position as the viewer but also our position as the author of these conditions and processes. While
this diminishment of self can be read as negligent, delusional, or escapist, it also strangely
acknowledges non-human subjects and authors as agents in the Landscape. If we enforce this type of
distancing in the Landscape and diminish our control as human authors, we stage the conditions for
a co-authorship of Landscape. This places ruins in a slightly different role. Rather than symbolizing a
past cultural condition, they might symbolize the emergence of non-human systems of 4th nature.
The agency of representation
As demonstrated in the Theory chapter, historic precedents suggest that the way we
represent Landscape plays a significant role in expressing a collective cultural attitude or approach
to Landscape, which in turn shapes the Landscape idea and the meaning and value it holds for human
culture. This means that Landscape aesthetics might not only be significant in terms of an
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experience or expression in the Landscape itself but also as a way of representing these places first
in our minds as an idea, and second through various media. While authors Like WJ.T. Mitchell have
emphasized this as asserting a certain normative or ideological role for aesthetics, it can also be
understood as revelatory, responsive, and participatory. When employed with awareness and
intentionally, aesthetics may be capable of interpreting our experiences in the world, revealing site
history and process, inviting participation and engagement, and provoking action or response
through representation.
According to Kant, three faculties account for our capacity to understand the world: pure
reason, understanding, and imagination. His aesthetic theory in part relies on the concept of free
play between imagination and understanding. Our imagination synthesizes or organizes the data we
collect through sensory perception, which Leads to the formation of concepts. Before calling upon
our capacity for judgment, our aesthetic sense first relies on this free play between perception and
imagination to form concepts and representations.119 This corresponds to Corners notion of a
hermeneutical or phenomenological approach to understanding through sensory perception.
Edward Soja refers to a similar process in The Trialectics of Space in which place is
generated through percepts, concepts, and representations. Within this feedback system
representation affects the way we view or value the Landscape and all three terms or phases
influence and inform each other. This suggests that a revelatory strategy for altered Landscapes
might not be Limited to the way we design the Landscape itself, but also the way we represent
Landscape to stakeholders, community members, and the public. As Landscape architects work almost
exclusively with representational media, this concept is essential to our practice. A revelatory
strategy in the Landscape involves not only creating images that explain how to construct a design
119 Immanuel Kant. 1987. Critique of Judgment translated by Werner S. PLuhar. Indianapolis: Hackett,
p. 218.
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or what the finished product will Look Like, but aLso expLains what is essentiaL in a site and how that
connects to Larger fLows and processes.
Representation is centraL to the way that we approach aLtered Landscapes, the way that we
formuLate probLems and soLutions in the Landscape, and the way that we communicate with others
about these Landscapes. Representation is aLso projective, aLLowing us to specuLate or imagine
through images. As demonstrated by photographers working in the aLtered Landscape mode of
Landscape photography, or certain graphic approaches within Landscape architecture, a reveLatory
approach to representation is frequentLy a way to provoke response or engagement with Landscape
processes. This reveLatory approach is expanding to incLude the more abstract sociaL, poLiticaL, and
economic fLows that shape the aLtered Landscape. Furthermore, these representations are rareLy
neutraL or aimed onLy at reveaLing or exposing; there is usuaLLy an argument or a position embedded.
Methods and approaches for reclamation practice
If this research and analysis suggests an expanded role for aesthetics in reclamation
practice, what methods and approaches would allow for this?
a. The Dialectical Landscape
A dialectic between land reclamation and mining usage must be established. The artist and
the miner must become conscious of themselves as natural agents. The world needs coal
and highways, but we do not need the results of strip-mining or highway trusts. Economics,
when abstracted form the world, is blind to natural processes. Art can become a resource
that mediates between the ecologist and the industrialist.120
While several of the reclamation projects mentioned have made use of mining structures
and artifacts as romantic ruins, there is room to explore new conceptual or symbolic strategies for
bringing forth cultural or historic aspects of post-mining sites through design. Projects included in
the exhibit Eco-Revelatory Design rely on such symbolic Landscape interventions,121 but Robert
120 Robert Smithson, Untitled, in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings edited by Jack Flam. New
York: New York University Press, 1979, p. 376.
121 JuLie Bargmann and Stacy Levys Testing the Waters and Dilip da Cunha and Anu Mathurs Soil
that New York Rejected and Recollects.
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Smithsons work is particularly instructive in this arena, approaching the altered landscape with
experiential, material, and symbolic design interventions that provoke response and engagement.
Robert Smithson has created a diverse body of artwork ranging from drawing and painting
to sculpture and earthworks to film. This research focuses primarily on his collection of drawings
and writings as they reveal his approach to sites and the underlying forces shaping them and looks
particularly to a drawing for an unbuilt project entitled Project for Tailings as an example of his
approach to intervening in post-mining landscapes. His work is innovative and formative in its ability
to reveal and interpret site conditions and to form conceptual and symbolic relationships across and
between these by cultivating the landscape as garden.
Gravity, entropy, geology, and morphology are terms that feature prominently in Smithsons
writing. Much of his work revolves around mapping and recording such processes that would be
invisible or imperceptible to the casual passerby. A study of the ground, for example, accounts for
the surface of the ground, the structure and material beneath, the forces acting upon it, the changes
that incur over time, and the relationship existing between all of these elements. In many cases such
studies were ultimately aimed at developing a conceptual basis for a site work or earthwork such as
the Broken Circle/Spiral Hill project.122
Smithson was drawn to the raw, uncultivated qualities found in altered landscapes. Quarries
fascinated him with their evidence of both natural and mechanical processes and their exposure of
all that lies beneath the earths surface. His images reflect a working-through or a re-enactment of
processes leading to the formation of altered landscapes in a manner similar to what Julie Bargmann
terms Industrial Forensics. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were focused on process as the
sole conceptual driver for their work,123 Smithson was more interested in the questions of site,
politics, nature, and value driving these processes.
122 Eva Schmidt. 2012. Robert Smithson: The Invention of Landscape. Germany: Snoeck.
123 Process art and arte povera.
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Looking at his Project for Tailings as an example of the way he approaches post-mining
sites, two major themes or modes of engagement address our human experience in the altered 124
Figure 20. Robert Smithson, Project for Tailings, 1973.124
124 Tsai Eugenie. 1992. Robert Smithson Unearthed: Drawings, Collages, Writings. New York:
Columbia University Press, p. 194.
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Landscape. The first is revelatory in that the landscape displays the evidence of key processes and
relationships that the visitor may discover through perception and interaction. The second is a
representation or re-enactment of those processes in which the visitor becomes either actor or
audience. This drawing describes a design concept for a site filled with waste material Left over from
a milling operation. The drawing shows a network of paths weaving through tailing piles mounded 5
ft. taLL; the paths connect in a circle with no scripted entrance or exit. The scale suggested by the
drawing would engulf the human figure in a sea of waste material that has no beginning or end.
Smithsons work operates within Elizabeth Meyers formulation of the post-industrial
sublime in contemporary Landscapes with its ability to destroy form (key given Landscapes
embeddedness in the world), the representation of the invisible (parallel to recent interests in
making site processes and histories visible and spatial), and the central role of the viewer in the
construction of the sublime (recalling phenomenological and hermeneutical theories dependence
on the body, immersion in place, and subjectivity).125 His drawings, writings, and site works express
his intent to engage post-mining sites in ways that are Largely underserved by current reclamation
practice. These include a consideration of human experience and the bodys immersion in place, the
role of memory and ruins, the emergence of processes of 4th Nature, multiple and simultaneous
Layers of site, revelatory design, and ethical responsiveness,
b. The Topological Landscape
There is a schism between the way Landscape is understood scientifically or economically and
the way the same place exists emotionally for people. This disparity calls for a change of
approach. Topology, in this instance, can pay greater attention to deeper spatial, physical, poetic
and philosophical values embedded in a Long tradition of designed nature. Its strength is to
weave together different fields of action, improving our understanding of Landscape as a cultural
task with all its inherent beauty.126
125 Elizabeth Meyer. 1998. Seized by Sublime Sentiments. In Landscape Views. New York: Princeton
Architectural Press, pp. 11-12.
126 C. Girot, A. Freytag, A. Kirchengast, D. Richter. 2013. Topology. Berlin: jovis Verlang GmbH,
backcover.
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Christophe Girot, Chair of Landscape Architecture at the ETH Zurich, centers his current
research and writing on matters of representation within Landscape architecture. In particular he
looks at the way we measure or the way we sense and conceive of Landscape. Like Corner, he
suggests that our separation of techne and poeisis has Led to a crisis in which we are capable of
modeling conditions and relationships at a wider range of scales and with increasing precision, but
our ability to understand, interpret and ascribe meaning to those relationships remains
underdeveloped. His concept of topology seeks to recover the ground between techne and poeisis in
order to more finely tune the way we sense and conceive of Landscape.
Topology is a word Girot has appropriated from philosophy and is now widely used in
mathematics to describe continuous surfaces. Girot Looks to the Greek etymology of the word, which
combines Place (topos) and Reason (Logos). He uses topLogy as a verb in the sense that it is an
action, a practice, or a way of thinking about Landscape that Looks for an inner Logic or code within a
place.127 Girots formulation of topology also responds to a Lack of visioning or sense of purpose in
the making of Landscape stemming from overly simplified or normative renditions of what Landscape
is or should be.128 Topology Looks for opportunities to ground our increasing technological precision
with a highly attuned sense of site intelligence, which could also be termed our aesthetic sense.129
Girot further describes a topoLogic approach as maintaining elegance and precision at a
variety of scales. Point-cLoud modeling allows for a precise articulation of Large areas of Land and
the potential to overlay geospatial data. This approach can be combined with a broader
127 Christophe Girot, Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape. Lecture, Harvard GSD,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCy-uS-Alil. Published 14 November 2014.
128 This resonates with JuLie Bargmanns comment on reclamation practice Largely amounting to
ordering off a menu of idealized Landscapes.
129 See Frederick Turner. 1994. The Invented Landscape. In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and
Inventing Landscapes. University of Minnesota Press.
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consideration of social or cultural information and a sensitivity to the sites aesthetic substrate.130
The Sigirino Depot, a project in Switzerland for the AlpTransit Company demonstrates how topology
as a design approach might apply to post-mining sites.
The point-cloud model constructed through remote sensing allowed his project team to
work with a precise and comprehensive 3D digital model of the existing terrain. This model made it
possible to determine the exact contact point between the artificially fabricated mound delineated
by a gabion drainage line and the steep rocky slopes of the Monte Ferrino with its rivulets, rubble,
and cascades.131 The precision of the model allowed landscape architects to work closely with
engineers to problem-solve collaboratively. In the instance of this particular project, the
combination of conceptual design thinking with precise data allowed the team to avoid dynamiting
an exposed rock face and also allowed the team to envision a connection between the site and an
existing network of paths.
Figure 22. Monte Ferrino point-cloud section, Christophe Girot.
130 Christophe Girot. 2013. Topology. Berlin: jovis Verlang GmbFI, p. 91.
131 Ibid, p. 93.
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Figure 21. Sigirino Depot point-cloud model, Christophe Girot.
The Dialectical Landscape and The Topological Landscape are presented as examples of
two existing methods and approaches within landscape architecture that facilitate an expanded role
for aesthetics. Though very different in nature, they illustrate how aesthetics can reveal site history
and process, invite response and participation, and acknowledge non-human authors in the
landscape.
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CHAPTER VI
CONCLUSION
Reclamation as a critical cultural practice
Mining has decisively and irrevocably altered the landscapes of the western United States
with over 200,000 abandoned and active mines covering millions of surface acres of land.132 While
federal and state regulatory policies have been stringently proactive in addressing the ecological
impact of mining on landscape, our approach to altered landscapes needs to allow us to identify
broader, more complex, and more integrated problems and solutions. As a number of authors have
noted, issues like acid mine drainage are more than scientific problems and should be addressed
with respect to their larger cultural context.
As a discipline suffering from lack of engagement in larger cultural matters133, greater
involvement in reclamation projects could act as a potent point of re-connection and recovery for
landscape architecture. Reclamation is perhaps more bold a practice than it realizes and may benefit
from becoming even more so if sustained by a perspective that is both critical and self-aware.
Reclamation affects landscape at massive scales, frequently crafting entirely new landforms and
ecologies for sites with rich and varied histories. Receiving increasing attention with financial and
regulatory support from the private and public sectors, reclamation is in a position to do something
truly innovative in the landscape. Yet, the premises underlying reclamation efforts remain relatively
unchallenged and agendas to clean up hazards and provide new productive land uses tend to satisfy
the imaginations of stakeholders directly involved.
132 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
133 James Corner. 1999. Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice in Recovering
Landscape edited by James Corner. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
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Current reclamation efforts provide abundant ecological and societal benefits including
mitigation of soil and water contamination, stabilizing and re-vegetating areas of hazardous
disturbance, and rehabilitating sites in ways that community members largely identify as useful and
valuable. Still, a more fundamental contestation of meaning, value, and potential for landscape rests
below the surface. I believe that greater involvement from landscape architects would contribute to
an expanded vision of what it means to reclaim these places, beginning with considerations of why
we reclaim, who we reclaim for, and to what end.
Politicizing aesthetics
Reclaiming aesthetics as a framework capable of generating meaning, revealing site history
and process, and provoking acknowledgement and response ultimately acts as a political driver. The
aesthetic dimension itself does not have an explicit agenda attached. It does not tell you what to see
and think, but simply asks you to see and think.134 Aesthetics is experimental and projective because
it allows for critical proximity, the ability to be both within and without, to suggest what is lacking,
and to imagine what alternatives might be possible.
Walter Benjamin noted the distinction between the aestheticization of politics and the
politization of aesthetics in The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction. While the
aestheticization of politics refers to the use of aesthetics as a tool to conceal, naturalize, or
deceptively improve the appearance of a political agenda, the politization of aesthetics refers to the
use of aesthetics as a tool to reveal and expose conditions and processes in order to provoke
response and engagement. Revelatory aesthetics is not a political agenda but a political driver
because it relies on response and engagement.
While aesthetics is predominantly invoked in reclamation projects to conceal the impacts of
mining or to create the appearance of an ideal or naturalized scene, a revelatory approach to
134 Timothy Morton. 2007. Ecology Without Nature. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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aesthetics in reclamation would reveal site history and process. This would allow for response,
critique, and the formulation of a new aesthetic that might acknowledge or find value in alteration.
Using aesthetics to conceal or naturalize enforces a normative or ideological role for aesthetics and
limits the legibility and authorship of landscape. Invoking aesthetics as experiential, participatory,
and revelatory, however, recognizes non-human agents and multiple authors in creating landscape.
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Full Text

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RECLAIMING AESTHETICS by K A T HE RIN E D AV EN PORT B.A., Colorado College, 2005 A thesis submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture 2015

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ii 2015 KATHERINE DAVENPORT ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii This thesis for the Master of Landscape Architecture degree by Katherine Davenport has been approved for the L an d sca pe A r chite c ture P ro gr am by Joern Langhorst, Chair Ann Komara Anthony Mazzeo Date: J u ly 24 2015

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iv Davenport, Katherine ( M LA L and scape A r chitec t ure ) Reclaiming Aesthetics Thesis directed by Associate Professor Joern Langhorst. ABSTRACT By studying post mining sites and reclamation practices in the western United States, this thesis suggests an expanded role for aesthetics in reclamation practice. Looking to history, policy, extraction processes, impacts, and reclamation efforts, an initial survey of the existing terrain of altered and reclaimed landscapes reveals the tendency for reclamation to prioritize the landscape's ability to serve a safe and productive human use. This emphasis tends to neglect or exclude ways in which these sites are already claimed by history, memory, sensory experience non human processes and more Relying on landscape architectural history and theory, this thesis traces the capacity of aesthetics to construct knowledge about the world through sensory perception, to act as a critical and interpretive framework, and to work in combination with other frameworks to formulate problems and solutions in the landscape that acknowledge multiple meanings and values for landscape Bringing forth existing and emerging methods for appr oaching site and representation in landscape architecture, this research suggests ways in which these might reveal and find potential in alteration. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved by: J oern Langhorst

