Credo

Ecologists, landscape artists, and landscape architects have joint responsibilities. Ecologists and environmentalists need to give up the illusion of nature “out there,” better off without people, and balanced in perpetuity. Landscape artists and landscape architects must illustrate and re-imagine what they see: in painting, photography, video, sculpture, and in planned, designed, and engineered landscapes themselves. They must re-express the sublime—not the terrifying disconnection between humans and “the environment” and the despair of the human condition—but the chaotic interplay of the Earth and all its creatures, large and small, animals and plants, fungi and parasites. And landscape artists must also re-connect with the broader society—like the Hudson River School “rock stars,” landscape artists must bring their postmodern visions to the world. Likewise,  Ecologists must view landscapes through the eyes of artists who envision the present, not mourn the past, and find new metaphors that capture and celebrate the caprice, uncertainty, chaos, and destruction of evolution. And in the end, we all need to shrug off the embrace of the romantic landscape and reengage with the world. It’s the only one we have.