Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language



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.

Author Biography

Phil Bagust teaches in Advertising, Cultural Geography and Media Ethics in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. His PhD studied the selection of charismatic fauna and flora in the Australian mediasphere. He is co-author of The Native Plants of Adelaide (Wakefield Press).

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