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION Background ........1 Research questions .... 5 Research aims ...5 II. METHODOLOGY Research methods ...... 7 Research paradigms ... ... 9 Narrative.... .....10 Dialectic . ....12 Visual methods ........ . 13 III. CONTEXT Altering landscape ...15 Reclaiming l andscape 23 CASE: Summitville Mine ...35 CASE: French Gulch ...... .......................... ....38 Claims and counterclaims ...39 IV. THEORY Which theory?................................................................................................................ ...................................... 5 2 Art / Science ....53 Tracing aesthetics 55 Romantic, Picturesque, Sublime .....60 The Post Industrial Sublime ....................64

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vi Eco revelatory aesthetics and toxic beauty .66 New Topographics 68 CASE: Vitondale Reclamation Park ....71 V. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Reclaiming aesthetics ... 74 The agency of representation7 7 Methods and approaches for reclamation ....................79 a. The Dialectical Lan dscape ...79 b. The Topological Landscape ...82 VI. CONCLUSION Reclamation as a critical cultural practi ce 86 Politicizing aesthetics..... 87 BIBLIOGRAPHY .8 9

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Research paradigms governing the process of inquiry.9 Table 2. Dialectical arrangement of terms relevant to the inquiry13 Table 3. Mining related Superfund sites in Colorado.27 Table 4. Reclamation design strategies..34 Table 5. Reclamation phases for Summitville Mine37

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viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Map of areas impacted by mining activity in Colorado...2 Figure 2. Site of production, site of the image, site of audiencing.14 Figure 3. Acid mine dra inage diagram.22 Figure 4. Open pit gold and silver mine, Summitville, CO ..38 Figure 5. Surface mining, French Gulch CO.39 Figure 6. Open pit molybdenum mine, Clima x, CO ..41 Figure 7. Bench steps, Climax, CO ..42 Figure 8. Overview of Climax Mine and Robinson M ine, CO ..43 Figure 9. Robinson M ine tailings impoundment, CO ..44 Figure 10. Seeping at Robinson mine, CO .45 Figure 11. Summitville M ine, CO .46 Figure 12. Idardo Mine, CO .47 Figure 13. Ute Creek, CO ..48 Figure 14. Seeping near Ute Creek, CO 49 Figure 15. AMD near Ute Creek, CO ...50 Figure 16. Open pit gold mine, Cripple Creek/ Victor CO.51 Figure 17 Photomontage of water treatment concept .72 Figure 18 Plan for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility .72 Figure 19 Diagram for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility 73 Figure 20. Robert Smithson, "Project for Tailings," 1973 .81 Figure 21. Sigirino Depot point cloud model, Christophe Girot ..85 Figure 22. Monte Ferrino point cloud section Christophe Girot .85

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background In a beginning landscape design studio in fall of 2012, we were tasked with addressing a former aggregate mining site that was in the process of being restored as a riparian corridor, lake, and native grass prairie. During an early site analysis phase I researched the mining processes that had taken place: extraction, sorting, crushing, mounding and transporting. I also read accounts of the transformations envisioned for post mining restoration. The open pit would become a scenic lake providing habitat for birds and plant life and a place for the nearby community to interact with nature. As I learned more about the plans for the site's restoration, I began to feel hesi tant and conflicted about this form of constructed nature invoked to conceal scars left by the mining process. Increasingly curious about current approaches to site restoration and reclamation, I became even more interested in the attitudes or motivations driving these landscape interventions. Crafting a research inquiry from this general interest, an initial set of questions arose: Why do we reclaim altered landscapes ? What does this process entail ? How does mining and reclamation construe value and meanin g for landscape? What methods, approaches and attitudes are currently driving reclamation projects? And, what role do landscape architects play in these projects ? This research thesis focuses on post mining sites and reclamation practices in the western U nited States, a region that has been particularly impacted my mining activity. As Alan Berger has demonstrated in his book Reclaiming the American West mining has decisively and irrevocably altered the American western landscape. The scope of impact is st artling with more than 200,000 abandoned and active mines covering millions of acres of land. Berger estimates that by the year

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2 2250, the West will see reclamation projects claim over 100,000 square miles of land. 1 This marks a significant landscape interv ention by any standard and will draw increasing attention from a number of disciplines. Figure 1. Map of areas impacted by mining activity in Colorado. Altered landscapes and reclamation practices in th e western United States can reveal much about human culture and the way we perceive and value landscape Staged from a landscape architectural perspective, this thesis researches mining and reclamation as they currently construe value and meaning for landscape and applies this perspective in formulating me thods and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alan Berger 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

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3 approaches for design interventions in post mining landscapes. Connecting attitudes embedded in mining and reclamation projects to their broader cultural or historical context can facilitate a fuller understanding of our position toward these lan dscapes. This allows for an assessment of what these practices are currently addressing in the landscape and what they are neglecting or obscuring. This also aids the formulation and critique of design criteria for reclamation projects. The Context chapter surveys the ground upon which the research inquiry is staged by identifying the particular processes acting upon post mining landscapes referencing mining history, extraction techniques, ecological impact, and policy incentives. It then explores reclamati on as it is currently practiced acknowledging regulatory policies, design strategies, and underlying values. It concludes with a deliberate sampling of precedent studies in Colorado to illustrate findings and locate practices in context. This chapter funct ions as a summary of mining and reclamation projects in the western United States, illustrating both general trends and particular methods and approaches. The Theory chapter explores post mining sites and reclamation practices as situated within broader c ultural and historic frameworks. Literature in landscape architectural history and theory describes our conception of landscape as tethered to a succession of cultural phases ultimately leading to a crisis of meaning. According to several authors, a major contributing factor to this crisis of meaning is our separation of the arts and sciences. Within landscape architectural practice in general and reclamation projects in particular, the tendency to prioritize ecologic and economic modeling and to neglect ae sthetic and experiential aspects of site is further evidence of this separation. Approaching aesthetics as a framework that has shifted over time, this chapter references the reduction of aesthetics to a surficial or stylistic category rather than a framew ork connecting perception, experience and meaning Asserting the capacity of aesthetics to act as a critical and interpretive framework allowing us to interpret experiences, construct knowledge, and

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4 assign meaning, this chapter frames the argument for a "b oth/and" approach to ecological and aesthetic models in reclamation rather than an "either/or" approach. Delving more deeply into Picturesque aesthetics, an aesthetic framework of foremost relevance and importance to the inquiry, the Theory chapter traces its major tenets from their emergence in the 18 th century to their present influence. A review of existing scholarship on the re emergence of Picturesque aesthetics in contemporary landscape architecture facilitates a study of how these tenets operate in post industrial sites. Further exploration of the notion of toxic beauty and eco revelatory aesthetics in partnership with representational media in landscape photography and landscape architecture aids the analysis and interpretation to follow. The Anal ysis and Interpretation chapter centers on forming connections across areas of landscape architectural history and theory as they apply to altered landscapes and reclamation projects. Identifying a role for landscape aesthetics in reclamation practice, thi s chapter suggests that we reclaim aesthetics as a framework capable of addressing underserved aspects of altered landscapes. Emphasizing representation as an active agent, the potency of aesthetics extends not only to the design of the landscape itself bu t also the way we represent those landscapes through various media. In order to ground this claim, two practitioners or ways of working are presented here to illustrate the specific ways in which landscape architecture might approach altered landscapes in innovative and generative ways. In conclusion, landscape architecture is called upon as a discipline and practice capable of making meaningful contributions to reclamation projects. While ecology and engineering currently take the lead in reclamation proj ects, landscape architects have the potential to lend valuable insight and contribution a s profession that applies both aesthetic and scientific principles to the research, design and management of natural and built environments 2 Landscape architects have the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 Walter Rogers 2011. The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Firm Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p. 365.

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5 potential to join aesthetic and ecological paradigms in innovative and meaningful ways and a s a discipline increasingly suffering from lack of engagement in larger cultural matters, 3 such projects could also prove a potent point of re connection and recovery for landscape architecture. One major assumption of this research is that ecology and economy have become the dominant lens es through which we approach altered sites, perhaps to t he exclusion of other lenses. While this assumption is substantiated by research findings, it is a generalization and by no means conclusive. Another major assumption of this research is that aesthetics can operate as a crit ical and interpretive framework, and that this framework would be capable of functioning alongside ecological and economic performance modeling to render a fuller understanding of and consideration for of altered landscapes. Research questions H ow does mining shape landscape both as a ph ysical place and as an idea? What is reclamation, how is it currently practiced and what motives drive these efforts ? What role does aesthetics currently serve in reclamation projects and how might this role expand? Can we formulate an approach to reclama tion that reveals and finds potential in alteration? What methods would allow for such an approach? Research aims To critically consider reclamation as it is currently practiced, examining the ways it construes value and meaning for landscape. To study our approach to altered and reclaimed landscapes within broader cultural and historic frameworks. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 James Corner. 1999. "Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Prac tice." In Recovering Landscape edited by James Corner New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

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6 To identify ways in which reclamation might further engage neglected or obscured aspects of site. To apply general theoretical frameworks in landscape architecture to the particular investigation of Colorado landsc apes altered by mining To make connections across areas of landscape architectural theory and reclamation practice through research and analysi s.

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7 CHAPTER II METHODOLOGY Research methods Qualitative research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. Qualitative research consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible. These practices transform the world. 4 This is a qualitative resea rch project focused on critical and interpretive approaches to collecting, describing, analyzing and interpreting data. I consult primary and secondary sources to describe mining and reclamation h istory, policy and current practices. I use deliberate sampling 5 to present a selection of precedent studies illustrating how general practices apply in particular projects. I consult a broad body of literature in landscape architectural history and theory to locate underlying conceptual frameworks relevant to the inquiry. I use c oncept mapping and diagramming to explore the nature of potential relationships between concepts, data, and areas of existing theor y. Visual and textual analysis centers on identif ying narrative threads and other organizational structures by overlaying data. V isual methods facilitate a connection between aesthetic frameworks and visual data. Analysis focuses primarily on identifying current methods and approaches in reclamation pr actice, assessing what those methods and approaches are capable of addressing in the landscape, and suggesting methods and approaches from the field of landscape architecture that may be capable of addressing reclamation in new ways. This research draws ex tensively from landscape architectural history and theory to contextualize research within the field and discipline and to make connections across areas of existing theory. It also emphasizes the potential for knowledge to be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 Norman Denzin and Y. Lincoln, eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitativ e Research. SAGE: Thousand Oaks, p. 3. 5 Joseph A. Maxwell. 2004. Qualitative Research Design: an interactive approach. Applied social research methods series. Thous and Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, p. 72.

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8 revisited, reinterpreted, or r egenerated by connecting general theoretical concepts to particular site investigations, in this case post mining sites in the w est ern United States Methods by type Data collection: Historical Research ( Mining history ) texts, maps, photographs, interviews, archival data Foundation al research ( Theory ) collection of literature to frame and support analysis and interpretation Precedent studies reclamation practices in context Data analysis: Textual analysis i dentifying narrative /dialectic structure, cultural and historic situation. Visual meth ods Gillian Rose, Visual Methodolgies Concept Mapping Joseph Novak Data interpretation: Observer impression site observations, connections observed across theory and data analysis Methods by chapter Context: Historical research Deliberate sampling Precedent studies Theory: Foundational research Textual analysis Analysis and Interpretation: Reve al, critique, overlay

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9 Form connections across findings Conclusion: Contextualize findings Articulate implications for practice Research paradigms Referencing the research paradigms identified by Yvonna Lincoln and Egon Guba in "Paradigmatic Controvers ies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences," I approach this research through traditions developed in literary theory and textual analysis. Critical theory and Table 1. Research paradigms governing the process of inquiry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10 constructivism structure the research inquiry and the methods, aims, and underlying assumptions. Historical insight, critique and dialogue are emphasized as primary mechanisms for the continual construction and reconstruction of knowledge. Narrative This research reveals how min ing and reclamation not only impact landscape but also construct meanings and values for landscape. In order to conduct an assessment of reclamation's methods and approaches, it is necessary to identify the narratives that shape and underlie altered and re claimed landscapes. Narrative according to Susan Chase is "meaning making through the shaping or ordering of experience." 6 There is no single narrative that encompasses all meanings and values for landscape from all points of view. In order to research a s ubject as broad and complex as mining and reclamation, it is necessary to not only identify primary approaches and narratives but to also identify what is not being addressed. Narrative is central to the way we read, understand, and interpret landscape a nd includes a consideration of larger cultural ideas and historical situatedness. This thesis looks to narrative structure as one primary way of arranging and interpreting data, which allows for "meaning making through the shaping or ordering of experience ". In one sense, this research tracks the narratives that mining and reclamation practices construct about landscape. In another sense, the altered and reclaimed landscape itself can be read as a narrative about human culture describing the way we conceive of and value landscape. Additionally, as an investigation of methods and approaches for reclamation practice, this research structures a narrative describing how particular methods of site investigation and representation allow for particular problems and solutions to be identified in the landscape. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Norman Denzin and Y. Lincoln eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitativ e Research. SAGE: Thousand Oaks p. 415.

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11 According to historian William Cronon, narratives shape our histories and orient us in the world. He references two diverging accounts of the same event to demonstrate how our narratives are shaped by memory, experience, and interpreted meaning. Narrative in this sense is never a neutral, factual account but rather the result of a process of inclusion and exclusion mediated by the narrator. Cronon identifies that while narrative may not be "intrinsic to events in the physical universe, it is fundamental to the way we humans organize our experience." 7 He also acknowledges a post structuralist view, which goes further to argue that narrative is not only a social construction but a suffocating framework we impose u pon a reality that "bears little or no relation to the plots we use in organizing our experience." 8 Positivist frameworks targeting empirical, objective, universal, or reproducible methods and findings craft research inquiries to arrive at a single true o r correct conclusion. Critical theory and constructivism argue that such an approach "silences too many voices. These researchers seek alternative methods for evaluating their work, including verisimilitude, emotionality, personal responsibility, an ethic of caring, political praxis, multivoiced texts, dialogues with subjects, and so on." While this research thesis does not presume to adequately serve all these arenas, it does emphasize narrative as a collection of stories rather than one single version of truth or reality. Analysis primarily works from an overlay in which these layers interact to reveal threads or connections across different aspects of the inquiry. Emphasizing layered or multiple outcomes does not allow analysis to function entirely withou t constraint, however. While analysis centers on revealing and interpreting meaning through narrative structure, interpretation relies on a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 A position established by Martin Heidegger in Being and Time. In "A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative" by William Cronon. 1992. Journal of American History, Volume 78, No. 4, p. 1368. 8 Ibid, p. 1368.

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12 consideration of the context of production, the context of reception, authorship, intended audience and more. 9 All texts have a narrator establishing the text's point of view and subject position. 10 Point of view refers the characteristics of the narrator while subject position refers to the attitude or position taken by the text. Subject position can be identified as a particular attitude that a text codes for in the reader. In this sense the interpretation of texts is not entirely open but rather, the text itself has already established a position for the reader. 11 This way of understanding narrative facilitates a conn ection between ideas and the attitudes they code for, which is particularly helpful in connecting specific ideas or occurrences to more general cultural or historic contexts. Dialectic D ialectic is central to the way that we perceive, create and interpret landscape. Dialectic is a dialogical arrangement of terms in which a primary term (thesis) is joined by an opposing term (antithesis) to formulate a third term (synthesis). Dialectic originated in ancient Greece as a means of constructing knowledge through dialogue and questioning, especially to address paradoxical or competing ideas and claims. Whereas in ancient Greece this was mobilized through conversation, German thinkers such as Hegel and Fich te later recognized dialectic as a process occurring within thoughts and ideas themselves, allowing for the continual construction and reconstruction of knowledge. Dialectic serves as a research framework and structures the inquiry in both general terms ( nature/culture/landscape) and specific terms ( beautiful/sublime/picturesque ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 9 James Holstein and J. Gubrium. The Constructionist Analytics of Interpretive Practice. In Denzin, Norman and Y. Lincoln, eds. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. SAGE: Thousand Oaks. 10 Here texts include images, dialogues, landscapes anything that is produced. The narrat or of a text is not necessarily the author. 11 Morton, Timothy. 2012. "From modernity to the Anthropocene: ecology and art in the age of asymmetry." International Social Science Journal, 63: 39 51.

