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    Desert Life

    By Mark Bearak
    Nov 20, '06 7:02 PM EST

    This evening Columbia had a discussion/debate on the American Desert and was a great way to wrap up the semester; here is the synopsis:

    Desert America
    A discussion of the American desert as a space of extreme uses and activities. The desert is a huge paradox: beneath the immensity and silence of its outward appearance, the traces of all kinds of activities, experiments, mysteries, fictions and utopias can be heard. Far from being "empty," the desert is full of an uninhibited, excessive activity that encompasses everything from oases of entertainment to the secret staging of military power. The most hostile and seemingly uninhabitable of environments turns out to be an ideal setting for action.


    • Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      mark that all sounds great, but did they mention that Las Vegas is really just a result of themafia finding a place to laundor money, because they figured as you suggest, who would think that anything would ever happen out in the desert.

      what are the other cities booming in the desert? does phoenix count?

      Nov 20, 06 9:48 pm

      I was there too, and it was interesting to get relatively instant cities (phoenix/houston) in discussion with truly instant cities like burning man or quartz-site. Maybe the discussion was meant to be a proto-book launch, but the most provocative comments were Yehuda Safran's regarding the contribution of the primal desert experience on dominant monotheisms.

      it was a dissapointing turnout for a group of very good minds

      Nov 20, 06 11:10 pm

      So what's the impression of Kazys Vernalis at the GSAPP after his first semester at the network architecture lab?

      thanks for the synopsis...

      Nov 21, 06 9:07 am

      great image of burning man. Genus Loci (1980!), Norberg-Schulz makes the argument re: native landscape influencing spiritual -isms. Mono- from the desert, fairies from the intricate woods of Northern Europe...

      Nov 21, 06 10:36 am

      mmm burning man... :-D

      Nov 21, 06 11:22 am

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