Landscape's ocular centrism - and beyond?

Hannah Macpherson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

For many academics and policy makers the concept of landscape is associated with ‘land as it is seen’. In this paper I consider some of the literature which traces this association of landscape with the sense of sight. I focus on the suggestion that notions and concepts related to landscape are symptomatic of a pervasive ‘ocular-centrism’ within western thought. I then highlight the ocular-centric approach to landscape which permeates much of the landscape and environmental-perception literature. Concerns are raised that the ocular-centric legacy of landscape may occlude alternative aspects of how the land is sensed and interacted with. I therefore proceed to explore research which addresses the ‘non-visual’ embodied aspects of our interactions with the land. It seems that sight isn’t necessarily the primary medium through which we come to know and organize our understandings of the land. In particular I address the potential of recent attempts to re-conceptualize landscape as an ‘interaction’ or as ‘a moment in a process’ and in doing so question to what extent it is possible to move beyond landscape’s ocular-centrism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Frontis Workshop From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education and Application
EditorsG. Tress, G. Fry, P. Opdam
PublisherSpringer; Kluwer Academic
Pages95-104
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781402039782
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventProceedings of the Frontis Workshop From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education and Application - Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1-6 June, 2004
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …

Publication series

NameWageningen UR Frontis Series

Workshop

WorkshopProceedings of the Frontis Workshop From Landscape Research to Landscape Planning: Aspects of Integration, Education and Application
Period1/01/05 → …

Keywords

  • landscape theory
  • ocular-centrism
  • senses
  • blindness

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