Ambiguous Territory

Aesthetic Practices Against Agrilogistics


  • Kathy Velikov University of Michigan / RVTR
  • Cathryn Dwyre Pratt Institute / pneumastudio
  • Chris Perry Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / pneumastudio
  • David Salomon Ithaca College



What can one do when the things and processes used to sustain oneself – physically, economically, emotionally – are executed at a scale and intensity whereby they become poisonous? Such a scenario describes certain addictions. An illustration of such an addiction on a planetary scale is exemplified by the neologism agrilogistics. This planned approach to the environment seeks to organise, divide, and manage the earth in order to increase the likelihood of human survival. From parasite-vulnerable monocrops to systemic biopolitical violence upon indigenous peoples, these conditions expose the dark and unwanted externalities to the logistical algorithm that we have only recently begun to understand as deeply intertwined with each other and within all life on the planet. What can art and design do to intervene in this positive feedback loop of economic growth and environmental catastrophe? Perhaps one thing we can do is to use visual, material, and spatial media to think the world differently by questioning the premise of anthropocentrism, establishing instead new conditions of relation between human and nonhuman and with it, new forms of kinship with other species. The exhibition Ambiguous Territory: Architecture, Landscape and the Postnatural assembles a shifting tide of practices, objects, and images by architects, landscape architects, and artists that points to ways of operating within this new paradigm. 

Author Biographies

Kathy Velikov, University of Michigan / RVTR

Kathy Velikov is an Architect, Associate Professor at University of Michigan’s Taubman College, and current President of ACADIA. She is founding partner of RVTR, a platform for experimentation in the agency of architecture and urban design within the context of dynamic ecological systems, infrastructures, materially and technologically mediated environments, and emerging social organizations. She is a recipient of the Architectural League’s Young Architects Award and the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture. Most recently “Infundibuliforms” received a 2016 R+D Awards honorable mention from Architect Magazine and she collaborated on EXTRACTION, the Canadian Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Writing and project publications include the journals JAE, IJAC, Leonardo, New Geographies, eVolo, Volume, OASE, and MONU, and the books Infrastructure Space, Hypernatural, Paradigms in Computing, and [bracket] Goes Soft. Kathy is co‑editor of ACADIA 2016: Posthuman Frontiers (2016) and co‑author of the book and traveling solo exhibition Infra Eco Logi Urbanism (2015).

Cathryn Dwyre, Pratt Institute / pneumastudio

Cathryn Dwyre is coprincipal of the experimental design practice, pneumastudio, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture where she teaches undergraduate thesis and elective seminars. Dwyre holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and previously received a B.A. from Colgate University, with a double major in Geology and Philosophy. Prior to joining the faculty at Pratt Institute, Dwyre was the Managing Editor of ViaBooks with a volume published by MIT Press entitled Dirt. She is coeditor of a special issue of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (MIT Press) and recipient of the MacDowell Colony Fellowship. pneumastudio has exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City, the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece, the Design Museum in Barcelona, and NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Recent publications featuring pneumastudio include Global Design (Prestel) and XXLXS: New Directions in Ecological Design (Actar).

Chris Perry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / pneumastudio

Chris Perry is coprincipal of the experimental design practice, pneumastudio, and Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s School of Architecture where he is Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Director of the MSArch program, and coordinator of undergraduate thesis. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Perry was the Louis Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. Perry is a recipient of the Architectural League of New York’s Prize for Young Architects and The MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He was cochair of ACADIA’s 2015 Annual Conference, coeditor of its proceedings, and is a member of its Board of Directors. Perry is coeditor of Collective Intelligence in Design (WileyAcademy), editor of a monograph of his first design practice, servo: networks and environments (DAMDI Publishing), and coeditor of a special issue of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (MIT Press). Perry received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University with an Honor Award for Excellence in Design.

David Salomon, Ithaca College

David Salomon is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Ithaca College, where he is also the coordinator of the Architectural Studies program. He is the coauthor, with Paul Andersen, of The Architecture of Patterns (Norton, 2010), which received a production grant from the Graham Foundation. His wideranging research has been published in Grey Room, Log, Harvard Design Magazine, Places, The Journal of Landscape Architecture and the Journal of Architectural Education. Forthcoming publications include a book on the history of symmetry in architecture, math and science (DiTella, Buenos Aires) the history of the driveway (Buildings and Landscapes) and the relationship between Michael Heizer’s land art, bulldozers and suburban tract developments (Journal of American Culture). He was the recipient of the Carter Manny award from the Graham Foundation for his PhD dissertation One Thing or Another: The World Trade Center and the Implosion of Modernism. David is a graduate of UCLA’s Critical Studies in Architecture Culture program.


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