[bracket] Call for Entries On Farming



is a collaboration of Archinect and InfraNet Lab, and is composed of a collection of diverse editors and an open-source contributing membership.

[bracket] is an annual publication documenting issues overlooked yet central to our cultural milieu that have evolved out of the new disciplinary territory at the intersection of architecture, landscape, urbanism and, now, the internet. It is no coincidence that the professional term architect can also now refer to information architects, and that the word community can also now refer to an online community. [bracket] is a publishing platform for ideas charting the complex overlap of the sphere of architecture and online social spheres.

Seeking new voices and talent, [bracket] is structured around an open call for entries. The series will look at thematics in our age of globalization that are shaping the built environment in radically significant and yet unexpected ways.

The first issue is titled On Farming is to be released in Fall 2009.

[bracket] would like to thank the Graham Foundation for support.

Please visit the [bracket] website for a description of the call for entries, schedule, and how to be part of future mailings. And please pass this on to anyone you believe could be interested to participate or submit ideas, designs, or texts.

Join the [bracket] Facebook group

Oct 26, 08 11:07 pm

cool. Nathalie de Vries on the jury!

Oct 27, 08 2:22 am

Looks great. I've got another essay on the go right now, but I'll be sure to submit to this. Very interesting topic.

Oct 27, 08 10:05 am

a rather interesting post from geoff manaugh

"If you'll excuse a quick bit of landscape-inspired political speculation, I was reminded this morning of something I read last year on Boing Boing and which has stuck with me ever since – and that's that there are more World of Warcraft players in the United States today than there are farmers.

Farmers, however, as Boing Boing and the original blog post it links to are both quick to point out, are often portrayed in media polls as a voice of cultural and political authenticity in the United States. They are real Americans, the idea goes, a kind of quiet majority in the background that presidential candidates and media pundits would be foolish to overlook.

If you want a real cross-section of Americana, then, you're supposed to interview farmers and even hockey moms – but why not World of Warcraft players? This is just a rhetorical question – it would be absurd to suggest that World of Warcraft players (or architecture bloggers) somehow have a special insight on national governance – but, as cultural demographics go, it's worth asking why politicians and the media continue to over-prioritize the rural and small-town experience."

Oct 27, 08 1:18 pm
vado retro

farming ain't what it used to be...

Oct 27, 08 6:11 pm

Cool...very interesting jury.

Oct 27, 08 7:06 pm

I'm interested in xacto point example as well...besides knowing farmers and having helped a couple times, farmers are the most authentic and in-touch with the world people I know.

But I have never seen an essay or serious philosophical or polical anaylsis of this.

I'm wondering, are there any texts by a thinker on farming, ontologically, socially, on why farming is such an authentic existence?

I have my own reason, but wondering if there are others. (Essay?)

Worlds of Paul Virillio & Jean Baudrilliard versus Karl Marx and Joe Farmer?

Oct 28, 08 9:41 pm
Mason White

just for clarification, the first issue is not ONLY inviting submissions that might be about conventional farming, but actually more about the condition of farming across design fields, infrastructures, and environments.

you are encouraged to speculate further through design or writing on these ideas.

we are excited about this new venture for archinect, and looking forward to seeing submissions. thanks for all your interest.

Oct 29, 08 12:22 am
chatter of clouds

Mason White;

i think we can all read the invitation on site. re-emphasizing that you don't only want submission on conventional farming will only emphasize how much, covertly, you DON'T want conventional farming articles let alone conventional itself. In my opinion you would have been better served by not even mentioning this complex you have over convention, in my opinion a silly myth you're apparently abiding by.

Furthermore, i find it intellectually insincere of you to dismiss agriculture as being mere agriculture on your website. I understand that you guys prefer the more secular "farming" which is in keeping with the hip version of the en vogue ahistoricist positivism that seeks to see the world in terms of scientific effects and that you obviously subscribe to; however, there is no need to stoop down to mere insults and be insensible to your own propensity to mythologize. As a matter of fact, I prefer “agricultural” “farming”; farming implies the limitations on specificity of production, agriculture is a larger understanding of the interplay between production, consumption and nature (by any other name … if “nature” displeases your secularizing proclivities).

