Although all of the posters I heard about during were interesting, two in particular made me think about and see things in a different light. While listening about J.R.’s poster about the culture of narcissism, he made the comment that museums and natural parks are used to glorify humans as a species. I found this comment very thought provoking, and it made me think more deeply about the actual purpose of museums and natural parks then the normal answer we give that they are suppose to exhibit beauty for us to enjoy.
Before hearing about his presentation, I would have looked at museums as a way to show off the artwork. However, I think I would agree with him on the idea that museums are used to glorify people. No matter what type of works the museum includes, they are all manmade. Thus they are trying to show off what man can do, which in turn is saying that man is great. I may, however, not take such a strong stance that natural parks glorify man. Rather I think I would agree with the more conventional thought that they are used to preserve nature and give us a place to enjoy nature as it was rather then looking at natural parks as saying that this is what the world used to look like and look at our greatness in being able to change it into whatever we please. I think this because if it was to show off man’s greatness, then I would expect many more natural parks around cities, so those going to the park would be able to see quite clearly the distinction between what was and what man has turned it into. Although I may not agree with his thoughts on natural parks, it was still very thought provoking and made me rethink what the purpose of a natural park actually is.
I also enjoyed Grant Lowensohn’s presentation about stadiums and culture. I found it interesting how he mentioned that humans have changed nature by making these giant sports arenas; however, the creation of a stadium does not mean nature will give up trying to turn the area back to its original form. Even when human’s anticipate what conditions they need to build the stadium to withstand, there were a multitude of recent instances where they were unsuccessful, such as when the Metra Dome collapsed in Minnesota. Before the dome was even built the architects new they would have to build it withstand massive amounts of snow, but even their best effort did not prevent nature from trying to take it back, and nature was able to get snow into the dome. He also showed how a soccer stadium in Spain that has been abandoned for about ten years has started to be retaken by nature. Rather then the nice groom field one would expect to see in a stadium, it contained a field that was had wild grass growing in it and already showed many signs that one day, even without any help of man, it would return to what it was before the stadium was built.