The City Smells of Decay. Journal of Biourbanism. International Society of Biourbanism. 1&2/2014 . With On The City Smells of Decay—An Epilogue by Stefano Serafini + We See Only What Has Been Produced For Us To See—A Topsoil Review by Kelly Nosari.
IT IS WHAT IT SHOWS:
The preservation of unconsciousness within the consciousness of ruins.
Body in Ruins
19 April 2015
with the International Society of Biourbanism
27–28 February and 1 March 2015
University of Westminister (Expanded Territories)
With Samantha Clements
Bastardized and Idealized: Urban Farms as Imagined Rural Oases
In 2006, farmers from South Central Farm in Los Angeles were evicted. Six years later, Brooklyn Grange Farm celebrated their first harvest. Why was one farm destroyed and yet another praised by the Mayor of New York, and in part funded by the City? This is due to the type of role the ‘farm’ is set to play in the urban core; it isn’t rural and not uniform.
Rooted between skyscrapers and developer lots, the price of local, organic agriculture within urban centers act as a thin veneer that conceals deep supply chains, ingrained in what is commonly thought of as a rural “periphery.” When connected to dense urban areas, the distanced, out of sight, and seemingly peripheral, productive elements of rurality remain in the background. Meanwhile, the bastardization of the rural is a mere spectacle and reproduction of the status quo that disconnects and fragments the urban-rural relationship rather than embracing it as an integral whole. The production of land that is based upon such a dichotomous relationship is dependent upon the population embracing an idealized, surface rurality where farmers and consumers still actively participate in—rather than resist—the capitalist cycle that contributes to food insecurity and manifests a false sense of community. Here additional—rather than alternative—means of consuming and producing food is a luxury affordable to the least vulnerable within the city.
This research focuses on the selective targeting and baptizing of urban farms and gardens. We argue that rural land use in the urban can be re-imagined to form productive spaces of resistance that can truly feed and house the urbanized masses rather than co-opting farming by parading urban-centered agricultural production as a food security solution that instead divides society further, based on wealth and means presently unavailable to all.