Ground Truthing Volume One - Hidden Geographies: Chicago
Terra Fluxus
$12.00
Ground Truthing Volume One - Hidden Geographies: Chicago
Terra Fluxus
$12.00
Ground Truthing is a deep mapping that is focused on land and landscape and in our case, folds in soil science. Our methodology is a bit of urban ecology meets cultural geography involving observations and note-taking, revealing site conditions, surface structures, features and debris, plant and fungal life in the communities they reflect. Wind direction, hydrology, weather, season and climate are noted. Underlying parent material, soil composition and aggregation, soil color and chemistry, and soil biota are studied using collection, examination and testing samples from the A horizon as well as soil coring a meter in depth to look at the others. This inverts the usual preference for reporting on what is easily observable to the unknown. We also spend quite a bit of time poring over and digging into historical records, maps, legal documents, oral histories, photographs and illustrations.

In this first Ground Truthing we looked at two buildings, built in two different times in two different areas of Chicago and the sites they were built on and the ever changing dynamics of the physical sites and contexts of the sites on which they were built and quite literally the art they stand on. Places are made and unmade. How we construct a place usually has a lot of loose ends to it. The threads are quietly living. Tug at them, loop them around your finger, or tuck them safely back in. In this diptych of paired portraits of place, we hope you will feel the dialogues within and between them and how they can point to choosing any two other places to Ground Truth the placement of a structure, a human housing.

An institution involved in the Chicago Architecture Biennial originally commissioned this piece. It was to serve as pat of a larger array of investigations and actions, essentially our exhibition's text. The idea was pitched, our process transparent and yet, it appeared unfelt. It was our process of deep mapping, landscape reading and soil science that drew the invitation, but was also the cause of its rejection to being published after it had been read by several sets of eyes, its contents organized into a rough design to be printed.

Author: Nance Klehm
Year: 2021
Cover: Softcover
Process: Risograph
Language: English