Sunday, February 26, 2012

Detroit: The Forgetting Machine

Detroit: The Forgetting Machine

(Photo Mine)

Another topic that will re-appear consistently in this blog. Jerry Herron understands Detroit's position in our nation mythology of progress better than any writer or academic I've come across. This piece is a bit of a summation of a much larger 3-part article he's written for The Design Observer Group and deals most explicitly with "Ruin Porn," or the photographic fetish of Detroit's decay. Detroit's ruins have have undoubtedly been a huge influence in my own work and perspective (of which I will elaborate in time). Herron's critique is spot on and, tangentially, reveals a major conflict between Art/Architecture and real world social problems. It is all too easy for a designer to treat Detroit as a visual resource, an uncanny/surreal inspiration rather than a real place where upwards of 700,000 people still live (the population of Alaska or Vermont by comparison).

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