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Idea by

Sarah Cowles

Ruderal

http://www.ruderal.com

40 Isakadze Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
Sarah Cowles’ exhibitions and critical essays center on the aesthetics and meaning of the ruderal: the systems and species adapted to disturbance. She is Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at USC in Los Angeles and is the co-founder, with Jesse Vogler, of ISTHMUS, a platform to construct textual geographies, provoke new landscape rituals, and inhabit the geological time of Transcaucasia. Cowles received her MLA from Harvard University’s GSD.

Surplus Futures


Surplus is nothing but trouble.

Surplus Futures


Surplus is nothing but trouble.
The written and visual project transposes imagined energetic, material, and spatial surpluses of the future to a pairing of garden and text.
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Type of project
  • New areas of operation

SCANT DISCOURSE ON SURPLUS
-The future is loaded with incomprehensible surpluses of materials, energy, and biomass. From today's surplus soybean stockpiles, to surplus water in cities, to surplus weapons seeking targets, surplus rules. But surplus-as a raw material and metaphoric topic-is scarce in design discourse.
-Surplus is defined as the excess beyond the necessary. Shunted from processing, transportation, and consumption, surplus is held in abeyance. Surplus has an anarchic, malleable energy that is open to re-articulation. Surplus is the fuel of subculture: hackers, black marketeers, and squatters all remix the semiotics of surplus.
-The garden is an apt mediator for surplus: over centuries, gardens have been repositories for surplus labor, materials, and technology. Gardens are material and temporal test plots, microcosms for the future. In Ljubljana I will gather these angles on future surpluses and transpose them into a series of paired surplus gardens and texts.


El Paso, US, and Ciudad Juárez, MX Surplus cotton, held from market due to oversupply, is conscripted into aesthetic labor in "Snagged", a sculptural installation on the US Mexico Borderlands. Cowles. 2009.

Wendover, Utah. Surplus building materials, drawing, Sarah Cowles, 2010. Surplus materials exhibit geological tectonics-angles of repose and crystalline structures.

Surplus water escaping from pressurized lines in the mining city of Chiatura, Georgia. The photos depict the latent aesthetic potential of surplus materials and energy.

Erosion of Conformity. In Chiatura, a new landscape of "filter gardens" intercepts surplus manganese ore sediments that would otherwise foul the Kvirila River, a Caucasus tributary of the Rioni River. Sketch by Cowles.

Big Darby Creek, Columbus, Ohio, US. Surplus agricultural edges are reconfigured for sediment and fertilizer capture and recreational infrastructure. Model by Cowles and Nick Glase and team.

Surplus Futures


Surplus is nothing but trouble.

Surplus Futures


Surplus is nothing but trouble.
The written and visual project transposes imagined energetic, material, and spatial surpluses of the future to a pairing of garden and text.
File under
Type of project
  • New areas of operation

SCANT DISCOURSE ON SURPLUS
-The future is loaded with incomprehensible surpluses of materials, energy, and biomass. From today's surplus soybean stockpiles, to surplus water in cities, to surplus weapons seeking targets, surplus rules. But surplus-as a raw material and metaphoric topic-is scarce in design discourse.
-Surplus is defined as the excess beyond the necessary. Shunted from processing, transportation, and consumption, surplus is held in abeyance. Surplus has an anarchic, malleable energy that is open to re-articulation. Surplus is the fuel of subculture: hackers, black marketeers, and squatters all remix the semiotics of surplus.
-The garden is an apt mediator for surplus: over centuries, gardens have been repositories for surplus labor, materials, and technology. Gardens are material and temporal test plots, microcosms for the future. In Ljubljana I will gather these angles on future surpluses and transpose them into a series of paired surplus gardens and texts.


El Paso, US, and Ciudad Juárez, MX Surplus cotton, held from market due to oversupply, is conscripted into aesthetic labor in "Snagged", a sculptural installation on the US Mexico Borderlands. Cowles. 2009.

Wendover, Utah. Surplus building materials, drawing, Sarah Cowles, 2010. Surplus materials exhibit geological tectonics-angles of repose and crystalline structures.

Surplus water escaping from pressurized lines in the mining city of Chiatura, Georgia. The photos depict the latent aesthetic potential of surplus materials and energy.

Erosion of Conformity. In Chiatura, a new landscape of "filter gardens" intercepts surplus manganese ore sediments that would otherwise foul the Kvirila River, a Caucasus tributary of the Rioni River. Sketch by Cowles.

Big Darby Creek, Columbus, Ohio, US. Surplus agricultural edges are reconfigured for sediment and fertilizer capture and recreational infrastructure. Model by Cowles and Nick Glase and team.


Idea by

Sarah Cowles
Ruderal
40 Isakadze Street
Tbilisi
Georgia
Sarah Cowles’ exhibitions and critical essays center on the aesthetics and meaning of the ruderal: the systems and species adapted to disturbance. She is Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at USC in Los Angeles and is the co-founder, with Jesse Vogler, of ISTHMUS, a platform to construct textual geographies, provoke new landscape rituals, and inhabit the geological time of Transcaucasia. Cowles received her MLA from Harvard University’s GSD.