Bog standard: Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Abstract

    In 2000, Ireland’s entry to the Venice International Biennale of Architecture was a small, labyrinthine pavilion made from bales of peat briquettes. Designed by the architect Tom de Paor, the pavilion embodied an ongoing and enduring fascination with the material culture of the Irish bog. This concern, which straddles the twentieth century, counts among its antecedents figures as diverse as the Irish pedagogue and freedom-fighter Padraig Pearse and the German artist Joseph Beuys. The collective interest in the bog, however, stems not from its natural beauty but rather its productive qualities and the apparent paradox of a landscape and its products that seem at once to be machined and mythical, ancient and avant-garde. In fact, as Ireland adopted nascent forms of capitalism and industrialisation throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the bog remained an undeveloped, obsolete landscape on the periphery of a colonial imagination more concerned with the potential of arable lands or the romantic sceneries of the west. Its re-alignment to become Ireland’s most pervasive site of industrialisation coincided with a post-independence period of physical and cultural nation building. Thus, this vast section of hitherto leftover Irish space became subject to the accelerated processes of production and mechanisation that begin to define modernity. And with this came further paradox, contradiction and inevitable human, material and cultural obsolescence.

    This paper explores the debris of the industrialised bog, arguing that amongst the ruins of machinery and architecture, altered landscapes and abandoned settlements, one can discern fragments of ideologies that challenged the limits of a nationalist project to claim – as de Paor and Beuys have perhaps also claimed – the Irish bog as an internationalised landscape.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCrossing Borders
    Subtitle of host publicationSpace Beyond Disciplines
    EditorsKathleen James-Chakraborty, Sabine Strümper-Krobb
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherPeter Lang
    Pages133-148
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-0353-0130-4
    ISBN (Print)978-3-0343-0192-3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

    Fingerprint

    Modernity
    Ireland
    Wasteland
    Industrialization
    Joseph Beuys
    Pavilion
    Paradox
    Nationalists
    Physical
    Obsolescence
    Pedagogue
    Peat
    Artist
    Biennials
    Colonies
    Realignment
    Material Culture
    Ideology
    Nation-building
    Avant Garde

    Keywords

    • technology
    • culture
    • Nationalism
    • industrialisation
    • space
    • Karl Marx
    • Padraig Pearse
    • Joseph Beuys
    • turf
    • briquettes
    • power station
    • Ireland

    Cite this

    Boyd, G. A. (2011). Bog standard: Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland. In K. James-Chakraborty, & S. Strümper-Krobb (Eds.), Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines (pp. 133-148). Oxford: Peter Lang.
    Boyd, Gary A. / Bog standard : Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland. Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines. editor / Kathleen James-Chakraborty ; Sabine Strümper-Krobb. Oxford : Peter Lang, 2011. pp. 133-148
    @inbook{2614405844c5448d9aa5df9e2c9ffc0b,
    title = "Bog standard: Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland",
    abstract = "In 2000, Ireland’s entry to the Venice International Biennale of Architecture was a small, labyrinthine pavilion made from bales of peat briquettes. Designed by the architect Tom de Paor, the pavilion embodied an ongoing and enduring fascination with the material culture of the Irish bog. This concern, which straddles the twentieth century, counts among its antecedents figures as diverse as the Irish pedagogue and freedom-fighter Padraig Pearse and the German artist Joseph Beuys. The collective interest in the bog, however, stems not from its natural beauty but rather its productive qualities and the apparent paradox of a landscape and its products that seem at once to be machined and mythical, ancient and avant-garde. In fact, as Ireland adopted nascent forms of capitalism and industrialisation throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the bog remained an undeveloped, obsolete landscape on the periphery of a colonial imagination more concerned with the potential of arable lands or the romantic sceneries of the west. Its re-alignment to become Ireland’s most pervasive site of industrialisation coincided with a post-independence period of physical and cultural nation building. Thus, this vast section of hitherto leftover Irish space became subject to the accelerated processes of production and mechanisation that begin to define modernity. And with this came further paradox, contradiction and inevitable human, material and cultural obsolescence.This paper explores the debris of the industrialised bog, arguing that amongst the ruins of machinery and architecture, altered landscapes and abandoned settlements, one can discern fragments of ideologies that challenged the limits of a nationalist project to claim – as de Paor and Beuys have perhaps also claimed – the Irish bog as an internationalised landscape.",
    keywords = "technology, culture, Nationalism, industrialisation, space, Karl Marx, Padraig Pearse, Joseph Beuys, turf, briquettes, power station, Ireland",
    author = "Boyd, {Gary A.}",
    year = "2011",
    month = "2",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "978-3-0343-0192-3",
    pages = "133--148",
    editor = "Kathleen James-Chakraborty and Sabine Str{\"u}mper-Krobb",
    booktitle = "Crossing Borders",
    publisher = "Peter Lang",

    }

    Boyd, GA 2011, Bog standard: Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland. in K James-Chakraborty & S Strümper-Krobb (eds), Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines. Peter Lang, Oxford, pp. 133-148.

