When we see them overtaken by nature, it's like one of those 'we live in a society' moments. It holds a lot of power, to see things we associate with technological modernity, recaptured by nature. We were once a great democratic society, we had the New Deal - the monuments from that era are now covered in vines, much in the way the Greek and Roman temples were weathered down to mere archeological artifacts. We are witnessing the decay of midcentury life and the manufacturing society. It confirms that we totally live in the post-industrial world.
Writer and critic Kate Wagner discusses depression, post-industrial ruin and the aesthetics of a landscape in mid-collapse - as time and nature claim the sites of mid-century production, we view them with a nostalgia manufactured by our alienation from labor, and an environmental fear for a future crashing down around us.
Kate wrote the article Staring At Hell for The Baffler.