Grassy landscapes and the Australian representational imaginary: the ongoing tale of South Australia’s ‘Diesel and Dust’ house
One abandoned farmhouse amongst many, set in what has been called a ruined, or at least severely underappreciated, part of the (South) Australian landscape. Yet in spite this, a place that became the subject of one of Australia’s most recognised landscape photographs. An image taken by a prominent professional photographer, emblazoned on the cover of one of the country’s highest selling rock albums, subsequently utilised in all sorts of promotional and tourist material, and finally adopted by a socially networked general public exploring new meanings of place and performativity in ‘augmented reality’. How does the ‘Diesel and Dust house’ fit into a collision between the Australian landscape photographic ecological imaginary, new digitally mediated geographies, the poor public perception of grassy landscapes, the ‘needs’ of heritage tourism, and recent (re)use of the same landscape for wind farms? As well as exploring some of these issues principally utilising typologies of the sublime and the uncanny developed in Giblett (2007, 2009), the author has made several visits to the area, the images from which form part of a paper which represents an ongoing inquiry.