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13 Table 2. Dialectical arrangement of terms relevant to the inquiry. Visual Methods While analysis and interpretation focuses primarily on aesthetics as a framework connecting m eaning and experience, visual methods facilitate a connection between underlying concepts and visual data. Gillian Rose's "Visual Methodologies" provides a framework that draws from traditions developed in textual analysis and literary theory but has been applied more specifically to the research and analysis of visual materials. Her distinction between the site of production, the site of the image, and the site of audiencing inform analysis and interpretation addressing the ways that images and landscapes are produced and re produced within different contexts. !"#$%$ &'(%("#$%$ )*'("#$%$ !"#$%& '$(#$%& ("!)*'"+& ,*#-."#$%& /!)-."#$%& 0%)-"!)-1#2-."#$%& &'3(345 &'3!365 "%# $#3+7" )5*#3+7" 2&#&%3#3+7" 8&"$#79$( *$8(76& +7'#$%&*:$& !"#$%"( "%#797'7"( 258%7) 3%)&% )7*3%)&% '2"3%)&%

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14 Figure 2. Site of production, site of the image, site of audiencing. Gillian Rose, Visual Methodologies.

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15 CHAPTER III CONTEXT Altering landscape Landscape is in a constant state of flux and undergoes continual alteration. Alter means "to change" or "to become otherwise" 12 in some sense a given condition for any landscape. The term altered landscape however, has acquired a more particular meaning a nd denotes landscape change of a certain scale, scope, and nature. To open this research on altered landscapes, this chapter examines the identity we assign the altered landscape in light of the range of meanings and values that landscape holds for human culture. Describing something as altered draws attention to the difference between a present condition and a prior condition. In Great er Perfections landscape hi storian John Dixon Hunt outlines a framework for viewing both the altered landscape and the landscape that precedes. His concept of the Three Natures ascribes the term 2 nd Nature to cultural landscapes or landscapes modified by human use. Originally developed by Italian humanists, the term 2 nd Nature was referred to as alteram naturam, an alternative nature, or second of two 13 The Three Natures encompass 1 st Nature as pristine, unmediated wilderness, 2 nd Nature as altered or alte rnative nature fitted toward productive human use, and 3 rd Nature as the garden; a sophisticated and deliberate mixing of nature and culture. 4 th Nature is an addendum to this framework describing landscapes in which natural processes re assert themselves in 2 nd and 3 rd Nature. The Four Natures are referenced throughout to distinguish between different ways of conceiving and valuing landscape. The framework of the Four Natures not only describes our various positions toward landscape, it also influences our decisions about how we should intervene in landscape process. This !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12 Oxford English Dictionary. 13 John Dixon Hunt 2000. Gre ater Perfections: The Practice of Garden Theory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press pp. 33 34.

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16 chapter explores altered landscapes through the framework of the Four Natures to identify the narratives comprising and surrounding these landscapes. These narratives assemble to reveal an approach or posture toward altered landscapes, which it turn influences our approach to reclamation and the methods and criteria employed by reclamation efforts. Consulting authors who have addressed altered landscapes and accounts of history describing t hese alterations, this chapter illustrates the way we have positioned altered landscapes and the meanings and values they hold for human culture. Within the framework of the Four Natures, altered landscapes can be defined as sites that have been altered to serve a productive human purpose but have since ceased to become productive. Altered landscapes are frequently deemed abandoned or vacant because they no longer serve their prior productive purpose and have not yet been assigned another use or purpose. In this sense altered landscapes are an in between, existing between stages of articulated purpose or identity, or between 2 nd nature and 3 rd nature. Examples of altered landscapes include landfills, brownfields, post mining and other post industrial sites. Carla Corbin confronts the notion of vacancy in her essay entitled "Vacancy and the Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response" focusing particularly on post industrial sites. She claims that landscape is never vacant as it is always occupied in some sense by histories, memories, artifacts, successional pro cesses and more. Corbin suggests that the notion of vacancy in landscape indicates a tendency for language and culture to "obscure what is not materially present or visually accessible". 14 She speculates that landscape architectural theory, art, and design might assist in recovering what has been obscured, and that such a strategy would be appropriate during a phase of the urban growth cycle when industrial development is waning and vacant lots are proliferating. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 Carla Corbin. 2003. "Vacancy and the Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response." Landscape Journal. Volume 22, Issue 1, No.3, p. 12.

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17 Altered landscapes might also be viewed as existing in between clear or sanctioned purposes, identities, or stages of development. The identity of a landscape may change over time, or change according to the group who is assigning m eaning or value. Altered landscapes have already undergone a shift from 1 st Nature to 2 nd Nature; they are no longer wilderness but have been adapted to serve a human purpose. Their identity as 2 nd Nature has since expired, but these sites have yet to be reclaimed for another human purpose or use. In this sense they exist in between 2 nd Nature and 3 rd Nature, or between two different formations of 2 nd nature as 4 th Nature. This is frequently an in between phase in which obscured or underrepresented human a nd non human processes begin to occupy a site. The word alter contains more than the mere notion of change. The Latin root alter means "the other", invoking a consideration of the embeddedness of alterity, difference, and strangeness in the identity we cr eate for altered landscapes Alterity is both an identity and a quality; it is the fact of strangeness and the quality of that strangeness. Strangeness means that neither prior experience nor knowledge prepares us to encounter this specific other. 15 In "Lan dscape Architecture as Modern Other and Postmodern Ground", Elizabeth Meyer articulates what she sees as a dialectical arrangement of terms placing landscape as the void, the negative, or the other to architecture's "transcendent male subject." 16 This gener al conception of landscape as other can be extended even more specifically to altered landscapes not only because of their physical or spatial qualities (empty, void) but also because of their unsuitability toward serving a particular human purpose. Alter ed landscapes are largely disquieting to us because of their vacancy, their lack of clear purpose or identity, and their strangeness. In other words, they do not te ll us what they are for or how they are to be used. These notion s of vacancy alterity, and strangeness denote a particular way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15 Emman uel Levinas 1961. Totality and Infinity translated by Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquense University Press, 1969. 16 Elizabeth Meyer. 1994. "Landscape architecture as modern other and postmodern ground." In The Culture of Landscape Architecture edited by Harriet Edquist and Vanessa Bird, 13 34. Melbourne: Edge Publishing, p. 18.

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18 of viewing and valuing landscape. To sum up this position, Corbin quotes Grady Clay: "The idea of empty occurs chiefly to people who value full." 17 For a culture that values landscape for its ability to serve a productive human purpose, the altered landscape is found devoid or lacking. In a different sense, landscapes possessing a less rigid sense of purpose or identity might suggest themselves as ope n to multiple uses or interpretations. From a general inquiry into the identity of altered landscapes, this chapter looks next at the particular processes acting upon post mining landscapes. Locating mining as a process of altering landscape encompassed in 2 nd Nature, it explores the scale, scope and nature of impact on landscape in the American West. I t demonstrate s that mining has significantly shaped not only the landscape external but also our idea of landscape and the meaning and v alue it holds for hum an culture by looking at the social, cultural and material forces acting on landscape. Focusing primarily on identifying stands within Western expansion and development that may be necessary to connect mining activities to underlying ideas about nature, cu lture, and landscape, t his chapter illust rates how landscape is altered through large scale human alterations of land for resource extraction, focus ing primarily on hardrock mining 18 The dominant narrative describing expansion and development in the West s hifts the role of landscape from 1 st Nature to 2 nd and 3 rd Nature: We have had many myths about the West but the principle one was a story about a simple, rural people coming into a western country and creating there a peaceful, productive lifeBy the millions they would find homes in the undeveloped vastness stretching beyond the settlements, bringing life to the land and turning it into the garden of the world. Never !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 Ibid, p. 16. 18 I focus on hardrock mining because of the national trend toward increased hardrock use, the relatively significant impact of these practices in Colorado, and the flexibility afforded in reclamation policies surrounding these practices. Reference to Belinda Arbogast 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation." USGS Circular, 1191, Denver.

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19 mind that much blood would have to be shed first to drive out the natives; the blood all be on other's hands, and the farmers would be clean, decent folk dwelling in righteousness. 19 This passage highlights the conception of the West as a wilderness to be tamed or cultivated, the moral certitude enforcing that action, and the artifice of t his construction given the presence of native inhabitants. This history underlies a pivotal position towards nature, culture, and landscape that has mobilized a series of actions shaping landscapes across the West. With the role of landscape shifting fro m first to second nature came a troubling sensatio n that Donald Worster identified as the "Western Paradox": T wo dreams are then tugging at our feelings: one of a life in nature, the other with machines; one of a life in the past, the other in the future. Nature makes us what we are, we still like to think, makes us good and decent; but it is technology that makes us better. If the West has any spiritual claim to uniqueness, I believe it lies in its intensity of devotion to those opposing dreams. 20 Ultima tely the West could not be all that the earlier passage suggests; at once pristine and productive, righteous yet cultivated. Contained within this paradox is a seed of guilt or regret that accompanies the progression from 1 st to 2 nd Nature While agricultu re, forestry, and hydraulic engineering all contributed to significant alterations of landscape and were instrumental to developing the West, no other industry has shaped the region as profoundly as mining has according to historian Patricia Nelson Limeric k. Following the California Gold Rush of 1849, the territory that would become Colorado in 1876 drew an influx of prospectors throughout the second half of the 19 th century with its abundance of gold, silver, and other precious metals 21 The sudden influx o f labor and capital investment significantly accelerated development in the West establishing structures of governance, land ownership, and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 19 Donald Worster. 1992. Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the A merican West. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 6. 20 Ibid, p. 81. 21 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. "Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting for a Better Future." Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report f rom the Center #7, 2005, pp. 7 10.

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20 modes of production particular to this unique set of circumstances. In many ways most significantly with property division and ownership, water and mineral rights, and minin g laws and regulations these on the fly establishments continue to have profound and lasting impacts on landscape to this day. Mining alters landscape in ways that differ from other natural proce sses of alteration. "Human impacts on any area that humans disturb for this discussion, by mining, in particular include long term changes to landform (movement/massing of earth), water table, and texture (soil disturbance and exposed rock surfaces. Na ture changes a landscape through long term processes such as weathering (wind and water erosion) and short term events, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and flooding." 22 Mining eliminates surface vegetation and changes topography which in turn affe cts drainage patterns accelerates erosion and stream sedimentation, lowers water tables, and impacts habitation patterns. 23 Mining activity is commonly distinguished by excavation type: surface or sub surface. Surface mining involves removing layers of vegetation, soil, and bedrock to expose material while sub surface mining requires tunneling into the earth to reach ore bodies Surface mining is most common in the United States and accounts for 98% of precious metal extraction. Surface mining includes open pit (metals), quarrying (stone) and strip mining (coal) techniques. The ore to be mined takes the form of placer deposits f ound in alluvium or lode deposits found in veins or masses or rock. Mineral processing frequently occurs at the site of extraction and involves crushing, grinding, washing, and chemical leaching to separate the target material from the waste material. Plac er ore can be processed using gravity separation methods while lode ore must be crushed and separated chemically. Solid waste material is massed into waste piles while tailings or slurry (pulverized waste material in a water or chemical solution) are conta ined in ponds. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation ." USGS Circular, 1191, Denver, p. 8. 23 Ibid, p. 4.

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21 Advances in technology continue to change the way we mine landscape. Excavation and processing methods are now very different from what they once were with prevailing shifts toward large scale open pit strategies and new chemical leaching o ptions. While it was once more cost effective to rely on precise surveying and disturb only the ground that was absolutely necessary in order to access target ore bodies, modern machinery has made it easier to disturb larger areas in pursuit of target mate rial. New chemical leaching techniques have also made it possible to re mine minerals from what was previo usly considered waste material. 24 Several sources suggest that the ecological impact caused by mining is less than is generally perceived, but that th at the aggregate impact is still substantial and warrants attention and concern. 25 The impact of primary concern in hardrock mining practices is the increased presence of heavy metals and acidity in water, which adversely affects water quality, soil, vegeta tion, and habitat. Massive landform disturbances caused by open pit mining in particular also affect drainage patterns and cause slope instability and accelerated erosion. Acid mine drainage is the term used to describe the most pressing impact that mining activity has on water quality. Veins of ore containing precious metals like gold and silver tend to also contain large quantities of metal sulfide minerals such as pyrite. When these sulfides come into contact with oxygen through mineral extraction processes they produce acidity and sulfate, which are released into the area's water supply. The increased acidity then dissolves other metals such as cadmium and zinc, contributing to an increased presence of toxic heavy metals in the water supply. 26 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 Victor Ketellapper. 2008. "The Wellington Oro mine site cleanup: integrating the cleanup of an abandoned mine site with the community's vision of land preservation and affordable housing." In Berger 2008, 77 86. 25 Ibid, p. 77. 26 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. "Cleaning up a bandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting for a Better Future." Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report from the Center #7, 2005 p. 16.

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22 Acid mine drainage is frequently compounded in the presence of the bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans which thrives in acidic conditions and proliferates by oxidizing ferrous iron into ferric iron. Because the bacteria can speed up oxidization by as much as a million times, the combined occurrence of acid mine drainage and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans is highly problematic from a water quality standpoint. Scientists are currently researching strategies to limit the presence of this bacteria in order to mitigate the effects of acid mine drainage. 27 Figure 3. Acid mine drainage diagram. A study conducted by the USGS of mining districts in the Central Western Slope of Colorado indicates that in the majority of cases, high acidity levels and hazardous conc entrations of heavy metals are mitigated naturally within 2 to 3 miles of point sources. Concentrations of zinc and cadmium tend to be the primary offenders in terms of water quality with levels for aluminum, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Patricia Nelson Limerick. 2005. "Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting for a Better Future." Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Report from the Center #7, 2005 p. 18

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23 copper, iron, lead, and manganese also being sl ightly above standard. 28 While concentrations of these dissolved metals may not decisively pose serious or immediate threats to human health, they are toxic for the fish inhabiting these streams. High acidity levels and the presence of dissolved metals make streams unlivable for fish and once metals fall out of solution they form deposits along stream beds preventing fish and insects from nesting and spawning. 29 Reclaiming landscape reclaim: 1. Retrieve or recover something previously lost, given, or paid; to obtain the return of; 2. Bring waste land under cultivation; recover for reuse. 30 Reclamation as a practice emerged in response to massive landscape alterations caused by industry, energy production and resource extraction. The escalating impa ct of these alterations coinciding with our ability to model and interpret cause and effect relationships linking those processes with environmental outcomes led to increasing concern and calls for accountability. Reclamation responds to practical concerns about land that poses threats to ecosystem health or has ceased to serve a productive human purpose. It also addresses notions of diminished aesthetic value for altered landscapes and our ethical responsibility toward those landscapes. This chapter begins with a closer examination of the meaning of the term reclamation and the values and motivations underlying the term. In his book Reclaiming the American West, Alan Berger explores what it means to reclaim altered landscapes tracing etymology, connoted me anings, and applications in practice. He locates the Latin root reclamare, which means "to cry out against", a response to an unwanted action. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 28 J. Thomas Nash. 2002. Hydrogeochemical Investigations of Historic Mining Districts, Central Western Slope of Colorado Including Influence on Surface Water Quality ." USGS Digital Data Series DDS 73, p. 1. 29 Dissolved metals are absorbed through the fishes' gills and accumulate in their gastrointestinal tracts. Reference to Patricia Limerick. 2005. "Cleaning up abandoned hardrock mines in the West: Prospecting for a Better Future." Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, R eport from the Center #7, 2005, p. 19. 30 Oxford English Dictionary

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24 Dictionary definitions citing contemporary usage of the word equate reclamation with rescuing, reforming, or reco vering all for the better or Good. Attendant in all of these terms is a judgment deeming a prior landscape condition better, more desirable, or more right than the subsequent condition. In this sense, reclamation is a formula for intervening in altered lan dscapes that values landscape in a particular way. In "Valuing Alteration", Fredrick Turner drafts a series of questions to trace the values and motivations underlying reclamation as a concept and practice. Practical questions What is reclamation? How is it done? What are the constrains? give way to "big value" questions: What should reclamation be? What is good reclamation? Good for what? For whom? Turner identifies three primary stakeholders for reclamation: human beings, non human nature, and a mys terious third entity which he describes as "the inner destiny of a given piece of landscape in itself: the suggestiveness of its beauty, its mysterious promise and potential for the future". 31 With the likelihood that different stakeholders have different p riorities, reclamation becomes an act of negotiation. 32 Uncovering multiple and at times conflicting ideas about what is good, better, or preferred complicates matters for reclamation. To shed light on these competing motives, it is necessary to further explore the differing ways in which reclamation projects conceive and value landscape. In an earlier essay entitled "The Invented Landscape," Fredrick Turner outlines four positions that apply to reclamation as it is currently theorized and practiced: pres ervation, conservation, restoration, and invention. Preservation places an intrinsic value on nature and advocates for the protection of landscape as wilderness or 1st N ature. Conservation values landscape as 2nd N ature, a resource to be used by humans and like the sustainability agenda advocates for intergenerational sharing of resources. Restoration also places an intrinsic value on landscape as first nature and attempts to restore landscape to a prior conditi on following major incidences of impact, alteration, or !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 31 Fredrick Turner. 2008. "Valuing Alteration." In Berger 2008, p 5. 32 This negotiation is problematic given our anthropocentric dilemma.

