Sunday, early March. A colleague is taking me on a trip from Ithaca and Cayuga Lake to Seneca Lake, crossing the plateau in between. We are in the north for sure; the deserted and snowy landscape could as well be ‘Norrlands inland’, that part of northern Sweden that from a southern urban outlook is just some generic form of basic resource.

Urban nature. What kind of power is executed through a concept? The rural is the negative, in a depreciative sense , of the urban. The rustic, that which, according to the dictionary, is lacking in elegance or sophistication. And even more so today; an outside with a backwards predictability. Yet here it comes in sharp, straight lines, a logic of efficiency and perfection.

Or, perhaps this is one of the places in which urbanity reveals itself. The map exposes what the senses already have registered; a land cut up with admirable precision, submitted to an urban geometry. Not a single transecting diagonal or winding line as far as the eye reaches.

Except for those Finger Lakes – clawing and gnawing, cutting through in a different way. The geological forces that created these water accumulating depressions are still present. On the way back, at Steamburg by all places, these forces make themselves known in an almost capricious way, forcing the straight line of the road to jump. A rural road, stretching far, activating childhood memories of car rides in ‘Norrlands inland’ – in the interior of the Swedish North.

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