My work interrogates the heterogeneous complexity of unplanned physical interactions between areas of commerce, industry, tourism and natural parklands of a range of exceptional geographical spaces in Southern Spain. From a commercial perspective the semi-desert land of the region is seen as surface - also light, water and heat - on which to form efficient and profitable greenhouses (currently 25kHa) for controlled, rapid monoculture production. Contradictorily in the same region landscape is also idealistically conceived as a self-determined natural environment minimally managed and inhabited to remain and evolve as natural habitat, as leisure environment and as setting for understanding past cultures. The work explores how that open semi-desert landscape might be experienced and understood, how experience is altered by the imposition of the vast labyrinth of standardized greenhouses and how less explicit man-nature interactions introduce subtle questions. The work references the socio-economic model of the ‘place- less’ and has resonance with the hypothesis of ‘Non-Space’ (Augé, 1995) summarised as homogenised super-modern environments fabricated at the expense of anthropological emplacement and evolved sense of place. The images direct attention to the complex array of interconnections between open landscape vistas, the processes of land reconstruction and the decay of unsustainable and therefore abandoned structures. Initially, local maps, Google Earth technology and aerial views over twenty years of visiting the area gave me purchase on the topography and the complexity of its geographical make-up. Research provided information on the economics and politics of the region with growers, eco-tourists, property developers and environmentalists jostling for influence.
Peer reviewed photographic publication. Published under the thematic of Politics & Public Space