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25 disturbance. Invention advocates for the creation of new landscapes and ecosystems, valuing landscape as 3rd and/or 4th N ature. 33 Rehabilitation equates the altered landscape with a sick patient who i s in need of care and requires assistance to return to a healthy state. This might fall under either restoration or invention depending on what process is envisioned to achieve that healthy state. Rehabilitation (or mitigation the terms are used differen tly by different authors) often responds to threats or dangers to ecological health caused by alteration such as acid mine drainage, water and soil contamination, erosion, loss of habitat and more. As demonstrated by this variety of positions there exis t within reclamation radically different ways of conceiving and valuing landscape. To field the obvious and immense question "why do we reclaim?" the answer must be "it depends". To the preservationist who values pristine wilderness reclamation must "cry out against" acts of alteration and preserve wilderness. To the conservationist who values landscape for its utility, we reclaim altered landscapes to serve another productive human use. To the restorationist, we reclaim to restore the land to a prior cond ition. To the inventionist, we reclaim by imagining and realizing future potentialities in the landscape. To connect these positions to contemporary practice, this chapter follows with a summary of federal and state regulations of reclamation to demonst rate how various priorities become mobilized through policymaking. Introducing aesthetic and ethical considerations as they appear in the literature consulted and follow ing with guidelines formulated by la ndscape architects involved in reclamation work dem onstrate s a range of positions and approaches in contemporary practice. This acts as summary of reclamation as it is currently viewed and practiced which will allow for an assessment of what is currently being addressed in reclamation practice and what is being neglected. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 33 Frederick Turner. 1994. "The Invented Landscape." In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landscapes University of Minnesota Press, pp. 35 6.

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26 Coinciding with a period of increased awareness of and concern for the environment in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. Department of the Interior conducted a survey measuring the impact that strip and surface mining had on the environment. The results of the survey led to the formation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Ac t (SMCRA), the first federal act to address the reclamation of mined landscapes. This act requires mining operations to reclaim the land for a post mining use a nd to return the topography of the land to its "approximate original contour" (AOC). The primary purpose of the AOC requirement is to reestablish natural drainage patterns to secure water quality and safety. 34 This requirement applies to surface mining oper ations only and does not apply to underground hardrock or aggregate mining. Reclamation of hardrock mining sites is not federally regulated through SMCRA and varies from state to state. Some foremost concerns for reclaiming hardrock mining sites include ad dressing open pits and heaps of leftover material, mitigating erosion, and controlling or treating the chemical leaching caused by water draining through leftover material. 35 Highwalls in quarries can pose safety threats and most states require that reclama tion grades not exceed 35 degrees, the standard angle of repose for leftover material. 36 Reclamation of sand and gravel mining sites prioritizes erosion control and habitat creation, which "typically involves reducing side slopes, spreading topsoil, and est ablishing vegetation on the side walls, with a shallow lake covering the pit floor." Colorado law specifies that slopes not exceed 2:1 excepting areas near or below water line. 37 S tate and federal laws currently require mining companies to reclaim land pos t mining and in most cases require a reclamation strategy to be formulated prior to mining. Accountability is less !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). "Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)" enacted August 3 rd 1997. http://www.osmre.gov/lrg.sh tm. Accessed February 23, 2015. 35 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York : Princeton Architectura l Press, p. 80. 36 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation ." USGS Circular, 1191, Denver, p. 8. 37 Ibid, pp. 8 9.

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27 certain in abandoned sites or sites that were mined before these laws were enacted. The EPA assists individual states through Superfund and Br ownfield Revitilization programs by conducting assessments and enforcing accountability for reclamation efforts in abandoned sites. Such policies have shifted over the years from rigid, top down approaches to emphasizing collaboration and participation fro m multiple parties at regional, local, and site specific levels. In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) created the Superfund program, which was established to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites. Th e EPA places Superfund sites on a National Priorities List and conducts assessments of site damage, implements clean up program s and tracks down responsible par ties for reimbursement of clean up costs. Colorado currently hosts 27 Superfund sites, 9 of whi ch are post mining sites. 38 Table 3. Mining related Superfund sites in Colorado. 39 Because CERCLA's process was perceived by individual states to be slow, contentious and costly, many states formed their own remediation approaches that offered financial incentives and liability protection for participants. In response to state voluntary clean up programs, the EPA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 38 EPA, Superfund, http://www.epa.gov/superfund/about.htm 39 Ibid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28 created a number of brownfield targeted programs with similar structures and agendas. In 2002, Congress passed the Brownfields Revitalization Act, which provide d funding for the assessment and cl ean up of brownfields clarified l iability issues, and provide d funds to enhance state and tribal response programs. Under this amendment, the brownfield designation is extended to "mine scarred land." 40 In summary, brownfield reclamation has shifted away from the rigid, top down formulat ion initiated with CERCLA in the 1980s. This approach resulted in slow progress because "liability provisions created strong incentives on the part of responsible parties to vigorously fight any assignment of liability by the government, in part because t hey could be held liable for the entire cost of cleanup, even if their contribution to the contamination had been minimal." 41 Current strategies now emphasize 1) financial incentives for clean up and redevelopment, 2) liability provisions protecting propert y owners, 3) public participation through hearings and grants to citizen groups, and 4) long term stewardship. 42 Acid mine drainage tends to be the most pressing concern when cleaning up hardrock mining sites. Reclamation strategies formulated along with m ining activity emphasize proactive approaches to the problem of acid mine drainage such as siting waste piles on high points away from drainage areas to minimize contact with water. Reactive strategies for limiting acid mine drainage include 1) mixing a ne utralizing material like limestone with waste rock, 2) capping the waste pile with an impermeable clay and/or synthetic material, 3) diverting water flows around the waste pile, or 4) building underdrains so that water passes beneath the waste rock. 43 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 40 EPA, Brownfields and Land Revitilization, http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/overview/glossary.htm 41 Elizabeth A. Lowham. 2012. "Incentives for Collaboration: State level Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment Programs ." In Hula, p. 20. 42 Ibid, pp. 24 25. 43 Robert W. Micsak. 2008. "The legal landsc ape." In Berger 2008, p. 157.

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29 Stabilizing tailings impoundments is another important infrastructural strategy to minimize water contamination. Tailings (or slurry) are the by product of methods that rely on a water or chemical process to separate the target minerals from the waste mate rial. Tailings are usually a mixture of pulverized metal and stone in a water or chemical solution and are contained in settling ponds so that they do not drain in to the area's water supply. Lack of maintenance or storm events can cause leaks in these imp oundments leading to contamination issues. In the past, reclamation efforts have been largely driven by restoration strategies that aim to reconstruct prior ecologies. There are a number of problems with this approach; chief among them are the impossibili ty of returning landscape to a past condition, the impracticality of such an effort in terms of labor and capital investment, and the growing extent to which we acknowledge that there is no escaping our human alterations to the environment. Through the l ens of ecology, reclamation increasingly relies on modeling landscape processes and more specifically successional processes. At least two major shifts in the past 50 years have affected the way we formulate and engage ecological modeling: 1) the theory of chaorder' or patch dynamics' 44 replacing the notion of stable state equilibrium, and 2) the extent to which we collect, process, and analyze data that extends beyond human scales into micro and macro scales. With such shifts in underlying theories, technologies, and approaches to ecolo gy, reclamation seems to be moving from a restorationist approach to an inventionist approach. 45 An inventionist approach to reclamation involves an intimate knowledge of how successional process function within the niche constraints of a disturbed site an d the ability to engage these processes toward a perceived end. 46 According to landscape ecologist Peter Del !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 44 See Frederick Turner, Peter del Tredici, and Daniel Botkin. 45 Peter del Tredici. 2008. Disturbance ecology and symbiosis in mine reclamation design'. In Berger 2008, p. 15. 46 Eric D. Schneider. 2008. "Ecological succession and its role in landscape reclamation." In Berge r 2008, p. 44.

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30 Tredici, open pit and surface mining tends to result in the total destruction of existing biological communities by removing vegetation and topsoil and frequently exposes geologic formations that would be characteristic of a much earlier successional state. He identifies four steps to achieve "ecologically sound mine reclamation": 1) chemically and physically remediate substrate to support plant life, 2) enrich degraded soil with organic matter to increase water holding capacity and the presence of bacteria and microorganisms, 3) instead of limiting plant selection to native species, introduce high tolerance low maintenance species that manage well in existing conditions, and 4) acknowledge a maintenance scheme early on in the design process. 47 Both restoration and reclamation efforts tend to rely on aesthetics as a tool to conceal or naturalize the altered landscape. Belinda Arbogast describes this as a camouflage approach: plantings, grade change devices, and other design strategies are employed with the intent to visually obscure or conceal the effects of mining. While a restoration approach attempts to return the landscape to a past condition, a rec lamation approach makes little attempt to restore the site to a previous condition and instead attempts to "reorder the landscape for a post mining use." 48 According to restorationist William R. Jordan, the aim of restoration is return land to a prior cond ition and is in no way influenced by the way that the site performs aesthetically. He emphasizes that all prior features are to be valued and restored regardless of whether they are deemed beautiful, safe, or useful for humans. Restoration prompts us "to r estore all the features of the model system those we find uninteresting, ugly, repulsive or even dangerous, not just those that we find beautiful, interesting, or useful." 49 In this sense, restoration values landscape for its associations as wilderness or 1 st Nature. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 47 Eric D. Schneider. 2008. "Ecological succession and its role in landscape reclamation." In Berge r 2008, pp. 19 20. 48 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York : Princeton Archi tectural Press, p. 61. 49 In Berger 2002, p. 61.

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31 Restoration agendas are supported by arguments made for the intrinsic value of nature and wilderness as outlined by Robert Elliot and others. Elliot argues that we have obligations to both preserve and restore wild nature based on G.E. Moore 's theory of intrinsic value, consequentialism, and an assessment of "value adding" and "value subtracting" properties in the landscape. While he acknowledges that restoration ultimately creates an artificial reconstruction of wild nature, he argues that [t]he value difference between the impoverished and the restored ecosystem is vastly greater than the value difference between the restored ecosystem and the original." 50 What is interesting about Elliot's argument is what he identifies as the locus and ca rrier for the intrinsic value of wild nature: If wild nature has intrinsic value it is because it exemplifies value adding properties. My favoured candidates are naturalness and aesthetic value. The latter draws together various other suggested value addin g properties other than naturalness, such as diversity, stability, complexity, beauty, harmony, creativity, organization, intricacy, elegance and richness. Particular such properties might be value adding in their own right, but additionally they might, in conjunction with other properties, constitute the property of being aesthetically valuable, which is likewise value adding. 51 Elliot identifies qualities like diversity, stability, complexity, beauty and more as intrinsically valuable in the landscape an d suggests that our aesthetic sense is capable of detecting these qualities in the landscape. He also adds that these qualities might lend value to the aesthetic experience and appearance of the landscape. While restorationists argue for our obligation to preserve or restore wild nature, this approach is becoming less common or feasible as we move into a future increasingly replete with altered landscapes. Growing demand for resources ensures that mining activity will continue to escalate. Technology has a lso changed the way me mine, shifting hardrock mining strategies toward larger open pit operations. In short, post mining landscapes are proliferating and the alterations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 50 Robert Elliot. 1992. "Intrinsic Value, Environmental Obligation a nd Naturalness." The Monist, Volume 75, No. 2, pp. 153 154. 51 Ibid, p. 191.

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32 caused by mining are broadening in their scope of impact. These factors all contribut e to a shift toward reclamation approaches as opposed to restoration approaches in altered landscapes. Reclamation attempts primarily to "reorder the landscape for a post mining use," 52 which values landscape as 2 nd Nature or for its ability to serve a pro ductive human purpose. According to Alan Berger, "[t]he concept and practices of reordering in landscape reclamation involve much more than visual issues. Visual aesthetics, while important, are always secondary to the conditions affecting the stabilizatio n of hazardous and contaminated materials." 53 Aesthetics assumes various roles within such reclamation projects, which can be categorized roughly as serving to naturalize, to enforce the primacy of function and performance, to reveal site history and proces s, or to construct a new identity for the site. These approaches can work alone or in combination with one another, and each corresponds with a different way of conceiving and valuing landscape. Reclamation projects employ a range of tactics to achieve their goals, often in combination to target multiple benefits for multiple groups. Belinda Arbogast identifies nine design strategies for reclaiming post mining landscapes: camouflage, restoration, rehabilitation, mitigation, renewable resource, education, art, natural and integration : Camouflage strategies use plantings or grade change devices along the site perimeter to screen or conceal mining processes from view. This approach seeks to hide or obscure the impacts of mining with a low investment and low maintenance approach. Focusing primarily on the visual, it treats landscape as a scene or backdrop doing little to engage site history or process !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 52 Alan Berge r. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York : Prin ceton Architectural Press, p.61. 53 Ibid, p. 61.

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33 Restoration strategies aim to return a site t o a pre mining condition, which in the strictest sense is not possible. 54 In practice, this translates to either returning the land to its approximate original contour and introducing a native or regionally appropriate groundcover, or "restor[ing] the new hab itat as close as possible to its original function and recaptur[ing] the landscape character." 55 Rehabilitation strategies emphasize new social or economic benefits to be enacted through reclamation. Frequently this approach emphasizes recr eational opportun ities or mixed use development. Rehabilitation could be classified as either 2 nd or 3 rd nature in that it seeks to reclaim the site for another productive human use. It could also be viewed as an inventionist approach because it creates new potential or se nse of identity for the site. Mitigation strategies focus on ecological impact, analyzing factors such as geology, geomorphology, climate, hydrology, soil, vegetation, wildlife, and habitat performance on the site. Mitigation efforts target perceived hazar ds like erosion, soil and water contamination, drainage and sedimentation, and significant modifications to habitat. Renewable resource strategies try to responsibly manage input output relationships and minimize external costs to t he environment. They oft en look for ways to collect or recycle the energy expended in mining processes, or for opportunities to re purpose or re use leftover waste material. Educational strategies endeavor to make information available to the pu blic about mining history, site con ditions, and options for future land use. Artistic strategies celebrate the aesthetic qualities found on a site and attempt to reveal the beauty of altered landscapes. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 54 For large disturbed sites this approach is extremely resource intensive, impractical, and ontologically and ethically problematic because it ultimately constructs a representation or referent rather than th e thing itself. See Robert Elliot, "Faking Nature". 55 Belinda Arbogast. 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation ." USGS Circular, 1191, Denver, p. 15.

