Transitory Landscapes Laboratory (2011-ongoing)

transitory Landscapes


The transitory condition and changeable nature of the landscape gives the name to the project, as there are as many landscapes as experiences of it. Transitory Landscapes Laboratory is a project based on the connection between art, geography and territory that aims at creating new discourse and artistic experiences about the elements that configure contemporary landscapes. Talking about landscape is talking about perception, about senses and the human body. Transitory Landscapes Laboratory is based on the exploration of the multisensory nature, the intangible values and the multiplicity of existing landscapes through the body and sensory lived experience. This fact bring us to transcend traditional labels such as the rural, the urban and the wild as named by Augustin Berque and so, questioning stereotypical definitions of landscape.

Transitory Landscapes Laboratory links theory and practice, combining this dichotomy. We consider this relationship  in both directions : the practice leads to theory, and theory into practice. The aim is to develop a cross-cultural study on the perception of the body and the environment complemented with texts by contemporary Western and Eastern researchers such as Christine Greiner, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Yi-Fu Tuan, Augustin Berque Francesco Careri, Joan Nogué Watsuji Tetsuro, Shigegisha Kuryama … among others. The research is based on the Bodyweather: body knowledge-received through the body’s research. From this point of view, the body and the senses are understood as a way to experience the environment. As Watsuji Tetsuro conceptualized Fudo most commonly translate as ‘climate’ is the modification of the primordial space of human beings. Fudo-sei translated as the function of climate or climaticity is the mode of appearance of the subjective spatiality. The study of these concepts in relation to vernacular forms of experience brings into the surface both the ontological nature of these same concepts, as well as the importance of its social and political potential. This is the starting point to study subjectivities of the landscape and individual and collective imaginary of the people who inhabit the areas where Transitory Landscapes Laboratory is developed.

The methodology of the Transitory Landscapes Laboratory is open to the site and to the community of the site. The work is developed at individual and collective level and is articulated through various actions:

  • Landscape’s experiences: performances in the site (landscape’s choreography)
  • Video creation, links and relationships with the local community: walks, drifts, workshops, collective choreography and emotional mapping with the aim to participate in the process of sensiibilitzation of landscape and the creation of territorial identities, or in other words, create new sensibilities about the different values and functions of the landscape
  • Development of participative process about the territory’s management.

An important characteristic of Transitory Landscapes Laboratory is its interdisciplinarity and the heterogeneous nature and versatility of the professionals involved. In the first stage of the project the result was the video creation Emotional Geographies (2012-2013) an artistic collaboration between Claire Le Clézio and Zoe Balasch . So far the video has been presented at the 4th Congress Art and Landscape in Vinseum, Vilafranca del Penedès and at the Environment Fair in St. Cugat de Sesgarrigues in 2013. In parallel Transitory Landscapes Laboratory was also presented through ‘Landscape experiences’ with the colaboration of Jordi Mas and Zoe Balasch in the Penedes and Priorat Region. Besides Zoe Balasch and Jordi Mas also developed different talks and workshops with the School of Architecture of Catalonia UPC ESTAB, and walks with architects and geographers as well as participated in conferences and symposiums that reflect upon the intangible values ​​of the landscape.