Peninsular Europe

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Sandbox for a proposed Peninsula Europe site. See Harrison (Complexity) Studios.

This preliminary text has been replaced by an article, 2008, for Structure and Dynamics.

Peninsular Europe: The Rising of Waters, The Warming of Lands, part 1
As can be seen in the left mapping, the European Peninsula is clearly surrounded by water on three sides making it almost an island. However, it can be understood as almost surrounded by water on the fourth side when the eastern boundary is determined by the Vistula River flowing forth from the Carpathians to the Baltic Sea and the Dnester River flowing south from the Carpathians to the Black sea. These rivers do not themselves quite meet, but their tributaries are separated by only about 30 kilometers. Thus, defined by the waters, we see the Peninsula of Europe as a field of play.

A salient feature of this whole cultural landscape of everybody's creation
now well over 40 million people
is that it now exists with few of its original ecosystems remaining

For instance
looking at Peninsula Europe as a cultural landscape
the overproduction of sameness emerges as
dangerous
a potentially de-stabilizing pattern
Mono-cultural farming becomes obvious in the vast fields of single crops
Mono-cultural farming becomes obvious in the vast plantations of pine
There is obvious sameness in the production of goods
and in the productions of media by the multinationals
and sameness emerges
from the blending of the many once diverse cultural patterns


Now a disturbing question emerges
if diversity helps ensure survival
then

Peninsular Europe: The Rising of Waters, The Warming of Lands, part 2


Can this sameness be the best possible state of things
as the Peninsula
and all of it
face the changing of climates,
the rising of waters
the warming of lands


Looking at the mapping to the right
Seeing the waters' rise noted as about 5 meters
an extreme but nonetheless possible
prediction for the next hundred or so years
Seeing 95 thousand square kilometers of land disappear
Much of it indefensible
So that 23 million people will have to move upward
as the world ocean begins reshaping the Peninsula
How can endangered but necessary means of production
be moved to high ground
Wondering where the amount of energy necessary might come from
when flooded power plants become dysfunction
Wondering whether the endless array of truncated road and railroad systems
really need to be replicated


Becoming certain that many governing and planning systems
must recreate themselves in new ways within the Peninsula
in order to permit whole systems wellbeing
Thinking that apparent catastrophe may lead to unforeseen opportunity
Despite the stress expected by the predictions of drought
Spreading northward from Spain





Peninsular Europe: The Rising of Waters, The Warming of Lands, part 1
Drawing of the high grounds, with the intention of creating an icon designed to be expressed from a 3" scale to a 30' scale, for Peninsular Europe 2001. The icon transcends it design only when there is a multilayered text operating in the culture-NHH
Drawing for Peninsular Europe 2001 deleting the high grounds to show the river basin units, with the intention of creating an icon designed to be expressed from a 3" scale to a 30' scale. The icon transcends it design only when there is a multilayered text operating in the culture-NHH
Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison United States "Peninsula Europe: The Rising of Waters” Audio and Map, 2 parts -- 8 x 8 feet each, hang in the corner fold of the wall This piece, both visual and audio, addresses the Peninsula of Europe if the melting of our glacial ice caps raise our waters 5 meters and 15 meters. The Harrisons often pose the question, "the waters will rise gracefully, can we withdraw with equal grace? " In essence, can we adapt or change our behaviors and habits to effectively make a difference.


Peninsular Europe: The Rising of Waters, The Warming of Lands