The studio explored the “settling” of the Texas landscape. An incessant marking of the land, resulting in a constellation of points, lines and planes (areas), records the relationship between the land and its inhabitants. It is a long conversation, manifest in these physical traces and historical narratives, that connects sectionally the below, the on and the above.
The Balcones Escarpment, a fault zone, divides West from East, plateau from plains, cattle from cotton, rock from dirt and so on. Here water erupts from the surface as a series of springs. San Antonio (and Austin) straddles this line. To the east are subtle divisions that separate the grasses and soils as well as the great oil reserve (Eagle Ford Shale) below from the scattered settlements above.
In this Texas landscape, an evolving network of Spanish paths, El Camino Real de Los Tejas, founded on prehistoric American Indian trails, enabled the convergence of cultures, initially, Native Americans, Spanish and French. These trails followed the clues given by the land. Over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, the persistent traversing of the land has left a residue of marks (roads, forts, ranchos, acequias, swales, missions, towns, names, trees, churches, dance halls, oil derricks and so on) that retell a rich narrative intertwining people, place and time.
The studio examined and intervened in the 90-mile stretch of El Camino Real de los Tejas linking San Antonio and Goliad. Rather than focus solely on the New Spain era, the studio studied the process of “settling” the land over time.