Aesthetics, Ethics, and Ecology
Landscape Architecture Frontiers
Fionn Byrne, "Phantom Ecology: Aesthetics, ethics, and ecology," in Kongjiang Yu (ed) Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 030 Landscape Criticism 5, no. 6 (2017) 126 - 135.
The conversation must move past an emphasis on restoration, especially when restoration is clearly a futile attempt to return the future of a site to past conditions. This is a future where we will be left with a disconnected landscape simulacrum designed to support collective social amnesia. Extending McHarg’s health metaphor we might go so far as to say this is like the physician prescribing balm for a phantom limb — a phantom ecology. These sites of extraction have been irrevocably transformed. No manner of balm can heal the scars and wounds inflicted on the landscape.