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34 Natural strategies allow successional processes to take over a site, reclaiming it as 4 th Nature. Table 4. Reclamation design strategies. 56 While Arbogast's list is intended as a descriptive survey of design strategies currently used in contemporary reclamation practice, Alan Berger has compiled a list based on what he believes reclamation should do. Berger, director of P REX ( Project for Reclamation Excellence ) has published "A Four Point Reclamation Manifesto" that outlines four design strategies he advocates for: Conserve energy and mass in site transformation; material movem ents should approach equilibrium (renewable resource) Adapt use of site conditions; the designer must adapt by disturbing the disturbance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 56 Belinda Arbogast's design approaches to reclaiming mine sites draw from Mira Engler's study of wa ste landscapes (1995). Arbogast, Belinda. 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation. USGS Circular, 1191, Denver, p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35 Plant ecology and vegetation strategy; the designer must assess whether any disturbance adapted plant species have loc al populations Interactive landscape circulation and infrastructure; design to avoid hazard and risk exposure Patricia Limerick has also compiled somewhat of a reclamation manifesto entitled "Prescriptions for Treating the Acidic Soul and Other Worldly Ail ments." While less specifically design oriented, her list outlines seven lessons she believes we should learn from our past in order to inform future reclamation efforts: Focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame. Acknowledge that we all dep end on and benefit from resources produced by mining. Focus on limiting use and consumption, not just production it is hypocritical to expect the rest of the world to keep us supplied with raw material while we regulate and reduce our own resource produc tion. Environmental laws enacted in the 1960s and 1970s are not "sacred, infallible texts that will impart perfect wisdom for all of time." Responsive adjustments are necessary in order to make forward progress. High goals and standards are admirable, but can become prohibitive and limiting, compromising their overall effectiveness. Citizens should become directly involved in reclamation efforts rather than blaming government policies or agencies for their shortcomings. We have a responsibility t o future generations to reclaim. CASE: Summitville Mine Summitville Mine operated by Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp., Inc. (SCMCI) is located in the San Juan Mountains just east of the Continental Divide and 25 miles south of Del Norte, Colorado. Gold and silver mining began in this area in the 1870s and continued intermittently

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36 into the 1980s. Extraction techniques shifted over time toward large scale open pit mining strategies disturbing larger tracts of land and relying on chemical leaching to e xtract target minerals from ore piles. The leaching process involves removing ore and crushing it mechanically; ore is then placed on a clay and synthetically lined heap leach pad where it is doused with a sodium cyanide solution to dissolve the gold and s ilver. 57 In 1986, only a few years after its construction, a leak was found in the heap leach pad and SCMCI abandoned mining operations at the site. As a result of acid mine drainage caused by the cyanide leaching process, the Alamosa River drainage basin has been affected by drastically elevated levels of acidity and dissolved metals. While the site is isolated geographically and the AMD does not impact the drinking water wells of residents living in the nearly San Luis Valley, it does compromise stream ha bitat in the Alamosa River. Reports also indicate that the acidity of the water degrades the soil downstream and that livestock in surrounding areas display elevated levels of dissolved metals in their blood. 58 In 1994, the Summitville Mine was placed on t he National Priorities List for Superfund sites due to the amount of acid mine drainage generated by the site. The EPA partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to coordinate emergency and remedial responses including interim water treatment, heap leach pad detoxification and closure, and mine waste removal. The EPA's Superfund program emphasizes that contaminated sites should not only be cleaned up but also retrofitted toward some productive future use. To this end, the site w as reclaimed as a hydroelectric plant in 2008 to generate clean and renewable energy. 59 Following the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 57 EPA, Summitville Mine, http://www2.epa.gov/region8/summitville mine 58 Ibid. 59 The implementation of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated land is a foremost strategy when dealing with sites like the Summitville Mine exhibiting high levels of toxicity that may pose threats to human or non human health.

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37 Table 5. Reclamation phases for Summitville Mine. construction of an on site powerhouse and turbine, the facility now generates 145,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year, which is enough to offset about 15 to 20% of the energy required to operate the site's water treatment facility. 60 This case illustrates that mining, although profit driven, generates significantly diminished returns when external costs are accounted for. In the case of the Summitville Mine, it is estimated that reclamation costs will eventually exceed the profits generated by mining. 61 The Summitville Mine demonstrates a case in which the financial assurance provided by the mining compan y was insufficient to cover reclamation costs, ultimately resulting in bankruptcy for the Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp., Inc. and policy changes in the requirements mandated by the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 60 EPA, "Summitville Mine, Rio Grande County, Colorado Success Story: Hydroelectric plat powers contaminated groundwater treatment at former gold mine," http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/docs/success_summitvillemine_co.pdf 61 Alan Berger estimates that the total value of gold mined at Summitville rests at $165 million while reclamation costs are estimated at $150 million and counting. http://waste2place.mit.edu/wp content/uploads/2012/03/PREX_BK1_Part2.pdf !"#$%&'#()*+, -.,+/* !"# $%&'()*+,-&'(+.('-&*'%& !"/ 0'-1+2'-34+5-6+7'&89):)3-&)8%;<=8>?(' !"@ A)%'+,->&'+B93-C-&)8%+-%6+A)%'+5)&+<=8>?(' !"D E8?&4+A8?%&-)%+F(8?%6G-&'( !"H E)&'I,)6'+J'3=-*-&)8%+-%6+J'C'K'&-&)8% !"L M)%-=+E)&'I,)6'+J'*'6N

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38 Figure 4. Open pit gold and silver mine, Summitville, CO Google Earth. CASE: French Gulch French Gulch in Breckenridge, Colorado hosted the former Wellington Oro mine from the 1850s to the 1960s. Extensive underground and placer mining took place in this area leaving more than 12 miles of underground tunnels and numerous shafts, dredge piles, w aste rock piles, and tailings. It was declared a Superfund site in 1990, leading to the formation of the French Gulch Remedial Opportunities Group (FROG), a group of stakeholders committed to reclaiming the site. Primary concerns on site include acid mine drainage and the destruction of plant life and habitat opportunities resulting from placer mining and dredging processes. 62 The need for more affordable housing in the area shaped a vision for the site to be redeveloped into a residential community. After negotiating a real estate transaction with attendant liability provisions and reclamation requirements, the Town of Breckenridge partnered with P REX to develop a new conceptual landscape plan focused on integrating mine reclamation with expansion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 62 EPA, French Gulch, http://www2.epa.gov/region8 /french gulch

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39 of aqu atic habitats for threatened species, integration of the recreational use plan, and preservation of historic mining artifacts. 63 Figure 5 Surface mining, French Gulch. Google Earth. Claims and counterclaims Landscape meanings and values vary from place to place and from epoch to epoch in ways that are little understood and seldom comparedHow landscapes are identified and thought about; what symbolic meanings and physical properties they embody; how purpose, intensity, duration, realism, novelty, or imp ending loss affect our landscape experience these are questions of immense import for which we have few if any answers. 64 The above research demonstrates that both mining and reclamation draw on a wide range of positions, attitudes, techniques and strat egies for intervening in landscape process. However, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 63 P REX, "Background/History: A New Model for Reclamation in the American West", http://waste2place.mit.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2012/03/PREX_BK1_Part2.pdf. p. 48. 64 Penning Rowsell, Edmund C. and D. Lowenthal, eds. 1986. Landscape Meanings and Values. London: Allen and Unwin, p. 1.

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40 there exist within this collection of data certain common structures, organizations, or narrative threads that may warrant further consideration. In summary: The term altered shifts the role of landscap e from 1 st and 2 nd Nature to a position that can be generally identified as vacant, in between, and other. Historical narratives surrounding mining activity describe landscape as something wild or uncultivated to be tamed and put toward productive human u se. Mining processes alter landscape in a multitude of ways and extraction techniques vary according to site specificity, target minerals identified, and technological advancements over time. The ecological impact caused by mining is significant in terms of landform, drainage, erosion, vegetation, habitat, soil, and water quality. The most pressing threat currently posed by mining activity is soil and water contamination caused by acid mine drainage. In economic terms, mining generates significant profit margins, but these margins diminish drastically when external costs are taken into account. The term reclamation reflects a preference for a prior landscape condition that is deemed safe and productive, further articulating identities for altered and rec laimed landscapes. While the motives driving reclamation efforts vary, both regulatory policies and practices emphasize that cleaning up contamination and finding new productive uses for the landscape are foremost priorities. The Summitville Mine and Fre nch Gulch reclamation projects demonstrate how these priorities are enacted differently according to specific conditions on site. With an emphasis on cleaning up contaminants, re establishing previous landforms and groundcover, and creating new productive uses, reclamation currently focuses on making landscape useful and safe for humans, perhaps neglecting ways in which altered landscapes are already claimed

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41 Figure 6. Open pit molybdenum mine, Climax, CO. Google Earth.

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42 Figure 7. Bench steps, Climax, CO. Google Earth.

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43 Figure 8. Overview of Climax Mine and Robinson M ine, CO. Google Earth.

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44 Figure 9. Robinson M ine tailings impoundment, CO. Google Earth.

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45 Figure 10. Seeping at Robinson mine, CO. Google Earth.

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46 Figure 11. Summitville M ine, CO. Google Earth.

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47 Figure 12. Idardo Mine, CO. Google Earth.

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48 Figure 13. Ute Creek, CO. Google Earth.

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49 Figure 14. Seeping near Ute Creek, CO. Google Earth.

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50 Figure 15. AMD near Ute Creek, CO. Google Earth.

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51 Figure 16. Open pit gold mine, Cripple Creek/Victor CO. Google Earth.

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52 CHAPTER IV THEORY Which t heory? The literature consulted in this chapter provides a foundation for structuring research, arranging data, and performing analysis and interpretation. It also provides the historical and theoretical perspective necessary to connect general con cepts about nature, culture, and landscape to the particular study of post mining sites and reclamation practices. This research thesis relies heavily on existing theory in order to critically consider altered and reclaimed landscapes from a landscape arch itectural perspective. Responding to research findings in the Context chapter regarding reclamation's emphasis on ecological and economic performance, this chapter consults literature addressing the broader cultural separation of the arts and sciences and the divisive impact this has had on landscape architectural practice. Noting our increasing emphasis on ecological modeling it traces the various roles of aesthetics in landscape architecture looking to ways that aesthetics has operated as a framework al lowing us to generate meaning and experience in the landscape, a framework that is viewed as superficial, ideological or political, and a framework that can reveal site history and process provoking acknowledgement and response. In tracing multiple roles for aesthetics in landscape architecture, this chapter locates these roles as embedded in larger cultural ideas about nature, culture and landscape. Looking particularly to ideas and attitudes in Romanticism, these ideas can be traced through the aesthetic framework of the Picturesque. Referencing the emerging categories of the post industrial sublime, eco revelatory aesthetics, and toxic beauty, this chapter begins to explore how these attitudes and frameworks operate in contemporary post mining landscapes

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53 Art / Science Landscape Architecture is the profession which applies artistic and scientific principles to the research, planning, design, and management of both natural and built environments. 65 James Corner noted an "irretrievable alteration of the role of theory" coinciding with the separation of techne and poiesis in the 17 th and 18 th centuries. The separation of techne (understanding the world through theoretical and practical knowledge) and poiesis (understand ing the world through creative and symbolic representations) led to the formation of the very distinct and opposed disciplines of modern science and modern aesthetics. 66 This distinction i s exemplified in current reclamation practices and underlies the argu ment for a reformed approach to reclamation. Contemporary landscape architecture draws considerably from methods and technologies developed in the natural and applied sciences. Land scape architecture as a practice however, originated in the garden. A rep resentational art that endeavored to create physical, material embodiments of symbolic forms and relationships through the medium of landscape, the garden or 3 rd Nature relied primarily on perception and experience to construct symbolic representations or ideas about the world. 67 This emphasis on symbolic representation faded during the scientific revolution, which heralded objective reasoning as the primary means of understanding and interpreting the world. A rt was seen as too ambiguous, subjective and illogical to convey ideas in a sound or trustworthy manner. Aesthetics became divorced from perception and experience and alternately grounded in the notion of taste, which proposed to standardize or provide som e reliable criteria for art. Under pressure to reduce the intricate feedback system comprising our aesthetic sense to a hard set of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65 Walter Rogers. Rogers, Walter. 2011. The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Firm. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p. 4. 66 James Corner. 1990. "A Discourse on Theory I: Sounding the Depths' Origins, Theory, and Representation." Landscape Jo urnal, Volume 9, Issue 2, Fall. 67 Ibid, p. 62.

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54 criteria, taste became grounded in the consensus formed by those with wealth, power and privilege. 68 Attitudes imbedded in R omanticism, Modernism, and the sustainability agenda have in different ways contributed to the separation of art and science within landscape architecture. Several theorists now note the "suffocating embrace" 69 of ecology in conte mporary landscape architect ure as projects frequently emphasize function and performance metrics, s ystems thinking and the application of principles advancing from McHarg's overlay analysis method and the development of GIS technology. According to Anne Whiston Spirn in "The Author ity of Nature," ecology has subsumed other design considerations to become (for a loud contingency) the only defensible design approach. 70 Spirn distinguishes between ecology as a descriptive science, ecology as a norm for beauty, and ecology as a moral cau se. While ecology as a science models the interrelated nature of systems and processes, ecology as a norm for beauty or a moral cause tend to find their way into what proposes to be a merely descriptive practice, guiding an ecological approach to landscape architectural practice toward dogma. While a number of contemporary landscape architects have found ways to bridge ecological and artistic models and methods 71 reclamation as a practice remains largely informed by ecological and economic performance mode ling 72 It may be that in the face of pressing issues like habitat destruction and acid mine drainage, a concern for aesthetics might be considered superficial, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 68 W.J.T. Mitchell. 2002. Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 69 Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. 2008. Landscape Theory. New York and London: Routledge. 70 Anne Whiston Spirn. 1997. "The Authority of Nature: Conflict and Confusion in Landscape Architecture." In Nature and Ideology: Natural Garden Design in the Twentieth Century edited by Joachim Wolschke Bulmahn. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, p. 36. 71 Elizabeth Meyer identifies Catherine Howett, Michael Hough, Anne Whiston Spirn, Michael Van Valkenburgh and George Hargreaves as operating in this realm. "Sustaining Beauty," 13. 72 I refer to research on reclamation history, policy, and current practices summarized in the Context chapter.

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55 irresponsible, or "arrogant and misguided, given the weight of other considerations." 73 It may be that the views of landscape as a productive human resource and landscape as an aesthetic experience are too fundamentally different. As Neil Evernden sugge sts in "The Ambiguous Landscape: the situation is analogous to viewing an optical illusion like th e vase that on close examination becomes two faces in profile only one version, one reality' can be seen at a time. When the resource version appears, the aesthetic version instantly dissolves. 74 Looking to landscape architectural history and theory, t his chapter traces multiple roles for aesthetics in landscape architecture in general and post mining landscapes in particular. Like modern science, an aesthetic lens or framework comes with both strengths and limitations in terms of how it allows us to co nstruct knowledge, suggesting a "both/and" approach to ecological and aesthetic models for post mining sites. Tracing aesthetics If reclamation is to be understood and of value to our future, aesthetic sensibility must be inclusive of the cultural agents that also lie beneath the surface. 75 In an age of ecology, some would argue that landscape architecture already suffers from associations with the pastoral or gardenesque scenes brought to mind by an invocation of landscape aesthetics. As a term that has been appropriated in a multitude of ways, aesthetics has come to be understood mostly as a standardized notion of beauty or taste 76 rather than a way of constructing knowledge and meaning through sensory experience. This chapter looks to the shifting role o f aesthetics from a lens or framework that allows us to understand, interpret and represent our experiences in the world to a framework that is viewed as surficial, ideological, cultural, and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 73 David Hays. 2008. Landscape Theory edited by Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. New York and London: Routledge, p. 122. 74 Neil Evernden. 1981. The Ambiguou s Landscape. Geographical Revi ew, vol. 71, no. 2 (April), p. 157. 75 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. p. 143. 76 Oxford English Dictionary.

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56 political. This shift can be seen as both limiting and expanding what aesthetics as a framework is capable of addressing in the landscape. Stemming from the Greek root aisthetikos meaning "sensitive, perceptive", aesthetics is rooted in the realm of sensory perception. In this original sense, aesthetics is both a way of being in the world and a way of understanding and interpreting that world. Art is directly related to aesthetics as the mode or practice through which we form concepts and representations from our perceptions. According to John Dewey, art (as enabled b y our aesthetic sense) is proof of man's consciousness of relationships found in nature. Further, art allows us to interpret and ascribe meaning to these cause and effect relationships. 77 This resonates with Frederick Turner's formulation of our aesthetic s ense as our ability to organize and recognize meaning in the world around us and act as a sound basis for future action." 78 The reduction of aesthetics to surficial appearance was partly a result of the increasing need to rationalize or make sense of what David Harvey calls the humanization of nature. Alexander Baumgarten's aesthetic theory sought to liberate the human spirit through sensory experiences in the world and he relied on reason to craft his argument. But as Terry Eagleton argues, "[t]he rational and the sensuous, far from reproducing one another's inner structure, have ended up wholly at odds." 79 Lacking the precision, rigor, reproducibility, and universality of scientific methods, aesthetics became increasingly difficult to rationalize or frame w ithin a set of reliable criteria. Conversely, when partnered with a rational approach that tried to provide these reliable criteria, aesthetics seemed to lose its very essence and efficacy. To reduce the impact of the color red upon our senses to its pure ly physical concept was to lose something in exactly the same way that the reduction of landscape's meaning to a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 77 John Dewey. 1934. Art as Experience. New York: Penguin, pp 25 26. 78 Frederick Turner. 1994. "The Invented Landscape." In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landscapes. University of Minn esota Press, p. 52. 79 In David Harvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Dif ference. Cambridge: Blackwell, p. 129.

