Alloy Pittsburgh is a unique visual and performing arts project co-founded by Pittsburgh artists Sean Derry and Chris McGinnis. The project was developed in collaboration with the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Alloy Pittsburgh offers 15 artists from the greater Pittsburgh region the opportunity to develop temporary site-based artworks for the Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rethinking the Carrie...

Many debates on the value of places like the Carrie Furnaces have surfaced in recent years. Are they becoming irrelevant to our contemporary times? Do they serve as a monument to our local and national history? Can they be rethought and reused in a new way?

Carrie Furnaces, Rankin, PA

Photographer and landscape architect Rick Darke suggests that monuments like the Carrie are not separate from the nature spouting throughout it, but rather it is part of nature. He reminds us that we, as humans, are in fact part of nature and our built landscape is as much a part of nature as any anthill or beaver dam. Our ability to manufacture synthetics and construct vast steel empires is within our specific skill set, and plays a part in our global ecologies. 

Reading Viaduct, Philadelphia, PA

Darke suggests approaching the Carrie with subtlety. He reflects on places such as the High Line Park in New York City, and the Reading Viaduct in Philadelphia. 

High Line Park, NYC

High Line Park, NYC

Darke holds wild gardens such as these, where plants are left to reclaim the space without human planning, in high reverence. Here, as observers, we can watch the wild, local ecology reclaim our landscape in a unique way. 

In Germany, the Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord has reinvented an industrial setting reminiscent of the Carrie.

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

"At the center stands a disused ironworks whose old industrial facilities have today been put to a wide variety of uses. The huge buildings of the former ironworks have been equipped to cater for cultural and corporate functions; in an old gasometer Europe’s biggest man-made diving center has been created; alpine climbing gardens have been created in ore storage bunkers; in a former casting house a high ropes course has been set up; and an extinguished blast furnace has been modified to provide a viewing tower.
Entry to the Landscape Park is free."
 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

learn more about Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany at:

After looking through some of the ways other industrial centers are reinventing and redefining their landscapes, and imagining merging our astounding past with contemporary arts and entertainment, it seems the possibilities are endless. 

What's your take on the Carrie Furnaces? How would you like to see them used? Education? Art? Entertainment? Wild Garden? Or something completely different?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Carrie Furnaces: Contemporary Views

                                                                                   Ryan Keene

Silver Eye Center for Photography is hosting a photography exhibition on the Carrie Furnaces. The show opens this Friday, August 2nd. Ron Baraff will discuss the exhibition and history of the Carrie Furnaces at Silver Eye on Thursday, August 22nd. More information can be found at Silver Eye Center for Photography.