Eric Van Dreason

MLA I

Camp Molasses

Advised by Danielle Choi

The traditional idea of the “camp” dates to the mid to late 19th century, when the idyll of nature was cast as a reprieve from a changing society where urban spaces were quickly transmuted by the fits and starts of industrial capitalism. This project utilizes the camp idea as a different kind of liminal space, casting it instead as a zone for active experimentation in building regenerative and localized flows of material within a place of production. The camp idea shifts, then, from a space that encourages the consumption of nature to, instead, a landscape that is continually being made and remade by teenage camp-goers themselves, underscoring the reality that their own environments are and have always been constructed. As the climate crisis looms, this thesis tests whether the seeds of a just transition can begin to be sown by camp-goers pursuing community through slow, meaningful labor and reciprocity with their environment. 

Black-and-white illlustrations of pine cones and needles, trunks and bark and the entire stucture of an evergreen tree. Human figures in background are hiking, planting and watering, and taking specimens.