OREGON Vibrant Matter in the Pacific North West

Seminarwoche (052-1205-23)
Veranstalter: Professur für Kunst- und Architekturgeschichte Prof. Dr. Philip Ursprung
Dozierende: Prof. Dr. Philip Ursprung, Dipl. Ing. Tim Klauser, M.F.A. Tobias Wootton, Dr. Nina Zschocke; Organisation: Sabine Sarwa
Zeit: 21. October - 29. October 2023


Vibrant Matter in the Pacific North West

On its way to the Pacific, the Columbia River cuts through the volcanic Cascade Range and spans a large desert. Its basin, inhabited for more than 15,000 years, attracted fur traders and in the mid 19th century became the destination of the Oregon Trail, bringing Euro-American settlers to the West Coast. Ever since, mighty Douglas firs and Ponderosa pine trees travel downstream as raw material, first for the California Gold Rush building boom, then for global trade. Once the largest salmon producing river in the world, Columbia River's hydroelectric dams today produce low cost power for Oregon's four million inhabitants, its waters cool nuclear reactors and data centers. In Oregon's deserts, tumbleweed piles up next to radioactive waste, film sets for classic western and horror movies lie next to the remains of New Age mysticism.
During the seminar week, we will drive and wander along the Columbia River and past volcanoes, cross a desert and the Cascade Mountains, bathe in hot springs and make a bonfire. We will meet and travel with artists, architects, film makers and activists. We will hear tales of production and resettlement, of successful engineering, lost habitats and natural restauration, of extraction and spirituality, of railways, fish ladders and dark fiber, of saw mills, fungi and dynamic meditation, of tribal history and globalization. Along the way, we will practice photography (with Tobias Wootton).


Sabine Sarwa