Value the Edge: Permaculture as Counterculture in Australia

M/C - Media and Culture
Publication Type:
Journal Article
M/C Journal, 2014, 17 (6), pp. ? - ? (np)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This paper reconsiders the story of permaculture, developed in Australia in the mid-1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. This paper considers permaculture as an example of counterculture in Australia. In keeping with permaculture design ecological principles, we argue that today permaculture is best understood as part of an assemblage of design objects, bacteria, economies, humans, plants, technologies, actions, theories, mushrooms, policies, affects, desires, animals, business, material and immaterial labour and politics and that it can be read as contrapuntal rather than as oppositional practice. Contrapuntal insofar as it is not directly oppositional preferring to reframe and reorientate everyday practices. The paper is structured in three parts: in the first one we frame our argument by providing a background to our understanding of counterculture and assemblage; in the second we introduce the beginning of permaculture in its historical context, and in third we propose to consider permaculture as an assemblage.
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