the Possibility of an Island

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the Possibility of an Island

an Investigation of Typological Island Interventions

Copper River Delta, Gulf of Alaska

Fall 2016

Geographers comprise perhaps the more audacious of the scientific professionals. They are concerned with matters regarding the natural world and its myriad earthforms and phenomena. But even they have been quite strict with their classification of the island. They have categorized only two distinct 

Recently, however, a novice geologist has laid claim to the discovery of a third: the accumulatory island. He has been hard pressed by the rest of his discipline to give a precise account of its characteristics and qualities, but this he says is the true magic of this newly discovered island: it is ever changing. While it is constantly tended by the devices of man, it is still subject to the whims of nature. 

His discovery was not one of expedience, or a desire to manufacture the new typology in order to reap its requisite bounty. Rather, it was a discovery resulting from a change in perspective. The geographer begins to see the hubris of man in these attempts to assuage his previous ills with newly contrived technologies. A fix for the fixated...

Mirrored against what would have at one time been considered natural processes, we now see industrial endeavors which often exert antagonistic operations on the land, sometimes catastrophic. This project aims to provoke a new way of seeing these effects.

The natural shifting of tectonic plates, the massive pressures exerted on geological bodies, and the movements of enormous bodies of glacial moraines refresh and expose new fissures of minerals that we have found beneficial in our man-made artifice. They are not fast enough. We demand to have greater quantities and quicker productions. We have moved from a more benign sense of bringing forth from the earth in our agricultural toils to an inimical pursuit of manifold industrial production power.

One might speculate that the decline of the accumulatory island would represent a more balanced ecosystem, one in which the rate of glacial melting were slowed and the ablation rate persisted with reaccumulation. But we must keep in mind that the potential for global cooling due to external factors even to ourselves and the earth could just as quickly, if not more radically, shift the cycle back to one of predominant freezing. But on time scales which we can comprehend and reasonably predict, should we not be made more aware of our predicament?

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