A line is a track or object, rectilinear or not, that connects two points —the beginning and the end— each of which are called extremities. A line is intan- gible, imaginary, theoretical and, therefore, ambigu- ous, generic and difficult to define. It represents the consequentiality of points, things, words, facts, and elements. Even when there are interesting varia- tions of dotted, broken and fragmented lines, all the elements they include are interconnected and fol- low one after the other. The anthropologist Tim Ingold attributes a dy- namic nature to a line, and notes that any physical entity becomes a line when it moves, without the need for creative ambition. We too become lines as soon as we move, he explains. Our movement in space traces a line that is more or less visible and complex. The way in which we move, stop and restart produces a fast line or a broken line, a seg- mented line or straight line. So, when going from one location to another, and then to yet another, and stopping along the way, we draw an invisible line in the landscape that connects different places. A road can obviously be thought of as a line that unites place A with place B, made up of a sequence of intermediate places between these places. Indeed, it is not difficult to establish a close relationship be- tween a road and a landscape. It is part of it much like a line on a paper. However, it is more interest- ing to think of roads as a baseline that enables us to trace many invisible lines and place our menhirs or milestones on them; in other words, a baseline for enjoying the landscape. We establish a relationship with the landscape from the lines at our disposal, imagining trails that connect places which run through many other in- termediate points, sketching our enjoyment of the landscape. Roads and paths progressively guide us, their layout suggesting a way as well as pace with which to traverse them; it is what we call space- time. They propose how to go from A to B and how to enjoy the places in between them. They propose changing speed, slowing down and stopping, and offer us the possibility of taking control of the envi- ronment, of perceiving and getting to know it. The relationship between mobility and land- scape lies hidden in the abstract concept of lines. This abstraction suggests there are not only spatial and environmental problems, but cultural and so- cial issues too. It also suggests that a road is not a line that goes from point A to point B; it determines what is in the middle, the intermediate landscapes. When we travel along a road, we attach spe- cial significance to the landscape. That is why the relationship between mobility, landscape and peo- ple increasingly involves more and more fields of knowledge, and the road has become a kind of com- mon ground for geographers, anthropologists, soci- ologists, photographers and writers. According to the European Landscape Conven- tion, a landscape is “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and inter- action of natural and/or human factors”. The land- scape exists because there is someone who looks at it and gives it a meaning. According to the earlier definition, the purpose of a road in a landscape is ev- ident: a road includes everything around it and wid- ens our point of view with respect to knowledge, measurement, time, memory, ideas and the imagi- nation. When we are on it, we perceive, remark and classify the landscape: first with our perception and later with our activities. This is why reducing the relationship between the landscape and roads to a problem of mitigation —as has often been done— is a completely reductionist approach, because it tends to limit their value and essence. In this sense, mobil- ity can be seen as a landscape strategy. Today, in the race for environmental sustain- ability that characterises our anthropogenic era, we are addressing our concerns regarding the landscape in an increasingly multidisciplinary and inclusive way. We must face the multidimensional com- plexities of the city; the mutual interdependence between urban infrastructures, food production and waste treatment; the production and distribu- tion of energy; heat islands, and data flows. We are promoting an alternative and credible future, and we are undertaking less aesthetic and more ethical landscape projects which aim to achieve more com- plex and ambitious goals. Reducing the field of research to the equiva- lent of a few areas when addressing complex issues such as the relationship between movement and the perception of landscape, the identity of places, our understanding of the landscape and the relationship we establish with it, would be a contradiction to this expansion of horizons and interests.

Introducció. La línia en el paisatge.

Fabio Manfredi
2020

Abstract

A line is a track or object, rectilinear or not, that connects two points —the beginning and the end— each of which are called extremities. A line is intan- gible, imaginary, theoretical and, therefore, ambigu- ous, generic and difficult to define. It represents the consequentiality of points, things, words, facts, and elements. Even when there are interesting varia- tions of dotted, broken and fragmented lines, all the elements they include are interconnected and fol- low one after the other. The anthropologist Tim Ingold attributes a dy- namic nature to a line, and notes that any physical entity becomes a line when it moves, without the need for creative ambition. We too become lines as soon as we move, he explains. Our movement in space traces a line that is more or less visible and complex. The way in which we move, stop and restart produces a fast line or a broken line, a seg- mented line or straight line. So, when going from one location to another, and then to yet another, and stopping along the way, we draw an invisible line in the landscape that connects different places. A road can obviously be thought of as a line that unites place A with place B, made up of a sequence of intermediate places between these places. Indeed, it is not difficult to establish a close relationship be- tween a road and a landscape. It is part of it much like a line on a paper. However, it is more interest- ing to think of roads as a baseline that enables us to trace many invisible lines and place our menhirs or milestones on them; in other words, a baseline for enjoying the landscape. We establish a relationship with the landscape from the lines at our disposal, imagining trails that connect places which run through many other in- termediate points, sketching our enjoyment of the landscape. Roads and paths progressively guide us, their layout suggesting a way as well as pace with which to traverse them; it is what we call space- time. They propose how to go from A to B and how to enjoy the places in between them. They propose changing speed, slowing down and stopping, and offer us the possibility of taking control of the envi- ronment, of perceiving and getting to know it. The relationship between mobility and land- scape lies hidden in the abstract concept of lines. This abstraction suggests there are not only spatial and environmental problems, but cultural and so- cial issues too. It also suggests that a road is not a line that goes from point A to point B; it determines what is in the middle, the intermediate landscapes. When we travel along a road, we attach spe- cial significance to the landscape. That is why the relationship between mobility, landscape and peo- ple increasingly involves more and more fields of knowledge, and the road has become a kind of com- mon ground for geographers, anthropologists, soci- ologists, photographers and writers. According to the European Landscape Conven- tion, a landscape is “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and inter- action of natural and/or human factors”. The land- scape exists because there is someone who looks at it and gives it a meaning. According to the earlier definition, the purpose of a road in a landscape is ev- ident: a road includes everything around it and wid- ens our point of view with respect to knowledge, measurement, time, memory, ideas and the imagi- nation. When we are on it, we perceive, remark and classify the landscape: first with our perception and later with our activities. This is why reducing the relationship between the landscape and roads to a problem of mitigation —as has often been done— is a completely reductionist approach, because it tends to limit their value and essence. In this sense, mobil- ity can be seen as a landscape strategy. Today, in the race for environmental sustain- ability that characterises our anthropogenic era, we are addressing our concerns regarding the landscape in an increasingly multidisciplinary and inclusive way. We must face the multidimensional com- plexities of the city; the mutual interdependence between urban infrastructures, food production and waste treatment; the production and distribu- tion of energy; heat islands, and data flows. We are promoting an alternative and credible future, and we are undertaking less aesthetic and more ethical landscape projects which aim to achieve more com- plex and ambitious goals. Reducing the field of research to the equiva- lent of a few areas when addressing complex issues such as the relationship between movement and the perception of landscape, the identity of places, our understanding of the landscape and the relationship we establish with it, would be a contradiction to this expansion of horizons and interests.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1077218
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