The Aesthetics of the Green Revolution: Art, Architecture and the Agrilogistics of Development between the United States and Latin America , 1930-1972
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation analyzes the art, architecture, and agrilogistics linking Nelson Rockefeller’s Cold War cultural agenda in Latin America to the techno-scientific transformation of agriculture now known as the Green Revolution. First, this project examines the role played by transnational art exhibitions hosted by the Rockefeller family’s Museum of Modern Art and Nelson Rockefeller’s Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in laying the groundwork for Green Revolution collaborations in México and beyond. Next, this dissertation analyzes the architecture of four international institutions at the Latin American origins of the Green Revolution, namely: The National School of Agriculture in Texcoco, México, and the Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat in El Batán, México, as well as the National School of Agronomy in Palmira, Colombia and the Center International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia. Drawing from archival research, formal analyses and site visits, my work connects Nelson Rockefeller’s cultural agenda in the broader Caribbean to the science behind the Green Revolution, to argue that the same aesthetic and epistemological lens shaped the art, architecture and landscape transformations of this Cold War development strategy and its signature Nobel Peace Prize-winning genetic experiments. Contributing to an emerging body of scholarship on the essential role of the countryside in the history of modernism, this project marks a shift in humanity’s ability to shape its environment as transnational institutions, scientists, technocrats, artists and architects moved to not only harness nature but to redesign its so-called raw materials, beginning at the scale of human chromosomes and extending to the reconstitution of vast rural and urban landscapes.