1. 3 June 2012

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    Reblogged from

    adventures in the cryptoforest by wilfried hou je bek | THE STATE →

    These weedy, fallowed gardens however attract all sorts of desirable animals scarce in the high forest, and also provide good conditions for plants that need the amount of sunlight available only where the tree cover has been cleared. One study looking at the differences between high and secondary forest in the Amazon found that both terrains surprisingly boasted an almost equal species diversity. Disturbance creates diversity, and that diversity creates the resources for people to subsist.

    This is not to say that it’s alright to burn down the entire rainforest. On the contrary, the Amazon has been managed by people for centuries. And it has been doing fine because their disturbance was controlled and consciously enacted with a clear understanding of what they were trying to achieve, and how. It shows that ‘weeds’ are not a biologically given menace, but part of a cultural heritage that informs the way we think about plants. It also suggests a way to think about the cryptoforest not as a place of neglect, but as a place regulated by its own specific order and productivity.

    Cryptoforest are as much a cities as forests, and you might also call them cryptocities: places where nature disguises the underlying urbanity. Nature as a leshy suit. Calling cryptoforests secondary cities would perhaps make better sense.


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