They describe being fascinated by SCI-Arc since being students at Columbia University. They discuss their work as a struggle between the pursuit of perfection and the pursuit of excess and dirtiness. When starting their firm they chose to combine their studio with a gallery space as well as a space for a large mill, allowing them to continue to work experimentally and physically. “Tropism,” a project done in collaboration with artist Joshua Davis, came out of their desire go outside of the digital realm to work with materials that have a longer historical lineage.
Video Archive | Dirt (4)
Julie Bargmann discusses her work and offers suggestions about how to approach soil remediation and toxic waste sites. She discusses a project in Chicago on the site of a former steel yard and says, “Don’t hide the contaminated facts,” and recommends “Try to do what’s right for the site” when it comes to soil remediation. She cites Mel Chen’s Revival Field, and the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park in Germany by Peter Latz as excellent models of land reclamation and reuse. Bargmann details several aspects of the High Line project in New York and the idea of “urban wilderness.” She talks about being part of the TerraGRAM group on the project.
Julie Bargmann discusses her work in the context of ecological writer Frederick Turner’s view that people are “participants in the direct processes of the landscape … participating in the landscape of disturbance.” Bargmann stresses the word “disturbance” is used in an ecological, regenerative sense. She discusses a project with the City of Chicago where she helped the city consider plans on the site of a former steel yard on 527 acres. She talks about her concept of “landscape infrastructure.” Bargmann suggests, “Don’t hide the contaminated facts,” when it comes to reclaiming or reusing landscapes, and “Try to do what’s right for the site.” She states that certain terms, such as “toxic” are sometimes used to conceal the ulterior plans of some developer. Bargmann discusses projects by her students, works by artists, and several collaborative projects, a project in Tel Aviv, all dealing with garbage and waste. She encourages trespassing like her mentor and hero Robert Smithson. Bargmann cites Mel Chen’s Revival Field as a more responsible process than traditional land remediation.
Julie Bargmann discusses land remediation. She describes a collaborative project on a 40 acre industrial flood plain using a passive treatment system for acid mine drainage in Pennsylvania. She also describes alternative methods for land reclamation, such as scraping to remove metals, known as “hog and haul.” Bargmann cites the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park in Germany by Peter Latz, using the site of a former steel factory, as excellent example of land reclamation and reuse. She talks about her involvement in several projects at Ford’s River Rouge plant. Returning to her list of suggestions, Bargmann says, “Don’t isolate industrial sites in time or space.” She shows a competition entry for the design of a ConEdison plant on the East River in New York City and talks about working with Rem Koolhaas on the project.