Landscapes - Winter 2015 - (Page 40)

PLACE OF THE HUMMINGbIRDS - AGAIN bRENDA bROWN TZINTZUNTZAN FR_ TZINTZuNTZAN Tzintzuntzan, mot onomatopéique de la langue Purépecha word, désigne le repaire des oiseaux-mouches, mais ceux-ci sont peu présents aujourd'hui sur ce site archéologique de l'État mexicain de Michoacán. brenda brown croit que cet état de fait peut changer et que Tzintzuntzan peut devenir un site où s'entremêlent nature et culture. Avec des partenaires mexicains (voir le générique), elle a réalisé une exposition, deux vidéos et un recueil d'essais pour amorcer une renaissance de Tzintzuntzan en transformant le site en un environnement plus riche et animé. 1 WHITE-EARED HuMMINGBIRD (HYLOCHARIS LEuCOTIS) VISITS FLOWERS OF SALVIA ELEGANS 2 CONCEPT: WITH NEW PLANTINGS HuMMINGBIRDS WILL RETuRN TO TZINTZuNTZAN 3 CONCEPT: MACAZ EXHIBITION ENTRANCE WITH PAPEL PICADO 4 IMAGE FROM VIDEO LOS COLIbRíES dE MéxICO: NATURALEzA y CULTURA, BY BRENDA BROWN 5 THE EXHIBITION: PAINSTAKINGLY ASSEMBLED INFORMATION ON HuMMINGBIRDS + NATIVE PLANTS, DESIGN PLANS + PERSPECTIVES PHOTOS 1 JORGE SCHONDuBE 2 BRENDA BROWN 3 BRENDA BROWN + RACHELLE KIROuAC; PAPEL PICADO BRENDA BROWN AND CAILA SVEINSON 4 BRENDA BROWN 40 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES EN_ IN SOME LANDSCAPES nature and culture entwine so as to make that landscape emblematic of their inextricability. The national archaeological site of Tzintzuntzan, in Mexico's state of Michoacán has the potential to be such a landscape. Tzintzuntzan, with its five distinctive semi-circular pyramids - yacatas - and its vistas of Lake Pátzcuaro, is the former ceremonial capital of the Purépecha, whose realm, until the Spanish arrived in 1525, encompassed lower valleys of Jalisco and Guanajuato as well as most of Michoacán. Tzintzuntzan, an onomatopoetic Purépecha word, means place of the hummingbirds. Hummingbirds were vital to the pre-Columbian Purépecha and their artisans used the birds' iridescent feathers in highly regarded textiles and mosaics. Contemporary crafts demonstrate these winged creatures' ongoing significant presence in Purépecha culture, though they now have little presence at the Tzintzuntzan site. Indeed, it is said that likely because of land clearing, habitat degradation and overhunting, hummingbirds were largely absent from Tzintzuntzan even when the Spanish arrived. Today some tourist guidebooks specifically note their absence. CONTEMPLATIONS The Tzintzuntzan landscape habitat restoration was born out of my contemplations of Michoacán landscapes during my residency at Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) in 2010. It was originally conceived as a designed landscape of sound. Serious on-site investigations of sound and landscapes soon bring one to realize that sounds are linked to habitat, and as students of ecology know, habitat depends on ecosystem structures and functions - landforms, moisture, light, temperature, wind and water as well as the food webs' interacting flora and fauna. Impoverished landscape ecosystems will probably have correspondingly impoverished soundscapes. Indeed, as he reports in The Great Animal Orchestra (Little, Brown and Company, 2012), Bernie Krause has analyzed how sounds reflect and express ecosystem diversity or its lack and how even seemingly mild landscape degradation can drastically simplify associated soundscape richness; acoustic simplification corresponds with decreased resident fauna diversity. CONNECTING NATURE + CULTURE upon my first visits to Tzintzuntzan its evocative name and the site's magnificence worked to kindle my imagination and engender a simple idea. The site could be designed so that hummingbirds would repopulate it. It would thus be transformed into a richer and enlivened acoustic environment. The habitat and feeding preferences of the different

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Winter 2015

COVER | COUVERTURE
TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
WRITERS | NOS RÉDACTEURS
UPFRONT | PROLOGUE
MATHIAS REEVE
Celebrating the Charter | Célébrer!
INTERVIEW | ENTREVUE
!Vámonos! to Mexico City
Folk Ensemble
Cultural Dimensions of Contemporary Design
Tzintzuntzan
Keeping the Land
HTFC
Kingston: Vintage Grace Meets Modernist Style
OPINION | OPINION
NUNAVIK + LE PLAN NORD
Metamorphous: Vancouver’s Seawall Sculpture
bREAL ART + DESIGN
JEAN LANDRY, LAST WORD
LE MOT DE LA FIN | THE LAST WORD

Landscapes - Winter 2015

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