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57 description of its geological components was to lose the essence of what [a]esthetic experience was about. [A]esthetics therefore had to remain at the level of surface appearance, immediate impact and, most important of all, at the level of the totality. 80 In this manner, aesthetics shifted from what was once a layered conception of meaning and experience to something that was surficial, immediat e, and universal. The notion of universality or totality in aesthetics is especially important here as it establishes a norm by which to assign value and meaning to landscape. Becoming divorced from continual perception and interpretation and alternately g rounded in the notion of taste aesthetics began to operate within a particular ideological construct. As W.J.T. Mitchell argues in "Imperial Landscape", landscape itself was from the first an idealized aesthetic category It stemmed from a genre of pain ting associated with a new way of seeing from a particular perspective. Referencing John Ruskin, Mitchell describes mankind as having acquired a new sense' along with landscape painting that he calls landscape perception : we are suddenly able to fix the w orld as a picture or a representation in our minds. Landscape painting then becomes a way of representing a representation and is situated within a particular style or way of seeing. Mitchell connects the advent of landscape aesthetics with an imperialist posture and a conception of the western European perspective as the universal human subject. 81 Arguing for landscape to be ultimately understood as a medium of cultural expression rather than an aesthetic category, Mitchell reveals how landscape aesthetics is embedded in ideology. While aesthetics as a norm for beauty has served to reinforce certain hegemonial power structures, aesthetics has also been emphasized as a potentially liberating force. The Frankfurt School has contributed to this notion through analysis and criticism responding to the failures of Enlightenment strategies. Critical of positivism, they looked to the potential for aesthetics to revive !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 80 Ibid, p. 129. 81 Even further, W.J.T. Mitchell calls landscape the dreamwork of imperialism'. W.J.T. Mitchell. 2002. Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 10.

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58 a sensory, participatory, and dialectical relationship with the natural world. 82 Herbert Marcuse cou nters the conception of aesthetics as a universal or totalitarian vision and instead emphasizes aesthetics as a collective practice of generating value and meaning through experience: "The aesthetic universe is the Lebenswelt on which the needs and faculti es of freedom depend on for their liberationThey can emerge only in the collective practice of creating an environment ." 83 Walter Benjamin also notes aesthetics as operating within a cultural framework, but one that is flexible and collectively shaped. 84 James Corner, Neil Evernden, Frederick Turner and several other authors addressing nature, culture, and landscape suggest a return to a hermeneutical or discursive approach to aesthetics that would rely on continual acts of perception and interpretation. T his approach would acknowledge existing historic, cultural and ideological constructs but would become responsive rather than beholden. Like Benjamin's notion of aesthetics being embedded in a fabric of tradition that is "thoroughly alive and extremely cha ngeable" 85 this approach understands our aesthetic sense as being informed but not dictated by our cultural and historical context. If we fail in the act of continually perceiving and interpreting the world around us, we perpetuate old values and meanings that no longer apply given our current cultural context. 86 "Sustaining Beauty," Elizabeth Meyer outlines a place for landscape aesthetics in the sustainability agenda, arguing that beauty has performative value and is central in shifting our consciousness from an egocentric to an eco centric perspective. Referencing Frederick Law Olmsted's theories on the psychological effects of the physical characteristics and sensory qualities !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 82 David Harvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Di fference. Cambridge: Blackwell p. 135. 83 Herbert Marcuse, "An Essay on Liberation," in Morton 2007, p. 24. 84 Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction," pp. 9 10. 85 Ibid, pp. 9 10. 86 Neil Evernden. 1992. The Social Creation of Nature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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59 of landscape, she looks to aesthetics not as a visual or stylistic category bu t as a bodily experience that can lead to "recognition, empathy, love, respect and care for the environment." 87 She emphasizes the ability of aesthetics to extend an ethic of care beyond the realm of ecological health into the social and cultural sphere, wh ich is precisely what she deems missing from our sustainability agenda. The design approach she terms "Sustaining Beauty" uses aesthetics as a tool to engender "somatic, sensory experiences of places that lead to new awareness of the rhythms and cycles n ecessary to sustain and regenerate life." 88 In her manifesto outlining the tenets for such an approach, she lists 11 claims: Sustainable landscape design is fundamentally a cultural act that requires acknowledgement and engagement as such. This excludes designs merely created using sustainable materials or technologies. Hybrid concepts and terms are required to extend beyond traditional binaries. Sustainable design must extend beyond ecological performance to include social and cultural engagement and eff icacy. Sustainable landscape design should draw more from the processes and functions found in nature than the forms. Hypernature is a form of constructed nature that can be used to promote engagement with surroundings. Hypernature in design is revelatory, exaggerating and drawing attention to processes of nature. Aesthetics in sustainable landscape design can construct transformative experiences, and thus have performative value. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 87 Elizabeth Meyer. 2008. "Sustaining Beauty: T he performance of appearance." Journal of Landscape Archite cture, Volume 3, Issue 1, p. 7. 88 Ibid, p. 15.

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60 Sustainable beauty is particular and highly contextual. Sustainable beauty is dynamic, ephemeral and fleeting. Aesthetics can contribute to resilient and regenerative landscapes. Sustainable landscape design can engender a form of learning. Romantic, Picturesque, Sublime As an aesthetic framework that encompasses the cultural and societal attitudes, political ideologies, conceptions of beauty, and design principles embedded in Romanticism, a discussion of the Picturesque is essential. The Picturesque emerged as a product of Romanticism, a movement that emerged opposite and alongsid e Rationalism to achieve the Enlightenment ideals of emancipation and self realization. Romanticism responded to our loss of contact with the natural world by seeking re enchantment through sensorial, emotive experience. The humanization of nature through landscape gardening became the primary means of achieving self realization by "liberating the human senses to the sublime and transcendental experience of being at one with the world." 89 Romanticism was born in the late 18 th century along with the Industri al Revolution and the increasing rationalization of nature in the sciences. Promoting the free and creative faculties of the individual, Romanticism was a way of thinking or being in the world. Both the ends and the means to self realization, it aimed to l iberate the individual in order to open up new cultural, political, material, artistic, or scientific potential for human development. 90 Culturally notable tenets of Romanticism are heightened awareness of self, consumerism, a longing for emotive and aesthe tic experiences in nature, pursuit of the unbounded and unattainable, and art with an agenda attached. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 89 David Harvey. 1996. Justice, Nature, a nd the Geography of Difference. Cambridge: Blackwell p. 128. 90 Emancipation and self realization were co dependent and contradictory. Collective emancipation in the public realm was seen as a precondition for self realization, but individual self realizat ion was necessary in order to achieve emancipation. See David Harvey, Ibid., p. 122.

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61 The Picturesque is an aesthetic framework that encompasses Romantic ideas about nature, beauty, art and landscape. William Gilpin described the basic fo rmal characteristics of the Picturesque in his "Remarks on Forest Scenery" in 1791. For Gilpin, Picturesque beauty was captured in the wild, unkempt scenes of nature, especially in forms that revealed processes of organic growth, decay, and change over tim e. Uvedale Price's "An Essay on the Picturesque" further distinguished Picturesque beauty as embodied in rough, irregular, asymmetrical scenes and objects. Richard Payne Knight emphasized the Picturesque as an emotive response in the viewer rather than a s et of qualities by the objects or scenes to be viewed. This differing conception of the locus of Picturesque beauty whether in the scene/object or in the mind of the beholder is an unresolved complexity of the Picturesque as an aesthetic mode. 91 The Pi cturesque notion of beauty in landscape derived not only from abstract formal and conceptual ideals but also from more concrete social, cultural, political and material conditions. To understand landscape as a cultural idea and image rather than a visual s cene or a collection of objects requires a consideration of those factors underlying the formation of the landscape idea. 92 Picturesque scenes of untrammeled woodlands and pastures began to be celebrated at precisely the time when such scenes where being th reatened by increasing appropriation of land for productive purposes. The recent proliferation of the enclosed agricultural field created a homogenized landscape surface and had subsumed much of the regional variance in landscape character. In this sense, Picturesque woodland scenery was both a compensatory gesture referencing the loss of such !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 91 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. "Situating Modern Landscape Architecture." In Theory in Landscape Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: Universi ty of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, pp. 22 23. 92 Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels. 1988. The Iconography of Landscape. New Yo rk: Cambridge University Press, p. 1.

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62 landscapes, and a demonstration of the wealth of the owner who could afford to possess property that was not put toward productive purposes. 93 The Industrial Revoluti on heavily influenced the formation of Romantic culture and society, further transforming the landscape idea through significant alterations to modes of material and artistic production. Industrial capitalism transformed the relationship between producers of cultural materials (painters, writers, poets, landscape gardeners) and their audience both directly and analogously. As the expanding middle class created more demand for these products and the role of the patron diminished, industrial advances were als o rendering these items more readily producible. Artists asserted their creative and aesthetic sensibilities by enforcing a normative distinction between the dynamic, organic processes of nature (which they associated themselves with), and the mechanical, manufactured products of industry. 94 In dialectical terms the Picturesque operates as a synthesis of the beautiful and the sublime. In his book entitled "A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful", Edmund Burke distinguished between the gr aceful elegance of the beautiful versus the vast magnificence of the sublime. In his "Critique of Judgment," Immanuel Kant further reflected on the relationship between these two opposing and intertwined notions. While Burke and Kant differ slightly in the ir conceptions of the beautiful and sublime, 95 their dialectical arrangement suggests that the terms operate very differently on their own but converge as a new third entity. Robert Smithson noted the dialectic formed by Picturesque notions of the beautiful and sublime in his essay "Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape": !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 93 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. "Situating Modern Landscape Architecture." In Theory in Landscape Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: Universi ty of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p. 25. 94 Denis Cosgrove. 1984. Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape. K ent: Crook Helm, pp. 224 225. 95 Most notably, whether the sublime is located in an external object as suggested by Burke and substantialism or whether it is an essence produced through an experience as asserted by Kant and essentialism.

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63 Price and Gilpin provide a synthesis with their formulation of the "Picturesque," which is on close examination related to chance and change in the material order of nature. The contradictions of the "picturesque" depart from a static formalistic view of nature. The picturesque, far from being an inner movement of the mind, is based on real land; it precedes the mind in its material external existence. We cannot take a one sided view of the landscape within this dialectic. A park can no longer be seen as "a thing in itself," but rather as a process of ongoing relationships existing in a physical region the park becomes a "thing for us." 96 As a dialectical synthesis o f the beautiful and the sublime, the Picturesque acts as an aesthetic framework that mediates between subject and object, between presence and absence, between resolution and uncertainty, between pleasure and terror. In this sense the Picturesque is less a set of formal or visual criteria and more a product of human perception and experience; it is this human experience in the landscape that reveals and generates layers of meaning. Elizabeth Meyer notes the more recent recovery of the non visual aspects of the Picturesque in "Situating Modern Landscape Architecture": Temporal change, spatial sequence, memory and association, the inability to comprehend in a glanceGeological layers and cultural memories have been uncovered, thus expanding the Picturesque's g rounding in history, time, ruin, and memory. The picture plane of the Picturesque has been thickened to include past and present, natural and cultural history a ll understood through movement. 97 The Picturesque touches the pivotal concepts of nostalgia, self awareness, and romantic irony that remain central to a discussion of contemporary landscape aesthetics. The formal and spatial mechanisms of the Picturesque as an aesthetic framework play with the notion of distance as a screen or mediator between two simultaneous and conflicting conditions. The use of scenography is one such strategy for mediating this distance. Scenography refers to a distancing between spectator and environment created by es tablishing a background and foreground (and sometimes a middle ground), composing the landscape as a scene to be viewed as if through a frame. Those individual frames are intentionally choreographed to construct an experience in the landscape as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 96 Robert Smithson. 1979. "Frederick Law Olmstead and the Dialectical Landscape." In The Writings of Robert Smithson edited by N. H olt. New York: N ew York University Press, 1979. 97 Elizabeth Meyer. 1992. "Situating Modern Landscape Architecture." In Theory in Landscape Architecture edited by Simon Swaffield. Philadelphia: Universi ty of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p. 28.

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64 the viewer moves from frame to frame This experience traditionally follows a narrative structure allowing for the establishment of a norm, the development of a conflict, and some sense of resolution. The Post Industrial Sublime In her essay entitled "Seized by Sub lime Sentiments", Elizabeth Meyer positions two works by Richard Haag Gasworks Park and Bloedel Reserve as operating within a new postmodern form of the sublime. Meyer (like Kant and Knight) identifies the presence of the sublime to be profound in term s of the experience it affords rather than the form it takes. Meyer denotes three critical elements of this emerging form of the landscape sublime: the "ability to destroy form (key given landscape's embeddedness in the world), the representation of the in visible (parallel to recent interests in making site processes and histories visible and spatial), and the central role of the viewer in the construction of the sublime (recalling phenomenological and hermeneutical theories' dependence on the body, immersi on in place, and subjectivity)." 98 She further suggests that sublime qualities stimulate the individual unconscious, potentially altering the collective consciousness surrounding these landscapes and even generating an ethical response. Following Meyer's s cholarship on the post industrial sublime, Susan Herrington studied the particular ways in which contemporary landscape design operates within the basic tenets of Picturesque aesthetics. Approaching the Picturesque as a style, an ideological operation, and an aesthetic mode, Herrington argues that while contemporary landscape architecture has moved beyond its stylistic and ideological operations, it continues to participate in Picturesque aesthetics. Further, she suggests that studying landscapes and landsc ape representations through Picturesque aesthetics will prove useful to students and professionals as a critical and analytic framework. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 98 Elizabeth Meye r. 1998. "Seized by Sublime Sentiments." In Landscape Views. New York: Princeton Architectural Press pp. 11 12.

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65 According to Herrington, "as an aesthetic theory, the Picturesque is an attempt to grasp how certain works of art form mental connections between sensations, ideas, and memories." The tenets of Picturesque aesthetics operate in contemporary landscape architectural projects through "(1) t he primacy given to the role of the imaginative spectator; (2) the use of artifacts th at would be deemed unsightly or even ugly without picturesque aesthetics; and (3) content in these works that is typically unfamiliar to a twenty first century, service oriented culture. 99 Shifting the human subject from passive viewer to active participant emphasizes landscape as an iterative and exploratory process that is actively created by the viewer through sensory experience and perception. The use of unsightly' artifacts brings for th another layer of site to overlay primary experience: memory. Industrial artifacts function as Picturesque ruins, sparking ideas, sensations, memories, and a sense of nostalgia in the imagination of the viewer. A precise distancing of the scene from the human subject further provokes a sense of awe, wonder, and curiosity. In his essay entitled "Landscape as Not Belonging," Robin Kelsey proposes that landscape, after becoming scenic, "took a romantic turn that conjoined experience of not belonging with an aestheticized longing. The aesthetic delight or poignancy of the romantic landscape derived from the alienation of artist and viewer from the society of the depicted place." 100 Kelsey suggests that this fantasy of not belonging has everything to do with ro mantic distance, with insulating ourselves from the effects of our actions, and being free from obligation. The romantic ruin functions with scenography to carry the concepts of nostalgia, self awareness, and romantic irony through the aesthetic framework of the Picturesque. While scenography creates a sense of distance spatially and choreographs an experience sequentially, the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 99 Susan Herrington. 2006. Framed Again: The Picturesque Aesthetics of Contemporary Landscapes. Landscape Journal, Volume 25, Issue 1, No. 6, p. 26. 100 In Landscape Theory edited by Rachel DeLue and James Elkins. 2008. New York and London: Routledge, p. 205.

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66 ruin acts as a referent to connect the viewer with deep time, often invoking a sense of nostalgia or displacement. Eco Revelatory Design and Toxic Beauty The 1998 exhibit "Eco Revelatory Design" 101 bridged the ground between two divergent lenses within landscape architecture: the ecological and the cultural. Asserting that ecological and cultural phenomena are inextricably intertwine d, the exhibit featured design projects revealing the interrelationships between these systems and processes. According to Frederick Turner, the show signaled "a major transition in our basic cultural model of the human relationship with the rest of nature ...a transition from a heroic, linear, industrial, power based, entropic thermodynamic, goal oriented model, to a tragicomic, nonlinear, horticultural, influence based, synergetic, evolutionary emergentist, process oriented model." 102 The exhibit categorize d works under Abstraction and Simulation, New Uses/Deeper Caring, Signifying Features, Exposing Infrastructure Processes, Reclaiming/Remembering/ Reviving, and Changing Perspectives. Among these works was a tendency to not only reveal ecological functions and processes, but also relate or assign interpretive and symbolic meaning to these functions and situate them within broader cultural or historic contexts. The project "Testing the Waters" by Julie Bargmann and Stacy Levy presents an example of this appro ach as it applies to post mining landscapes. Toxic beauty, a term coined by Julie Bargmann of D.I.R.T. Studios (Design Investigations Reclaiming Terrain or Dump It Right There), relays the notion of this new and emerging form of the post industrial sublim e. Bargmann works primarily with post industrial sites and advocates for a holistic design approach that is inclusive of cultural, economic, ecological, and spiritual aspects of landscape. Rather than erasing traces of alteration and industry, she argues t hat landscape architects !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 101 The exhibit originated in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois and was curated by Brenda Brown, Terry Harkness, and Douglas Johnston. Landscape Journal, vol. 60, special issue, 1998. 102 Frederick Turner. 1998. "A Cracked Case." Landscape Journal, vol. 17, spec ial issue, p. 138.

