Phoenix Transect Project

PROJECT: Backyard


Many of us have a particular space in which we touch nature. We are not always conscious of how to use the space in any other way than how it was appropriated when we began using the space. Often times the backyard, which is commonly this space for most, gets nothing more than a grass cutting and possibly some weeding but most often itís the only consideration we give it. How to use this space changed for me this year as I moved into a rental that had no grass in the backyard. At first I refrained from going in the backyard because I perceived it as unsightly. As the winter rains came I saw the backyard change from brown to green, becoming overgrown, I began thinking about these personal spaces we have and how they cycle.

As a doctoral student in the School of Sustainability I am continuously thinking about what sustainability means, how itís practiced, and who practices it. There are several schools of thought on how to best leverage sustainability efforts on global, regional, local, and personal scales and which are most effective; I think they all have their place. However, in theorizing we often forget about our personal practice, our need to touch the earth. I think there is significant value to the statement that if you want to change the world you must begin with yourself, this project is an exploration in radical sustainability on a household level.

Beginning with the current state of the backyard how does one go about changing it for the better? What would be considered better? Can mini-ecosystems be developed in backyards? What does personal sustainability look like? These questions need exploration in order to develop legitimate answers.

Finally, this project looks to bring awareness to everyone about our own backyards and how we use them and what we could imagine using them for if we were radical about how we touched and explored nature. As individuals we may not have significant influence regarding sustainability but as a community our decisions are compounded, we currently help shape the world we have and can have a substantial effect on how our world is reshaped in the future, all one has to do is start in their backyard.


ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard
Description: The backyard in the evening
Date: 4/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 1
Description:
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Dog Day
Description: I wanted to photograph a day in the backyard, not more often than I experience it though, so I photographed every time I took our dogs outside; this felt like the most realistic way in which I experience our backyard.
Date: 4/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 4
Description: Backyard after heavy winter rains
Date: 3/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 3
Description:
Date: 3/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Pigeon Nest
Description:
Date: unkn
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 5
Description: Sandra out in the morning with our dogs.
Date: 3/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 2
Description: Dog toy in the backyard
Date: 5/2010
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Bird Nest
Description: Bird nest under our roof.
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Marble
Description: One of our dogs pulled this marble out of the dirt, the flowers off a palo verde filled it back in.
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Private Space, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard Window
Description:
Date: 4/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard Reflection
Description:
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Pigeon feather
Description: Found below a pigeon nest
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Pigeon on a Wire
Description:
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Airspace, Backyard, Housing, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Backyard 6
Description:
Date: 5/2010
Keywords: Backyard, Private Space, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Sparrows in the Yard
Description:
Date: 5/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Sparrows in flight
Description:
Date: 9/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Beer Bottle
Description:
Date: 8/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Squash Leaves
Description:
Date: 11/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Chicks
Description:
Date: 12/2010
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Chickens ready to roost
Description:
Date: 1/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Neighbor chickens roosting in our palo verde
Description:
Date: 1/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: The chicken event
Description: This sequence of images is about an event that took place one morning in our backyard. To read about the event please visit http://beautifulstruggle.posterous.com/a-chicken-event-in-january
Date: 1/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Dogs at night
Description: Dogs had lights attached to investigated roaming patterns when they were let out at night.
Date: 2/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Lizard skeleton
Description:
Date: 4/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Chickens in the compost
Description:
Date: 3/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Radishes
Description: From our planter boxes, which happen to be discarded dresser drawers
Date: 3/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Sparrow
Description: This sparrow had fallen out of its nest in our roof. We took it to a bird rescue, they said he/she was going to be OK.
Date: 3/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Starlings
Description: They also fell out of their nest but I didn't find them until the morning. I buried them under our compost.
Date: 4/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Chicken Nest
Description: I placed a foosball in the nest so she would know where to lay.
Date: 4/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: The last of our beets
Description:
Date: 4/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Rototilling and watering in the backyard
Description:
Date: 3/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Three eggs
Description: All of our chickens are laying eggs now
Date: 5/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Late Day Light
Description:
Date: 5/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Experiences in the Backyard
Description: This video has been in continual revision about the experiences taking place in my backyard. We miss the multiple scales at which we experience these personal spaces so I play with time scales and resolution bringing awareness to what often goes unnoticed.
Date: 5/2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Squash
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Beetle Infestation
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Mulch Mounds
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Excavated Bird
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Sparrow Wing
Description:
Date: 2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Butterfly
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Cat and Pigeons
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Dried Flowers
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Steaming Compost II
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Steaming Compost
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Chicken
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Sandra
Description:
Date: 2011
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, People, Residential, Urban, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Pollen
Description:
Date: 4/2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Sparrow II
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Sparrow V
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Sparrow IV
Description: Sparrows have started nesting in our roof. The babies fall out from time to time, if we find then we get them to a rescue. This year we didn't save any, we found them all dead. We have cats that come into our yard and mutilate the baby birds. They don't eat them, they just kill them and leave the little bodies in the yard.
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Baby Sparrow III
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Last of the Beets
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Agriculture, Backyard, Urban, Vegetation, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: Tiny Bee
Description:
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

ContributorPhoto

Contributor: Edgar Cardenas
Title: The Loss of a Flower
Description: It seems like a little thing, losing a flower but it didnít feel that way. I know it doesnít seem rational, to be upset about a single flower but I was, it actually made my heart race when I saw it... http://post.ly/6wcuw
Date: 2012
Location: Tempe
Keywords: Backyard, Residential, Urban, Vegetation, Wildlife, All Images

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