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LA 387 / 587: Seminar: Landscape between Nature and You

As a relationship between humans and nature, landscape is not bound to any specific medium. Instead, it is reified in a wide range of forms and formats, including familiar types—such as parks, pictures, and poems—but also less-considered ones—such as legal and scientific documents, games, sound art, and gastronomy. This seminar examines the theory and practice of landscape as a relational condition. Participants will explore thirteen works of landscape in diverse media in order to understand how their terms (e.g., conditions, durations, limits) are defined and negotiated. Through firsthand experience, close analysis, and interpretation, with scholarly supports, students will address questions of agency, purpose, and meaning alongside practical concerns such as materiality, technique, and context. Along the way, they will also sample recent thinking about humans and nature. The work of the semester will culminate with each student studying closely one work of landscape in a medium of their own choosing, taking into account the premise of landscape as a relationship between humans and nature while interpreting the work according to personal priorities, methods, and aims.