imported greenspace, clear skies, and sun

clear skies have returned and shenzhen shimmers, entices actually. when the horizon opens, walking settles the heart and has me thinking that we need sustainable worlds for no other reason than the joy they bring; smog discourages in all senses of the word.

yesterday, i wandered through some of the universiade greenspace/ coverage to prevent visitors from seeing nearby construction sites and noticed, once again, the extent to which the city and developers have taken to importing foliage to create beautiful spaces. the (malaysian, i believe – if you know please tell me) trees grow here. and yet. bringing this foliage requires uprooting other landscapes, burning fossil fuels, and (in houhai) filling in coastal waters with imported soil. moreover, these high end landscapes do not flourish without extensive care, so that this beauty remains entangled not only in unnecessary, but also unsustainable inequalities.

shenzhen is not the only city importing foliage in order to make a more perfect world. certainly los angeles and las vegas have set the global standard for transplanting eden. and perhaps that’s the point. in our rush to build a perfect world, we fail to realize we’re already there.

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Education and the production of educated masses

This is a speculative post from yesterday’s walk through Shenzhen University. What struck me in the rubble and organization of public spaces was how much was dedicated to creating mass audiences. Not just not enough for people to be present to observe and thereby constitute political hierarchies, but also that knowledge mediates the rituals of inclusion. Moreover, collectively watching sporting events seems to (1) create massive masses and (2) reminds us that we learn more through the body than we do through eyes and ears when they are pinned uncomfortably in plastic seats. And yes, all these bikes collectively used and then forgotten over summer vacation. For the over 40 crowd like moi, these images tell how extensively China’s political-economy has been restructured from cities of cyclists on their way to work units to cities of recreational biking and cars. ¬†Impressions of technologies for creating educated masses, below:

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