5/24/2017

We woke up in Camp Wood YMCA. Before heading back onto the road we performed an exercise. We split up and wandered the land searching for signs of the Rural Vernacular within the landscape. Walking down the rocky bank towards what looked like a river, I wandered into the woods, liberally following a rough path. It immediately felt as though I was walking into the wilderness, untouched and wild, an ambiguous place, from my perspective of unknowing, no markers that I could place to any particular region or environment. Walking I began to realize how completely molded this land and perceived wilderness was truly groomed and affected by human action. The boundless land ended in a barbed wire fence, the river became a manmade lake, and the landscape was riddled with makeshift lean to forts. The evidence is everywhere. This land was touched by a culture of recreation surrounding the YMCA. J.B Jackson in Horowitz’s “J.B Jackson and the Discovery of the American Landscape” gives us insight into understanding the vernacular landscape, in which the land can be read like a book, a book about humanity's economic, historical and cultural relation to the world. It was also interesting to learn that the word vernacular when looked at etymologically, inherently contains reference to a cultural hierarchy.