Alienscape: Towards a Theory of Inclusion and Emergence in Agriculture

Alex Nuffer

  • FA.18
  • Level: graduate
  • Discipline: Landscape Architecture

The current ideology of complete eradication through biocide chemicals in modern industrial agriculture, stemming from post-war ideologies of intensified warfare and advances in transgenic technology, is problematic and has detrimental health and environmental repercussions if practices are continued. Alienscape embodies a new ideology of inclusion in agriculture that eliminates the dichotomy and binary between “weed” and cultivated plant and acknowledges “weeds” as emergent and novel ecosystems that are products of the disturbance intensive practice of agriculture and part of our ecological reality.

Weeds and crops are reframed not as dislocated fixed units, but assemblages of developmental growth and form structured through time, always in flux, and shaping their environment. In the case of the common “super-weed” found in alfalfa fields in the San Joaquin Valley, the hairy fleabane, the plant is moving rather far distances via wind vectors. This dynamic phenomena of seed movement creates a landscape of flow and territory at a variety of scales from which I wish to intervene and design into as a means to counteract chemical eradication ideologies and lay the groundwork for a new democratic agricultural model charged with horticultural and botanical ingenuity.

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