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67 should work along with engineers and ecologists to address the complexities of such landscapes through design. Her revelatory approach to landscape relies on a strategy she terms Industrial Forensics, which attempts to uncover and make legible site history and process. While she sees a growing awareness and support for this way of thinking, she notes that we currently lack the vocabulary, methods, and design precedents to support such an agenda. 103 Bargmann's notion of toxic beauty i n part refers to the aesthetic appreciation of landscapes that would not be considered conventionally beautiful. More specifically, toxic beauty refers to landscapes that also pose real or perceived threats such as vast open pits or acid mine drainage. A r evelatory approach to these landscapes emphasizes the central role that representation plays in both revealing and creating meaning and value for landscape. Toxic beauty emerges as a new form of sublime in which landscapes acquire layers of meaning through the visibility, legibility, and experience of interacting with industrial ruins. These ruins act as physical representations of site history and allow the visitor to experience multiple layers of site simultaneously. For the most part with landscape, expe ctations are locked into a pastoral ideal. But when I've re presented these industrial landscapes to the community and posed the question, "Do you think these are beautiful?" they will say, "You know what? It's a stretch for me but they are." And I think they're responding to their experience actually working on these sites. They realize, "This is important to my memory." Clearly they're not proud of a toxic legacy, but with that comes a memory of their hard work and supporting a family so to them, ther e's a beauty to it. But this is only if they're even given an opportunity to see that. There are so many people working out there who only show the community a menu of idealized landscapes they don't even give them a chance to respond to the industrial l andscape itself. 104 Bargmann challenges the idea that altered landscapes should be reclaimed to meet a preconceived notion of a pastoral ideal. She also emphasizes the importance of representing these sites to community members in ways that allow them to participate in the co nstruction of meaning and value. This shifts the role of landscape from a fixed object to be consumed to a dynamic experience !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 103 Heather Ring. 2006. "DIRT Studio: Interview with Julie Bargmann." Archinect, http://archinect.com/features/article/45200/d i r t studio. Accessed 17 January 2015. 104 Ibid.

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68 that involves the participation of multiple parties. Representation is the link allowing these viewpoints to layer and converge. New Topographics Acknowledging the role that representation plays in shaping the landscape idea and the meaning and value it holds for human culture, this chapter look s to the emergence of the post industrial sublime and toxic beauty in landscape photogr aphy. Referencing the New Topographers as an early example 105 of this way of framing the landscape, both images and commentary are consulted to further explore the notion of sublime beauty in post industrial landscapes. The label New Topographers' originat ed from an influential 1975 exhibition in Rochester, New York entitled "The New Topographics: Photographs of a Man Altered Landscape." The show exhibited a fascinating and unsettling balance between nature and culture, featuring images from American artist s Robert Adams, Joe Deal, Lewis Baltz, Frank Gohlke, Nicolas Nixon, John Scott, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel along with works from German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher of the Dusseldorf School. While the photographers themselves did not assemble to expr ess their work as the beginning of a new movement, the curator of the show William Jenkins framed the works collectively as such. 106 In "Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography," William Ewing traces landscape photography from its origins with Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre in 1839 through several notable phases: 1) Romantic Pictorialism in which the soft, ethereal qualities of photographs resembled landscape paintings, 2) the vivid clarity of the 1920's in which the modern, material world was captured in detail and from new vantage points including aerial and axonometric perspectives, 3) the Romantic Sublime captured most iconically in the work of Ansel Adams, and 4) the altered !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 105 The New Topographers we re forerunners in the United States the Dusseldorf School was already working in this vein with vivid, large scale prints of altered landscapes and post industrial sites. 106 William Ewing. 2014. Landmark: The fields of landscape photography. London: Thame s & Hudson. pp. 20 21.

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69 landscape' approach acknowledging the "uneasy struggle between artifice an d nature" 107 forged by the New Topographers in the 1970s. While photographers working in the style of Ansel Adams deliberately cropped out signs of human presence or influence in the landscape, the New Topographers began to chart and expose the increasingly visible extent to which humans alter and inhabit landscape. Photographer John Schott sees his work "as a kind of dynamic tension, with balance, wonder, luminosity, method, and claritypresent under the same sky as satire, failure, ignorance, fear a simul taneous reflection of and statement about human endeavor." 108 According to critics we are still in the new topographic mindset and altered landscape' remains the dominant mode of landscape photography. The field has shifted slightly over the years with con tributions from photographers like Edward Burtynsky, John Ganis, Richard Misrach and J. Henry Fair who aim to not only expose our inscriptions but also the processes driving them. While the New Topographers of the 1970's were influenced by the notion of th e camera's relative objectivity in recording landscape conditions, today's photographers acknowledge that behind the lens is an attitude or a position. In this sense the images aim to provoke the viewer or make them curious, leading to some form of acknowl edgement or engagement with issues. 109 Ewing speaks to a cultural or generational difference in attitudes: "the earlier generation looked for spiritual growth and enlightenment (some connection with the Romantic Sublime); the current generation is more anxio usly focused on more pressing existential issues, driven by the feeling that the clock is ticking what are we doing to the earth? What impact is my own presence having? And where is reality in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 107 William Ewing. 2014. Landmark: The fields of landscape photography. Lon don: Thames & Hudson, p. 21. 108 Ibid, p. 21. 109 John Ganis. 2003. Consuming the American Landscape. Sockp ort, UK: Dewi Lewis Publishing.

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70 this world of growing artifice?" 110 The images are meant to not only provoke some form of response or engagement, but also draw attention to the notions of truth, objectivity, and deception in imagery. In "Toxic Sublime: Imaging Contaminated Landscapes," Jennifer Peeples analyzes the images of photographers like Edwa rd Burtynsky that reveal the strange beauty of altered landscapes, creating a presence for such landscapes in the collective imagination. She notes that contemporary photographers who work in this vein are criticized for obscuring the hazardous risks of po lluted sites by emphasizing their evocative beauty. Through textual and visual analysis, Peeples argues (like Ewing) that these images ultimately function to encourage contemplation about these landscapes and our cultural position toward them. 111 Tracing the evolution of the sublime from sites of nature to sites of technology, she defines the term toxic sublime as "the tensions that arise from recognizing the toxicity of a place, object, or situation, while simultaneously appreciating its mystery, magnificenc e, and ability to inspire awe." 112 Peeples distinguishes between the natural sublime attributed to acts of God and the technological sublime attributed to acts of humanity. While the technological sublime marvels at our human accomplishments, the toxic sub lime invokes horror rather than awe by calling attention to our neglect or maltreatment of the environment and our own response upon realizing our impact. She identifies a diminishment of self that occurs upon this realization and a sense of separation or lack of control. She also notes a response that in Kantian terms would be deemed a negative pleasure' or an indirect state of satisfaction in which one is simultaneously attracted to and repelled !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 110 William Ewing. 2014. La ndmark: The fields of landscape photography. London: Thames & Hudson, p. 25. 111 Jennifer Peeples 2011. "Toxic Sublime: Imaging Contaminated Landscapes." Environmental Communication, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 373 392 (December). 112 Ibid, p. 375.

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71 by the sublime object. This would characterize the reaction of feeling that a contaminated site is beautiful while also feeling guilty or responsible. 113 In addition, Peeples notes the growing extent to which we are a visual culture and the strong correlation between what we are presented visual evidence of and wh at we are likely to care about in the environment. 114 She demonstrates that individuals pay more attention to environmental issues that are "evocatively articulated" rather than the issues that pose the greatest threat to human or ecosystem health. CASE: Vitondale Reclamation Park Vitondale Reclamation Park was the pilot project for AMD + ART, an initiative to forge new approaches to the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD). After years of coal mining activity, the Vitondale site had become a dump for was te coal and other miscellaneous refuse. Primary reclamation concerns revolved around treating the water contaminated by acid mine drainage and removing waste. The resultant design is a wetland comprised of multiple chambers to contain and treat water. The chambers display the water in various phases of treatment, highlighting the visible progression of the vibrant orange acid runoff becoming clearer through each phase. The project was completed in 2004 by an interdisciplinary team of artists, designers, sci entists, and historians, including Bargmann of DIRT Studios. According to AMD + ART director and founder T. Allan Comp, their solution is uniquely situated at the intersection of the sciences, humanities and arts. Recognizing the acid mine drainage is mor e than a scientific problem, Comp emphasizes that reclamation needs to engage cultural considerations: "I suggest that the vast array of environmental reclamation science and technology is not sufficient, that the degraded environments we address are cultu ral artifacts as much as they !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 113 Ibid, p. 381. 114 P eeples references studies by S. Sontag (Regarding the pain of others, 2003) and C. Ferreira, A. Boholm and R. Lofstedt (From vision to catastrophe: A risk event in search of images, 2001).

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72 are problems for science, and that we must address these problems with the full range of the art and humanities, as well as the sciences, if we are to be effective." 115 From a scientific perspective, the passive treatment system targets contamination issues by raising pH levels and removing dissolved metals. From an aesthetic viewpoint, the treatment system can be seen as a work of art a visible, symbolic representation of both the contamination itself and the process of removal. Socially and culturally, it can be viewed as a project aimed at legibility, empowerment and community involvement in simultaneously revealing the past and projecting into the future. 116 Figure 17 Photomontage of water treatment concept. http://ww w.dirtstudio.com/#vintondale !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 115 T. Allan Comp, "Science, art, and environmental reclamation: three projects and a few thoughts." In Berger 2008, p. 63. 116 AMD + ART, The Solution, http://www.amdandart.info/tour_solution.html

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73 Figure 18 Plan for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility. http://www.dirtstudio.com/#vintondale

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74 Figure 19 Diagram for Vitondale Reclamation Park water treatment facility. http://www.dirtstudio.com/#vintondale

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75 CHAPTER V ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Reclaiming aesthetics The altered landscapes in this book document the beginning of an emerging post technological landscape condition, one that absorbs alteration and reparation as part of the landscape's new structure. They reveal our systems of production for land and scape. They expand our aesthetic sensibilities beyond simplistic judgments of what is "natural" or "cultural". They unveil cultural edification for reva luing the landscape and the subsequent creation of its new forms. 117 As discussed in the Theory chapter, aesthetics has served multiple roles as a framework allowing us to interpret landscape and generate meaning through experience to a framework that is v iewed as superficial, ideological or political to a framework that can reveal site history and process provoking acknowledgement and response. The following analysis and interpretation focuses on identifying the role that aesthetics currently serves in pos t mining sites and reclamation projects. Consulting concepts brought forth in the Theory chapter, it also suggests ways in which that role might expand. Referencing the capacity for our aesthetic sense to generate meaning and value for landscape by allowin g us to experience, understand, and interpret the world around us, this chapter reclaims aesthetics as fundamentally implicated in the practice of making landscape as an idea, as a representation, and as a place. Sources consulted in the Theory chapter su ggest a perceptible shift toward revelatory aesthetics for altered landscapes. While this shift is not reflected in the discourses surrounding reclamation policy and mainstream practices that tend to invoke aesthetics as a tool to conceal or naturalize th e altered landscape, authors like Alan Berger, Julie Bargmann, Frederick Turner, Allan Comp and more argue for design approaches to altered landscapes that would reveal site history and process. As demonstrated through the altered landscape' mode of lands cape photography and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 117 Alan Berger. 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p. 209.

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76 certain graphic trends within landscape architecture, this revelatory strategy is expanding to include not only specific site history and process through the use of industrial ruins, but using aesthetics to make visible the connections to broader social, cultural, political, and economic patterns and flows. While strategies to conceal or naturalize altered landscapes would appropriate aesthetics as a normative or ideological tool, a revelatory approach to these sites relies on aestheti cs as a critical and interpretive framework that is participatory, inclusive, and capable of discovering or generating new meaning and value for altered landscapes. If we rely on revelatory design strategies for altered landscapes, aesthetics then comes to the fore as the framework through which histories, memories, and experiences allow us to understand and interpret these sites. While much of the language attending to landscape aesthetics tends to be skeptical or dismissive, a closer consideration of how aesthetics operates in altered landscapes may be both critical and timely. Several authors have explored toxic beauty and the post industrial sublime as operating within the basic tenets of the Picturesque as an aesthetic mode. Upon closer examination, to xic beauty is also connected to underlying attitudes embedded in Romanticism, more specifically the simultaneous and conflicting presences that appear through nostalgia, self awareness, and romantic irony. Post mining sites are some of the best suited mode ls to explore how these concepts operate in contemporary landscapes because of the visible scars and ruins present and our increasing remote visual access to these sites fostered through contemporary landscape photography and other representational media. By studying the way that we engage with and respond to these places and images through an aesthetic framework, we can begin to further understand and articulate the way that aesthetics operates in these sites and use that information to formulate our crite ria for intervening as designers. Elizabeth Meyer has identified the post industrial sublime as being capable of destroying form, representing the invisible, and centrally locating the viewer to construct meaning and experience in the landscape. She also suggests that aesthetics can provoke response and

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77 engagement from the viewer. Susan Herrington, while rejecting the stylistic and ideological aspects of Picturesque aesthetics, emphasizes that Picturesque aesthetics continue to operate in contemporary land scapes through the central role of the "imaginative spectator" and the use of industrial ruins and artifacts. Both authors connect contemporary Picturesque aesthetics or the post industrial form of the sublime with 1) revealing site history and process thr ough industrial ruins and 2) the central role of the viewer in experiencing, interpreting and responding to these sites. They suggest that the role of the designer is to reveal, and that the authorship of meaning and experience in these sites is generated through the interplay between site history, processes, memories, associations, experiences and more. Nostalgia, self awareness, and romantic irony in altered landscapes respond to the notion of the landscape as a ruin. The visual, spatial, or symbolic qua lities found in post mining sites such as open pits, piles of waste material, abandoned structures, or vibrantly color tailings impoundments act as a referent connecting the site's past and present. This distorts our linear conception of time, creating a s ense of displacement between two different temporal frames. Connecting this to the notion of scenography, ruins frame and sequence the landscape using time rather than space. This relies not only on the landscape itself to generate the content for these fr ames, but also our faculties of memory and association. Through an aestheticized longing for the past, or nostalgia, we fix the landscape as an idealized image or representation in our minds. Ruins mediate a very precise distance between landscape and view er by presenting scenes or objects as displaced from their original context. 118 In the case of post mining landscapes, these ruins are just far enough removed from the present to be viewed as a scene we do not belong to. Robin Kelsey describes this as a "fan tasy of not belonging" in which the concepts of nostalgia, self awareness, and romantic irony play a central role. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 118 Referencing Gillian Rose's context of production vs. context of reception, the viewer re produces these objects in the act of viewing them. Rose, Gillian. 2001. Visual Methodologies. London: Sage Publications LTD.

