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Scholars@Hallwalls: Miguel Guitart, “Flattened American Landscapes: Documenting the Loss of Material Memory”

December 1, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Please join us in the cinema space at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center!

Materials embody the capacity to carry, preserve, and reveal the memory of places and users. When original materials are modified or eliminated, the identity of places is partially lost. This presentation examines the loss of material memory in the American landscape through processes of ground occupation and material modification as documented by American photographer Robert Adams, whose work largely focuses on the changing landscapes of the American West during the 1970s and 1980s. The study explores theflatteningprocesses taking place as the landscape’s original character becomes affected by the urban sprawl and unstable political context of those years. In depicting this transformation, Adams was revealing a less evident condition: the loss of the landscape’s intrinsic identity.

This event will be simultaneously live-streamed. Click here to watch the live-stream via the Hallwalls website. The talk will begin at ~4:15pm.


About Miguel Guitart, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture

Miguel’s scholarship focuses on perceptual experience and material memory in architecture. His recent book Behind Architectural Filters: Phenomena of Interference (Routledge, 2022) examines architectural boundaries as mechanisms of spatial relationships favoring environments of perceptual inclusion and expansive experience. Miguel also explores the connections between architectural theory, pedagogy, and practice in his book Approaching Architecture: Three Fields, One Discipline (Routledge, 2022). Miguel’s forthcoming book Reinterpreting Architectural Grounds: On Fragile Matter and Strong Memories (Routledge, 2024) examines the physical, perceptual, and political implications of material memory embedded in the physical ecology of the architectural ground, and the loss of mnemo-material significance resulting from the ground’s artificial manipulation.


December 1, 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute


Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY United States
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