Oct 29, 08 3:31 am
chatter of clouds

I prefer “agricultural” to “farming”

Oct 29, 08 3:36 am

Mason, thank you.

Are there texts that I may reference on the political and philosophical historical conditions of farming within agriculture?

If I were to write an essay I would not want to be "keeping with the hip version of the en vogue ahistoricist positivism", rather I would want to embark on my analysis of the "condition of farming across design fields, infrastructures, and environments" with a more substantial base. In other words, I wouldn't want to re-define farming without first understanding it.

This is why I ask.

Oct 29, 08 7:37 am

eigenvectors: check out some of the writings of wendell berry. (not the fiction, the essays.)


Oct 29, 08 7:38 am

Thank you Steven Ward, ordering copies right now.

Oct 29, 08 7:52 am

Hey nightlight, isn't everything mere until it's brought out of its original context and considered in a different way?

Oct 29, 08 9:57 am
chatter of clouds

what original context? agriculture encompasses a myriad of contexts and histories.

"Once merely understood in terms of agriculture"

once upon a time...

Oct 29, 08 10:39 am
chatter of clouds

'k, maybe i overreacted. jumpy hairy spiders inside and then i read that ... language.

Oct 29, 08 10:49 am

... can't think with it, can't think without it!


Oct 29, 08 11:19 am
o d b

maybe we're all being farmed right now...matrix style.

Oct 30, 08 4:00 am

if architects are so jumpy about the use of the term architect to denote anything other than Architecture, why would they accept the co-opting of the term farming to imply something other than Farming?

Oct 30, 08 6:05 pm

hm, maybe the exchange above could be a submission itself.

it would certainly be unconventional. ;-)

Oct 30, 08 8:00 pm

I agree jump. I actually think there are many points made thus far that could be developed into fascinating submissions. The interpretation of the theme will surely be an important part of the vetting process.

Oct 30, 08 8:05 pm

@ o d b - Don't be silly, vast technological networks harvesting our surplus energy and attention for profit? That's science fiction, not real life!

Can't talk, gotta go post some pictures to flickr, then hit up twitter before updating my facebook!

Oct 30, 08 8:35 pm
chatter of clouds

on a calmer note:

under the blanket of techno-scientific sounding language, here, lies the clandestine analogy. what is suspect, here, is how an analogy - a trope that collapses spiritual distinction through procedural emulation whilst retaining material distinction- is used, whether calculably or obliviously, in order to collapse material distinction between the two or more analogically associated entities. the analogy construed between agricultural farming and the land-based production of non-agricultural products, as per mightylittle™'s comment, results on a transfigured conundrum of a language: that which, while sounding scientific, is hypocritically unaware of the usage of non-scientific figurative thought to synthesize its scientifically-sounding but figuratively-fabricated language. that is to say, a synthetic human (and i rule out the consistency of mathematical and genuine scientifically-deductive language here) language that doesn't recognize, and somewhat simultaneously vocalize, its inherent ability to re-present a sequence of associated ideas but, rather, collapses the distinction between presentation and representation - thus employing the analogy for a non-analogical function.

and, as i had pointed out above, if its two contrasted ideas that are to be presented: a generic "farming" that, in language- in practice-as land-usage, collapses diversity and variety into abstract gridded quotas forming the capital of a singular and simplistic eco-nomic culture of production - thereby actually being, in the context of a late-capitalist climate, extremely culturally conservatively -and not, as self-expecting, progressive - contra "agriculture", the symbiotic and the specific, the varied and the variegated, the complex spirituality of a fugally patched cultural economy in which people are accountable for the production of their nutrition in terms of how benign or otherwise it is to the larger eco-system as well as being educated on the quality of their nutrition as opposed to that other developmental linear "farming" economy where the industrial simplification of production happens within local manufactured eco-systems that turn out to be carcinogenic spores turning the larger global eco-system against itself...well… the thought propels itself to its own conclusion.

Nov 1, 08 7:45 am

How about pharming?

Nov 2, 08 4:14 am
vado retro

collapsing diversity is the REAL crisis in traditional farming.

Nov 2, 08 10:49 am

farming collapsing in traditional diversity is the REAL crisis.

Nov 8, 08 4:57 am
vado retro

diverse tradition collapsing crisis is the REAL farming.

