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Doug Spencer

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Douglas Spencer, associate professor and director of graduate education in the Department of Architecture, has been invited to deliver a guest lecture Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He will present “Grazing the Landscape: On the Eco-imaginary of Capital.”

In his lecture abstract, Spencer says, “In the eco-imaginary of capitalism, the issue of impending ecological crisis is answered by casting individuals back into a state of nature. The problem is translated into one of reinserting the subject into its supposedly natural environment; a project of reconnection and redemption in which individuals, alone or gathered in small groups — notably never allowed to amount to anything like a collective entity — are figured enjoying the immediate sensory experience of nature. Grazing on the landscape, the figures populating this eco-imaginary enjoy a seemingly immediate relation to the means of their subsistence. This talk looks at the work of this imaginary, its modes of appearance and representation, and the historical and social premises it seeks to sustain. The focus will fall on the BIG project for Oceanix, addressed in relation to the history of the representation of figures in the landscape.”