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78 Toxic beauty in part refers to the aesthetic appreciation of landscapes that would not be considered conventionally beautiful. In this sens e, toxic beauty in the landscape is like avant garde art that seeks to defy or subvert conventional notions of what is beautiful. Like the Picturesque sublime, toxic beauty also refers to a scene that appears dangerous or threatening such as a gaping open pit or a toxic acid stream. These scenes are visually dramatic and engaging and provoke a sense of both awe and horror from the viewer. Ultimately we are only able to conceive of these scenes as beautiful because we have distanced ourselves as viewers. We feel terror, but it is a terror that dissipates and resolves upon realizing that we are apart from the scene we are viewing. The irony associated with this act is that we are not separate from these scenes. In fact, not only are we in the scene but we are also the authors or creators. This new type of self awareness in the landscape is markedly different from the Romantic Picturesque form of the sublime in which nature acts as the agent for sublimity. Jennifer Peeples describes a dimin ishment of self that occurs in this simultaneous and conflicting set of conditions that we create through the framework of toxic beauty or the post industrial sublime. Our "fantasy of not belonging" extends not only to our position as the viewer but also o ur position as the author of these conditions and processes. While this diminishment of self can be read as negligent, delusional, or escapist, it also strangely acknowledges non human subjects and authors as agents in the landscape. If we enforce this typ e of distancing in the landscape and diminish our control as human authors, we stage the conditions for a co authorship of landscape. This places ruins in a slightly different role. Rather than symbolizing a past cultural condition, they might symbolize th e emergence of non human systems of 4 th nature. The agency of representation As demonstrated in the Theory chapter, historic precedents suggest that the way we represent landscape plays a significant role in expressing a collective cultural attitude or ap proach to landscape, which in turn shapes the landscape idea and the meaning and value it holds for human culture. This means that landscape aesthetics might not only be significant in terms of an

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79 experience or expression in the landscape itself but also a s a way of representing these places first in our minds as an idea, and second through various media. While authors like W.J.T. Mitchell have emphasized this as asserting a certain normative or ideological role for aesthetics, it can also be understood as revelatory, responsive, and participatory. When employed with awareness and intentionality, aesthetics may be capable of interpreting our experiences in the world, revealing site history and process, inviting participation and engagement, and provoking act ion or response through representation. According to Kant, three faculties account for our capacity to understand the world: pure reason, understanding, and imagination. His aesthetic theory in part relies on the concept of free play' between imaginatio n and understanding. Our imagination synthesizes or organizes the data we collect through sensory perception, which leads to the formation of concepts. Before calling upon our capacity for judgment, our aesthetic sense first relies on this free play' betw een perception and imagination to form concepts and representations. 119 This corresponds to Corner's notion of a hermeneutical or phenomenological approach to understanding through sensory perception. Edward Soja refers to a similar process in "The Trialect ics of Space" in which place is generated through percepts, concepts, and representations. Within this feedback system representation affects the way we view or value the landscape and all three terms or phases influence and inform each other. This suggest s that a revelatory strategy for altered landscapes might not be limited to the way we design the landscape itself, but also the way we represent landscape to stakeholders, community members, and the public. As landscape architects work almost exclusively with representational media, this concept is essential to our practice. A revelatory strategy in the landscape involves not only creating images that explain how to construct a design !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 119 Immanuel Kant. 1987. Critique of Judgment translated by Werner S Pluhar. Indianapolis: Hackett, p. 218.

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80 or what the finished product will look like, but also explains what is e ssential in a site and how that connects to larger flows and processes. Representation is central to the way that we approach altered landscapes, the way that we formulate problems and solutions in the landscape, and the way that we communicate with other s about these landscapes. Representation is also projective, allowing us to speculate or imagine through images. As demonstrated by photographers working in the altered landscape' mode of landscape photography, or certain graphic approaches within landsca pe architecture, a revelatory approach to representation is frequently a way to provoke response or engagement with landscape processes. This revelatory approach is expanding to include the more abstract social, political, and economic flows that shape the altered landscape. Furthermore, these representations are rarely neutral or aimed only at revealing or exposing; there is usually an argument or a position embedded. Methods and approaches for reclamation practice If this research and analysis suggests a n expanded role for aesthetics in reclamation practice, what methods and approaches would allow for this? a. T he Dialectical Landscape A dialectic between land reclamation and mining usage must be established. The artist and the miner must become conscious of themselves as natural agents. The world needs coal and highways, but we do not need the results of strip mining or highway trusts. Economics, when abstracted form the world, is blind to natural processes. Art can become a resource that mediate s between the ecologist and the industrialist. 120 While several of the reclamation projects mentioned have made use of mining structures and artifacts as romantic ruins, there is room to explore new conceptual or symbolic strategies for bringing forth cult ural or historic aspects of post mining sites through design. Projects included in the exhibit "Eco Revelatory Design" rely on such symbolic landscape interventions, 121 but Robert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 120 Robert Smithson, "Untitled," in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings edited by Jack Flam New York: N ew York University Press, 1979, p. 376. 121 Julie Bargmann and Stacy Levy's "Testing the Waters" and Dilip da Cunha and Anu Mathur's "Soil that New York Rejected and Recollects".

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81 Smithson's work is particularly instructive in this are n a, approaching the alt ered landscape with experiential, material, and symbolic design interventions that provoke response and engagement. Robert Smithson has created a diverse body of artwork ranging from drawing and painting to sculpture and earthworks to film. This research focuses primarily on his collection of drawings and writings as they reveal his approach to sites and the underlying forces shaping them and looks particularly to a drawing for an unbuilt project entitled "Project for Tailings" as an example of his approac h to intervening in post mining landscapes. His work is innovative and formative in its ability to reveal and interpret site conditions and to form conceptual and symbolic relationships across and between these by cultivating the landscape as garden. Grav ity, entropy, geology, and morphology are terms that feature prominently in Smithson's writing. Much of his work revolves around mapping and recording such processes that would be invisible or imperceptible to the casual passerby. A study of the ground, f or example, accounts for the surface of the ground, the structure and material beneath, the forces acting upon it, the changes that incur over time, and the relationship existing between all of these elements. In many cases such studies were ultimately aim ed at developing a conceptual basis for a site work or earthwork such as the Broken Circle/Spiral Hill project. 122 Smithson was drawn to the raw, uncultivated qualities found in altered landscapes. Quarries fascinated him with their evidence of both natural and mechanical processes and their exposure of all that lies beneath the earth's surface. His images reflect a working through or a re enactment of processes leading to the formation of altered landscapes in a manner similar to what Julie Bargmann terms I ndustrial Forensics. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were focused on process as the sole conceptual driver for their work, 123 Smithson was more interested in the questions of site, politics, nature, and value driving these processes. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 122 Eva Schmidt 2012. Robert Smithson: The Invention of Landscape. Germany: Snoeck. 123 Process art and arte povera.

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82 Looking at his "P roject for Tailings" as an example of the way he approaches post mining sites, two major themes or modes of engagement address our human experience in the altered Figure 20. Robert Smithson, "Project for Tailings," 1973. 124 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 124 Tsai Eugenie. 1992. Robert Smithson Unearthed: Drawings, Collages, Writings. New York: Columbia University Press, p. 194.

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83 landscape. The first is revelatory in that the landscape displays the evidence of key processes and relationships that the visitor may discover through perception and interaction. The second is a representation or re enactment of those processes in which the visitor becomes ei ther actor or audience. This drawing describes a design concept for a site filled with waste material left over from a milling operation. The drawing shows a network of paths weaving through tailing piles mounded 5 ft. tall; the paths connect in a circle w ith no scripted entrance or exit. The scale suggested by the drawing would engulf the human figure in a sea of waste material that has no beginning or end. Smithson's work operates within Elizabeth Meyer's formulation of the post industrial sublime in co ntemporary landscapes with its "ability to destroy form (key given landscape's embeddedness in the world), the representation of the invisible (parallel to recent interests in making site processes and histories visible and spatial), and the central role o f the viewer in the construction of the sublime (recalling phenomenological and hermeneutical theories' dependence on the body, immersion in place, and subjectivity)." 125 His drawings, writings, and site works express his intent to engage post mining sites i n ways that are largely underserved by current reclamation practice. These include a consideration of human experience and the body's immersion in place, the role of memory and ruins, the emergence of processes of 4 th Nature, multiple and simultaneous laye rs of site, revelatory design, and ethical responsiveness. b. The Topological Landscape There is a schism between the way landscape is understood scientifically or economically and the way the same place exists emotionally for people. This disparity call s for a change of approach. Topology, in this instance, can pay greater attention to deeper spatial, physical, poetic and philosophical values embedded in a long tradition of designed nature. Its strength is to weave together different fields of action, im proving our understanding of landscape as a cultural task with all its inherent beauty. 126 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 125 Elizabeth Meyer. 1998. "Seized by Sublime Sentiments." In Landscape Views. New York : Princeton Architectural Press, pp. 11 12. 126 C. Giro t, A. Freytag, A. Kirchengast, D. Richter. 2013. Topology. Berlin: jovis Verlang GmbH, backcover.

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84 Christophe Girot, Chair of Landscape Architecture at the ETH Zurich, centers his current research and writing on matters of representation within landscape architect ure. In particular he looks at the way we measure or the way we "sense and conceive" of landscape. Like Corner, he suggests that our separation of techne and poeisis has led to a crisis in which we are capable of modeling conditions and relationships at a wider range of scales and with increasing precision, but our ability to understand, interpret and ascribe meaning to those relationships remains underdeveloped. His concept of topology seeks to recover the ground between techne and poeisis in order to more finely tune the way we sense and conceive of landscape. Topology is a word Girot has appropriated from philosophy and is now widely used in mathematics to describe continuous surfaces. Girot looks to the Greek etymology of the word, which combines Place (topos) and Reason (logos). He uses toplogy as a verb in the sense that it is an action, a practice, or a way of thinking about landscape that looks for an inner log ic or code within a place. 127 Girot's formulation of topology also responds to a lack of visioning or sense of purpose in the making of landscape stemming from overly simplified or normative renditions of what landscape is or should be. 128 Topology looks for o pportunities to ground our increasing technological precision with a highly attuned sense of site intelligence', which could also be termed our aesthetic sense. 129 Girot further describes a topologic approach as maintaining elegance and precision at a variety of scales. Point cloud modeling allows for a precise articulation of large areas of land and the potential to overlay geospatial data. This approach can be combined with a broader !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 127 Christophe Girot, "Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape." Lecture, Harvard GSD, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCy uS A1iI. Published 14 November 2014. 128 This resonates with Julie Bargmann's comment on reclamation practice largely amounting to ordering off a menu of idealized landscapes.' 129 See Frederick Turner. 1994. "The Invented Landscape." In Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landsca pes. University of Minnesota Press.

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85 consideration of social or cultural information and a sensitivity to the site's "aesthetic substrate." 130 The Sigirino Depot, a project in Switzerland for the AlpTransit Company demonstrates how topology as a design approach might apply to post mining sites. The point cloud model constructed through remote sensing allowed h is project team to work with a precise and comprehensive 3D digital model of the existing terrain. This model made it possible to "determine the exact contact point between the artificially fabricated mound delineated by a gabion drainage line and the stee p rocky slopes of the Monte Ferrino with its rivulets, rubble, and cascades." 131 The precision of the model allowed landscape architects to work closely with engineers to problem solve collaboratively. In the instance of this particular project, the combinat ion of conceptual design thinking with precise data allowed the team to avoid dynamiting an exposed rock face and also allowed the team to envision a connection between the site and an existing network of paths. Figure 22. Monte Ferrino point cloud sect ion Christophe Girot. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 130 Christophe Girot. 2013. Topol ogy. Berlin: jovis Verlang GmbH, p. 91. 131 Ibid, p. 93.

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86 Figure 21. Sigirino Depot point cloud model, Christophe Girot. The Dialectical Landscape and The Topological Landscape are presented as examples of two existing methods and approaches within landscape architecture that facilitate an expanded role for aesthetics. Though very different in nature, they illustrate how ae sthetics can reveal site history and process, invite response and participation, and acknowledge non human authors in the landscape.

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87 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION Reclamation as a critical cultural practice Mining has decisively and irrevocably altered the land scapes of the western United States with over 200,000 abandoned and active mines covering millions of surface acres of land. 132 While federal and state regulatory policies have been stringently proactive in addressing the ecological impact of mining on lands cape, our approach to altered landscapes needs to allow us to identify broader, more complex, and more integrated problems and solutions. As a number of authors have noted, issues like acid mine drainage are more than scientific problems and should be addr essed with respect to their larger cultural context. As a discipline suffering from lack of engagement in larger cultural matters 133 greater involvement in reclamation projects could act as a potent point of re connection and recovery for landscape archite cture. Reclamation is perhaps more bold a practice than it realizes and may benefit from becoming even more so if sustained by a perspective that is both critical and self aware. Reclamation affects landscape at massive scales, frequently crafting entirely new landforms and ecologies for sites with rich and varied histories. Receiving increasing attention with financial and regulatory support from the private and public sectors, reclamation is in a position to do something truly innovative in the landscape. Yet, the premises underlying reclamation efforts remain relatively unchallenged and agendas to clean up hazards and provide new productive land uses tend to satisfy the imaginations of stakeholders directly involved. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 132 Alan Berger 2002. Reclaiming the American West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 133 James Corner. 1999. Recovering Landsca pe as a Critical Cultural Practice in Recovering Landscape edited by James Corner. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

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88 Current reclamation efforts provide abundant ecological and societal benefits including mitigation of soil and water contamination, stabilizing and re vegetating areas of hazardous disturbance, and rehabilitating sites in ways that community members largely identify as useful and valuable. S till, a more fundamental contestation of meaning, value, and potential for landscape rests below the surface. I believe that greater involvement from landscape architects would contribute to an expanded vision of what it means to reclaim these places, begi nning with considerations of why we reclaim, who we reclaim for, and to what end. Politicizing aesthetics Reclaiming aesthetics as a framework capable of generating meaning, revealing site history and process, and provoking acknowledgement and response u ltimately acts as a political driver. The aesthetic dimension itself does not have an explicit agenda attached. It does not tell you what to see and think, but simply asks you to see and think. 134 Aesthetics is experimental and projective because it allows f or critical proximity, the ability to be both within and without, to suggest what is lacking, and to imagine what alternatives might be possible. Walter Benjamin noted the distinction between the aestheticization of politics and the politization of aesthetics in "The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction." While the aestheticization of politics refers to the use of aesthetics as a tool to conceal, naturalize, or deceptively improve the appearance of a political agenda, the politization of aesthetics refers to the use of aesthetics as a tool to reveal and expose conditions and processes in order to provoke response and engagement. Revelatory aesthetic s is not a political agenda but a political driver because it relies on response and engage ment. While aesthetics is predominantly invoked in reclamation projects to conceal the impacts of mining or to create the appearance of an ideal or naturalized scene, a revelatory approach to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 134 Timothy Morton. 2007. Ecology Without Nature. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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89 aesthetics in reclamation would reveal site history and process This would allow for response, critique, and the formulation of a new aesthetic that might acknowledge or find value in alteration. Using aesthetics to conceal or naturalize enforces a normative or ideological role for aesthetics and limits the legibilit y and authorship of landscape. Invoking a esthetics as experiential, participatory, and revelatory however, recognizes non human agents and multiple authors in creating landscape

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90 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adams, Paul C., Hoelscher, Steven and Till, Karen E., ed. 2001. Textures of Place: Exploring Humanist Geographies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Alan, Stan. 1999. Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Adorno, Theodor. 1973. Negative Dialectics translated by E.B. Ashton. New York: Seabury. Adorno. Theodor. 1984. Aesthetic Theory translated by C. Lenhardt. New York: Routledge. AMD + ART. http://www.amdandart.info/. Accessed 17 April 2015. Appleton, Jay. 1986. "The role of t he Arts in landscape research." In Landscape Meanings and Values, edited by Edmund C. Penning Rowsell and David Lowenthal, 26 47. London: Allen and Unwin Publishers. Arbogast, Belinda. 2000. "The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation." USGS Circular, 1191, Denver. Arbogast, Belinda. 2008. "Interrogating a landscape design agenda in the scientifically based mining world." In Berger 2008, 52 60. Arkesteijn, Roel. 2012. "Robert Smithson in Emmen." Robert Smithson: The Invention of Landscape. Germany: Snoeck. Barnett, Rod. "Gold and the gift: theory and design in a mine reclamation project." In Berger 2008, 26 35. Baudrillard, Jean. 1986. America translated by Chris Turner. London: Verso. Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in a Mechanical Age of Rep roduction. Berger, Alan, ed. 2008. Designing the Reclaimed Landscape. London, New York: Taylor and Francis. Berger, Alan. 2006. Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Berger, Alan. 2002. Reclaiming the Americ an West. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Berger, Alan. 2002. "Representation and Reclaiming: Cartographies, Mappings, and Images of Altered American Landscapes". Landscape Journal, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2002. Berger, Alan and Brown, Case. 2008. "Digital simulation and reclamation: strategies for altered landscapes." In Berger 2008, 115 123. Berger, Alan and Brown, Case. 2008. "Open pit opportunities: pre mine design strategies." In Berger 2008, 125.

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