Leonard_al rio.jpg
Zoe Leonard, image from Al Rio/To the River, 2016–20. Gelatin silver prints. © Zoe Leonard. 
Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.

Land Arts 2020 ADAPTATION

How does a field program adapt to a pandemic? Science fiction scenarios of bio-hazard-suited researchers, roaming the desert, examining the residue of humanity’s engagement with the natural world do not adequately protect participants from covid-19 uncertainty. Nor can we shield the vulnerable communities and lands—disadvantaged by systemic economic poverty and limited health infrastructure—that we routinely encounter. Rather than magnify the inherent risks of travel, Land Arts 2020 will adapt.

Land Arts 2020 ADAPTATION will conduct an interdisciplinary deep research studio and seminar to construct a meander map of the Rio Bravo / Rio Grande as it marks the border from Juarez / El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. We will collectively research, study, draw, the history and traces of the ever-changing river. The work produced will be part a publication being developed by the artist Zoe Leonard, a former Land Arts field guest, and poet Tim Johnson to build knowledge around terrain of past (and future) field operations. The 2020 Adaption seeks to responsibly honor the ethos, aspirations, and complexities of the Land Arts program that is dedicated to teaching greater awareness and understanding of how we as humans build and operate on the planet. 

Land Arts 2020 Adaptation will operate from the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University during the Fall semester as a non-traveling (face-to-face and/or hybrid-remote) studio and seminar to conduct the research necessary to produce the Rio Bravo / Rio Grande meander map that will describe the undulating and shifting course of the river over time and provide a significant resource for Leonard’s Al Rio / To the River publication.

The map, inspired by those produced by Harold Fisk and team in 1944 of The Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi, will require extensive binational and multilingual research into the history of river geometry and mapping as a manifestation of dynamic ecosystems modified over time by wide ranges of human construction.

The opportunity for students, guests, and the Land Arts program, to create a map as temporal condition report that will have significant international visibility is a tremendous opportunity in itself, and a clear way to productively adjust our operations to the present conditions. 

Participation is open to everyone—architects, artists, poets, writers, historians, linguists, geographers, scientists—from those interested in the 12 credit hour graduate Land Arts Certificate to undergraduates and people yet to enroll in the university. Ideally participants will register for both the graduate topical studio and seminar, yet that is not required as it will also be possible to participate through variable credit independent study or the seminar or studio individually. There will be a host of guest collaborators from across campus and beyond. 

For additional information see the Land Arts 2020 ADAPTATION prospectus and get in touch with Chris Taylor.

Land Arts 2014 Exhibition

Land Arts 2014 Exhibition

Texas Tech University College of Architecture and the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) announce Land Arts 2014 Exhibition. An opening reception will take place from 6-9 p.m. April 3, 2015 at the LHUCA Warehouses at 1001 Mac Davis Lane in Lubbock, Texas.

The exhibition culminates the semester-long transdisciplinary field program Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech in the College of Architecture and presents documents, objects and constructions architecture graduate students Michael Norris, Gabriela Reyes, and Anthony Zuefeldt with artists J. Eric Simpson  and Rhode Island School of Design alumna Matti Sloman.

Chris Taylor, director of Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech, leads the program and was assisted in the field by Ted Carey from Land Arts 2013, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Arts. Land Arts 2014 field season was made possible with generous operational support from Andrea Nasher and student support from the James Family Foundation.

Students traveled 6,000 miles visiting locations across the Southwest camping for two months as they explored natural and human forces that shape contemporary landscapes—ranging from geology and weather to cigarette butts and hydroelectric dams. The itinerary included: White Sands, Cebolla Canyon, Jackpile Mine, Laguna Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, Muley Point, Moon House, Green River, Spiral JettySun Tunnels, Wendover – CLUI, Double NegativeLas Vegas Piece, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Cabinetlandia, Mimbres River, Chiricahua Mountains, Dipping Vat Tank, Plains of San Agustin, Very Large Array, The Lightning Field, Marfa, Adobe Alliance and Lubbock.

The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, 3 April 2015 from 6 – 9 pm during the First Friday Art Trail. The exhibition will be on view Saturday afternoons from noon to 4pm and by appointment through Friday, 1 May 2015 when the exhibition will close with another First Friday Art Trail reception. To set up an appointment contact Chris Taylor by phone at 806-834-1589 or by email at chris.taylor@ttu.edu.


About Land Arts 
Land Arts of the American West is a field program investigating the intersection of geomorphology and human construction. Land art or earthworks begin with the land and extend through the complex social and ecological processes that create landscape. Encompassing constructions that range from petroglyphs to roads, dwellings, monuments and traces of those actions, earthworks show us who we are. Examining gestures small and grand, Land Arts directs our attention from potsherd, cigarette butt, and track in the sand, to human settlements, monumental artworks, and military-industrial installations. Land Arts is a semester abroad in our own back yard investigating the American landscape through immersion, action and reflection.

Land Arts 2014 field season at Texas Tech was made possible with generous operational support from Andrea Nasher and student support from the James Family Foundation. The 2014 field crew included four architecture graduate students and one artist with a Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Future years will continue to broaden the transdisciplinary involvement from students across the Texas Tech community and participants from outside the university.

About the College of Architecture
The College of Architecture at Texas Tech University is located in Lubbock where architectural education has been offered since 1927. The college includes 650 undergraduate, graduate and PhD students and 50 faculty members. Graduate certificate programs are offered in Historic Preservation, Visualization, Community Design, Rural Health Care Design, and Digital Design Fabrication, as well as an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Land-Use Planning, Management, and Design. To extend the academic offerings on campus every undergraduate student participates in directed summer study abroad offerings in places such as Paris, Seoul, Seville, Valparaiso and Verona. The presence of Land Arts within the college expands the range of field study connecting teaching and research directly to landscapes we inhabit.

About the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
The mission of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts is to inspire and enrich our community by being a catalyst for the arts. Celebrating eleven years of serving our community, LHUCA is proud to announce this fabulous addition of the Warehouses on Mac Davis Lane and Studio Flats as part of the expanding LHUCA Campus. Our campus, located on a two city block area of downtown Lubbock, is the heart of the cultural district. The campus includes the FireHouse Building with a state-of-the-art theatre and four exhibition galleries, the Helen DeVitt Jones Clay Studio, and the IceHouse that provides rehearsal, event and gallery spaces. The Graffiti Building, equipped with a classroom and teaching gallery space, will open in April of this year. The newly acquired Warehouses will provide alternative exhibition and studio spaces for creative works that reach beyond the traditional gallery presentation. Land Arts 2014 Exhibition will continue to demonstrate the flexible use of this space and serve as a magnet for the cultural growth and educational dialog between creator and viewer. The Board of Trustees and staff of LHUCA invite you to join us in celebrating the redevelopment and renovation of the cultural heart of Lubbock.


If you would like more information about Land Arts or to schedule an interview with Chris Taylor contact him by phone at 806-834-1589 or by email at chris.taylor@ttu.edu. Additional information about the College of Architecture is at http://arch.ttu.edu, and the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts at http://lhuca.org.

Image: Above Double Negative, Mormon Mesa, Nevada, 18 September 2014, by Chris Taylor.