    Bog standard : Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland. / Boyd, Gary A.

    Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines. ed. / Kathleen James-Chakraborty; Sabine Strümper-Krobb. Oxford : Peter Lang, 2011. p. 133-148.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    TY - CHAP

    T1 - Bog standard

    T2 - Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland

    AU - Boyd, Gary A.

    PY - 2011/2

    Y1 - 2011/2

    N2 - In 2000, Ireland’s entry to the Venice International Biennale of Architecture was a small, labyrinthine pavilion made from bales of peat briquettes. Designed by the architect Tom de Paor, the pavilion embodied an ongoing and enduring fascination with the material culture of the Irish bog. This concern, which straddles the twentieth century, counts among its antecedents figures as diverse as the Irish pedagogue and freedom-fighter Padraig Pearse and the German artist Joseph Beuys. The collective interest in the bog, however, stems not from its natural beauty but rather its productive qualities and the apparent paradox of a landscape and its products that seem at once to be machined and mythical, ancient and avant-garde. In fact, as Ireland adopted nascent forms of capitalism and industrialisation throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the bog remained an undeveloped, obsolete landscape on the periphery of a colonial imagination more concerned with the potential of arable lands or the romantic sceneries of the west. Its re-alignment to become Ireland’s most pervasive site of industrialisation coincided with a post-independence period of physical and cultural nation building. Thus, this vast section of hitherto leftover Irish space became subject to the accelerated processes of production and mechanisation that begin to define modernity. And with this came further paradox, contradiction and inevitable human, material and cultural obsolescence.This paper explores the debris of the industrialised bog, arguing that amongst the ruins of machinery and architecture, altered landscapes and abandoned settlements, one can discern fragments of ideologies that challenged the limits of a nationalist project to claim – as de Paor and Beuys have perhaps also claimed – the Irish bog as an internationalised landscape.

    AB - In 2000, Ireland’s entry to the Venice International Biennale of Architecture was a small, labyrinthine pavilion made from bales of peat briquettes. Designed by the architect Tom de Paor, the pavilion embodied an ongoing and enduring fascination with the material culture of the Irish bog. This concern, which straddles the twentieth century, counts among its antecedents figures as diverse as the Irish pedagogue and freedom-fighter Padraig Pearse and the German artist Joseph Beuys. The collective interest in the bog, however, stems not from its natural beauty but rather its productive qualities and the apparent paradox of a landscape and its products that seem at once to be machined and mythical, ancient and avant-garde. In fact, as Ireland adopted nascent forms of capitalism and industrialisation throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the bog remained an undeveloped, obsolete landscape on the periphery of a colonial imagination more concerned with the potential of arable lands or the romantic sceneries of the west. Its re-alignment to become Ireland’s most pervasive site of industrialisation coincided with a post-independence period of physical and cultural nation building. Thus, this vast section of hitherto leftover Irish space became subject to the accelerated processes of production and mechanisation that begin to define modernity. And with this came further paradox, contradiction and inevitable human, material and cultural obsolescence.This paper explores the debris of the industrialised bog, arguing that amongst the ruins of machinery and architecture, altered landscapes and abandoned settlements, one can discern fragments of ideologies that challenged the limits of a nationalist project to claim – as de Paor and Beuys have perhaps also claimed – the Irish bog as an internationalised landscape.

    KW - technology

    KW - culture

    KW - Nationalism

    KW - industrialisation

    KW - space

    KW - Karl Marx

    KW - Padraig Pearse

    KW - Joseph Beuys

    KW - turf

    KW - briquettes

    KW - power station

    KW - Ireland

    M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

    SN - 978-3-0343-0192-3

    SP - 133

    EP - 148

    BT - Crossing Borders

    A2 - James-Chakraborty, Kathleen

    A2 - Strümper-Krobb, Sabine

    PB - Peter Lang

    CY - Oxford

    ER -

    Boyd GA. Bog standard: Modernity in the Space of an Irish Wasteland. In James-Chakraborty K, Strümper-Krobb S, editors, Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines. Oxford: Peter Lang. 2011. p. 133-148