hepler Annotations

Describe your immediate reception or impression of this image (visceral, emotional, intellectual)?

Friday, December 14, 2018 - 10:53am

As I address in my annotation on the third image in this essay, I was really struck by the scrap metal, the vegetation on the near side riverbank, and the muddy bayou. Scrap, scrub, mud: dis-orders of industry, life, and earth.

My initial reaction is to conflate dis-order and disorder -- that is, to take this environment as pathological, and the environments captured in the other two photos as normative expressions of the prevailing social and economic order in Houston-Galveston.

As a second-order reaction to this immediate impression, I wonder whether, thinking with e.g. Anna Tsing, one can develop an ethnographic standpoint that pushes back against the progressive/declinist logic of industrial utopia/post-industrial devastation. The challenge is: can you develop a standpoint in which this image doesn't immediately fall into relation with the other two images in this essay in the manner of my initial impression, but instead resists that hierarchy of order/disorder and creates conceptual room for the ethnographer to discover other relations that may exist within and among these spaces?

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