From January 11th to 17th, the Dredge Research Collaborative will convene its second symposium on all things dredge: DredgeFest Louisiana. Building on the foundation laid down with DredgeFest NYC, DredgeFest Louisiana will bring together government agencies, designers, theorists, academics, corporate practitioners, industry experts, students, and the public, in the place that is ground zero for human-assisted sediment transport, land building, and land loss. With a symposium, speculative design workshops, an exhibition, film screenings, and a dredge tour, this event will offer an interactive and thorough examination of this often-overlooked yet incredibly captivating anthropological geomorphic phenomenon.
In design circles, there has been increasing attention paid to the generative potential and dynamics of dredge, beginning with the infrastructurists of the Landscape Urbanism Reader and accelerating in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The Dredge Research Collaborative has played a big part in exploring the interconnected nature of dredge landscapes and the larger system of infrastructural projects and economic flows, from upstream development, to the US Army Corps of Engineers’ coastal defense works, to the imminent expansion of the Panama Canal and global shipping.
The Dredge Research Collaborative has argued, both in the recent issue of Bracket [goes soft] and in their piece for the previous issue of Scenario Journal, that dredge offers a lens for understanding a larger network of anthropogenic influences on the coastal landscape. Rather than focusing on the individual objects of infrastructure, the DRC brings us back to the complexity of a hybrid social, ecology and political network that has profoundly shaped our coastal landscape.
“The dredge cycle is the time-warped anthropogenic sibling to geologic and hydrologic cycles…The dredge cycle describes a circle of emergent feedback loops. Through the forces of anthropogenic erosive entropy — the proliferation of impermeable surfaces, the intensification of storm events due to climate change, the digging of deeper and deeper shipping channels, the loosening of vast tracts of soil for development — ever more material comes under the influence of accelerated erosion.”
Stephen Becker, Rob Holmes, Tim Maly, Brett Milligan. “Dredge” in Bracket [goes soft]
The dredge cycle, and the landscapes that result, creates a new ground for design, albeit one loaded with technical, regulatory, and implementation hurdles.
We urge geomorphology buffs, fans of coastal infrastructure, and all curious observers of dredging landscapes, to come join us in New Orleans in for DredgeFest Louisiana.
DredgeFest Louisiana runs Jan 11-17 2014.
Symposium Saturday, January 11-Sunday, January 12 in New Orleans
Workshops Monday, January 13-Thursday, January 16 in Baton Rouge
Tour Friday, January 17 leaving from New Orleans