Kirsten Swenson F'20

Kirsten  Swenson
Associate Professor
Art & Design
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars 2020
Associate Professor
Art & Design
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Public Works: Land Art and Urban Redevelopment
For residence at the Huntington Library during academic year 2021-2022

“Landfills are the city’s largest remaining open spaces, not, like classic earthworks, splendid in desert isolation,” Mierle Laderman Ukeles wrote in 1992, advocating for “public earthworks” accessible by subway. This book addresses park design as a public art form, focusing on remediation projects by Ukeles, Nancy Holt, Agnes Denes, Robert Morris, and others that merged concepts of land art with cultivation, landscape design, and urban planning. These parks, associated with the deindustrialization of US cities after the 1970s, reimagined the public sphere, articulated land use history, and introduced new forms of engagement with ecology and the built environment. This book considers a set of visionary parks—both existing and unrealized—within their historical context and in light of the uneven development of today’s cities.