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Vegetation Under Power


Eds.: Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Regina Bittner, Maya Errázuriz, Elisabetta Rattalino, Shivani Shedde

Publisher: Spector Books

136 Pages

ISBN: 9783959055871

Bitterfeld’s county museum, Kreismuseum Bitterfeld, contains a black box with herbaria dating from 1931. This collection, compiled by botanist Hans Weber, is an inventory of the flora gathered in the nearby Goitzsche region, a forested area of floodplain. It was not long before the plant life collected here was forced to give way to society’s demand for brown coal. Taking the herbaria as its starting point, Vegetation under Power interweaves stories about Bitterfeld’s energy-defined landscape with the modern legacy of the Bauhaus. Using archival documents, physical interventions, and field studies, the book proposes a new reading of the Bauhaus’s modernist motto ”Light! Air! Sun!“ recast as ”Heat, Breath, Growth“. The book thus points up the downside of resource extraction and environmental destruction in the ”clean modern age“, while also identifying movements in search of a nature-based culture characterized by care and stewardship.


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