On Monday October 16, Jeffrey S. Nesbit & Charles Waldheim will be in conversation with Taneha Bacchin, Nikos Katsikis, and Victor Muñoz Sanz, on the occasion of the book launch of Technical Lands: a Critical Primer.
Technical lands are spaces united by their “exceptional” status—their remote location, delimited boundary, secured accessibility, and hyper-vigilant management. Designating land as “technical” is thus a political act. Doing so entails dividing, marginalizing, and rendering portions of the Earth inaccessible and (in)visible. An anti-visuality of technical lands enables forms of hyper-visibility and surveillance through the rhetorical veil of technology. Including the political and physical boundaries, technical lands are used in highly aestheticized geographies to resist debate surrounding production and governance. These critical sites and spaces range from disaster exclusion and demilitarized zones to prison yards, industrial extraction, and airports and spaceports. The delineation and instrumentalization of technical land have increased in scale and complexity since the rise of neo-liberalization. And yet, the precise empirical and theoretical contours that define these geographies remain unclear. Technical Lands: A Critical Primer (Berlin: Jovis, 2022) assembles authors from a diverse array of disciplines, geographical specializations, and epistemological traditions to interrogate and theorize the meaning and increasing significance of technical lands.
Jeffrey S Nesbit is an architect, urbanist, and assistant professor in history and theory of architecture and urbanism at Temple University.
Charles Waldheim is an architect, urbanist, and John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he directs the School’s Office for Urbanization.
Book Design: Siena Scarff Design
Photo: Jennifer Holt