Telling new stories in fractured geographies: loving orphaned space
The roots of my book Loving Orphaned Space, the art and science of belonging to Earth (from Temple University Press) book lie in what began as a very personal preoccupation with the scattered bits of open space so many of us are surrounded by, much of it dedicated to infrastructure and often abused. Often I would find myself wondering about a particular individual space, its current occupants, its history. Why did I care about these spaces, I wondered. Why did I want to know more about each one of them? By following artists (literally) as they ventured into such spaces, occupying them in a variety of ways, my personal, individual feelings expanded into something more social, that involved feelings of belonging and connectedness, respect, and responsibility, as well as delight and surprise. I celebrate the connections between art and science that inspired these projects. At core are new stories and new relationships through which we give these spaces meaning in our lives and rethink our infrastructure. New stories reject functionalist narratives about the environment as "useful," and can enable us to confront what our privilege has made invisible and to celebrate new voices and new stories about our common dwelling place called Earth.