Nov 8, 08 9:03 am
liberty bell

You know when you drive along the rural backroads in a state like North Carolina and suddenly see a roadside store that looks like this:

That's vado's last post.

Nov 8, 08 11:48 pm

farming collapse in diverse tradition in the REAL crisis.

Nov 9, 08 3:30 am

still true

Nov 29, 08 3:20 am
chatter of clouds

diversity's collapse in farming tradition is the REAL crisis.

Dec 1, 08 4:02 am

Well thanks for the over analysis of the concept of farming. In all actuality there is a whole bushel of pertinent terminology that the concept aims at , such as harvesting, cropping, cultivating, planting... etc, which are all part of an agricultural mechanism. So its not half bad of an analogy, even if it is a buzz word. It is also possible that the REAL crisis does not lie in the diversity of specific functions, and their under availability or under development. One may consider the problems with the underlying "desiring production", in terms of what desires should be weeded out that reflect our unorganized farming systems.

Dec 5, 08 7:09 am

Circle crop rings creep me out! Kind of like the Attack on word "Architecture" by the Computer People. Growing up a
Rancher...and Not a Farmer...I'm a bit lost. Oh....we did
have an acre garden as kids. My dad paid us by the row
for weeding....and damn he checked them out before he
paid us for Quality Control...we got or dime a row...and
used it to go swimming in the local pool.

Dec 7, 08 5:37 pm

crop circle rings are made of rope and wood plank. nothing creepy about that unless you're using them for torture and a ring crop circle is method in organ donation.

weeding as a kid can be scary unless you weed in a diverse farming tradition using quality control selling a dime at the local pool.

Dec 8, 08 7:00 pm

"The processes of farming are mutable, parametric, and efficient."

Could someone please explain this sentence?

Jan 22, 09 10:04 pm

I how that someone in this "On Farming" will research aquaponics.

It's currently most popular in Australia because of drought restrictions, but I think it's the wave of the future. Within the next 10 years (presumably much sooner), some university will have created a program to investigate it.

Jan 25, 09 8:36 pm

how=hope. sorry

Jan 25, 09 8:37 pm
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)


mutable = change lots
parametric = determined by lots of quite specific parameters (milk yields, soild chemistry etc)
efficient = intended to maximise output (of product) while minimising input (of money, labour, time, etc.)

Jan 28, 09 3:29 pm
vado retro

mutatable, paranormal and effluent.

Jan 28, 09 4:43 pm
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

you must have been to some of the same farms i have...

Jan 28, 09 4:51 pm

i wish i had more time, i was looking into organ farming...

Jan 29, 09 7:51 pm

have kids and you'll be looking into organ donation...

Jan 29, 09 8:32 pm

n400 - there's also aeroponics...

Jan 31, 09 1:38 pm

toasteroven-i've read a little about that... it could be more efficient in terms of maintenance, but not in terms of water and nutrient reuse. plus, it looks like aquaponics uses simpler equipment and lower initial investment, so it'll catch on more quickly. eventually rfid will make plant maintenance easy anyway.

more about aquaponics:

Jan 31, 09 2:13 pm

I think aeroponics has aesthetic potential - you can easily go vertical with that system.

Feb 2, 09 11:56 am

Submission deadline today!

I can hardly wait to hear more about this in a month or so, and the eventual book.

Feb 2, 09 4:23 pm

oh, this is killing me, how did I miss it? my firm has a group that has been researching high intensity growing in urban conditions which formed after the great interest in our conceptual downtown Seattle project Center for Urban Agriculture

sometimes we just have blinders on...well, i'm opening up the radar now!

if you're interested in urban ag, check out:

and there's a video online here:

Feb 4, 09 9:56 pm

The selected entries have been posted!

Mar 3, 09 7:54 pm

I finally got around to ordering my copy, and it arrived yesterday! Yummy on the inside and pretty on the outside - look how well it fits in to my decor!

Jan 7, 11 1:04 pm

donna, i had it on my amazon wish list but had forgotten that it was released. so inspired by your post i went ahead and ordered my copy..... woot

Jan 7, 11 1:59 pm

Yay nam!

It's really beautifully done - graphically and materially it's lovely, and a very diverse group of essays/projects. I've only read a few entries so far, but enjoyed them.

Jan 7, 11 2:24 pm

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