Endemic Architecture


The American prairie has long been a context of romantic associations and curiosity across varied disciplines such as literature, poetry, and painting. Beyond naturalistic or picturesque representations, however, the American pastoral is also interesting for its secretive infrastructures, histories, and objects. It is the place where surrealism and politics, folklore and technological sophistication, the avant garde and kitsch mix; the American pastoral is a milieu of contradictions. In recalling Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing at Sleepy Hollow near Concord, Massachusetts in which a train whistle interrupts the sounds of nature, the whistle and smoke billows signaled that technology had pierced the pastoral scene...Technology entered the ‘garden’. If we fast forward some 150 years, the presence of technology in the pastoral had become more covert, shifting from the externalized whistle and billow of smoke, to secretly buried advanced technological objects...The missile silo. Perhaps the ultimate rural technological machine, a vast network of thousands of missile silos took cover in the remote ‘banality’ of the American pastoral, transforming bucolic farmland into Cold War-era fields of nuclearization. Thus, the cultural weight of technology in the pastoral scene was suddenly much more significant. There are over 1,500 missile silos tucked and buried into the American landscape, some now decommissioned but not all. These are photographs of a few of these sites in Wyoming.
Copyright, Endemic Architecture 2022