as Nature To wonder at miles of unscripted snow, its stories in the dazzled floss of reeds, trails of caribou across the ridge. as Habitat To settle below low roofs, soft chevrons pooling blue shadows around windows; to know mountains, lakes, sky, their storms and winds, days pared by snow, nights rimed with ice; to tread carefully across that ice, navigating tracks of snowmobiles and sleds, parallel lines pocked with prints, tethered dogs, sturdy and patient, the smell of blizzards deep within their fur. as Artefact, as Wealth, as Problem To exploit, employ, utilise pits of saturated peat, deposits of pitch and petroleum, oil-seeps; to construct a thousand miles of pipeline across the frozen ground from Prudhoe Bay all the way to Valdez, crossing paths where the caribou tread, where the ghosts of caribou tread. To extract the hot oil, draw it out below the perma-frost, to gush through feeder-lines, to chug from pumping stations to terminals. Watch the ice darken and pool, your footprints and tracks become ruts and gullies. Put your black prints all over the map, wonder at these fleeting summers, the feeble light unable to restore the land, ponder the ancient plants releasing their long-held breath across the Earth.
From: Vol.09 N.01 – A Poetics of Rights
Five Ways to Look at a Landscape
by Jane Lovell