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  • A Permanent State of Decay: contrived dereliction at heritage Mining Sites

Oakley, Peter, 2015, Book Section, A Permanent State of Decay: contrived dereliction at heritage Mining Sites In: Reanimating Industrial Spaces. Left Coast Press. ISBN 9781611321685

Abstract or Description:

This chapter addresses the issue of site presentation at heritage mining sites. Oakley first discusses the development of a rationale for treating mining sites as heritage during the course of the 20th and 21st centuries. He then utilises case studies of two Alaskan sites: the mining town of Kennecott and the No8 Gold Dredge, to support his argument that a particular visual aesthetic of decay is now being exploited in such heritage locations.
The chapter utilises field research conducted by Oakley at preserved mining sites and related heritage destinations in California, Alaska, Sweden and Cornwall between 2008 and 2012. The research methods were primarily participant-observation, interviews and informal discussions with staff on site, augmented by digital and library research.
Oakley argues that the appearance of dereliction at such sites relied on extensive and continual interventions on the part of site managers to support underlying site narratives linked to wider cultural constructions. These interventions are tangential or run counter to dominant conservation conventions. They are, however, key to the successful reception of such sites by visitors, who value the experience of encountering apparent abandonment and decay. The introduction of a novel term – ‘contrived dereliction’ – foregrounds the actions entailed by, and rationale behind, this type of presentation. These outputs offer a new perspective on practices currently being frequently employed, yet rarely acknowledged, in heritage mining site management.

Subjects: Other > Veterinary Sciences > D400 Agriculture > D440 Rural Estate Management > D445 Heritage Management
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 02 May 2015 14:16
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2017 17:02
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1669

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