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Keller Easterling

New York, United States


Keller Easterling is an architect, writer, and the Enid Storm Dwyer Professor of Architecture at Yale. Her recent books Medium Design (Verso, 2021), considers the design of things as well as the interplay between things; Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014) examines global infrastructure as a medium of polity; Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) researches familiar spatial products in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world; Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999) applies network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure; and Subtraction (Sternberg, 2014) considers building removal or how to put the development machine into reverse.

Easterling is a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Architecture and Design. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Blueprint Award for Critical Thinking. Her MANY project, a global commons facilitating migration through an exchange of needs, was exhibited at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Her research and writing on the floor comprised one of the elements in Rem Koolhaas’s Elements exhibition for the 2014 Venice Biennale. Easterling has exhibited at Henry Art Gallery, the Istanbul Design Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Rotterdam Biennale, and the Queens Museum.

CAB 5 Contribution

Project Overview


ATTTNT maps a tangle of scars, trails, watersheds, and infrastructural corridors that deliberately revisit the violence of modern programs and the wounds of white supremacy. Since 1776, the US has stolen 1.5 billion acres from Indigenous people. And since the late 19th century, Black farmers have lost 90 percent of the 16 million acres they owned because of discriminatory lending practices and white aggression. Linking the Appalachian Trail with the Trail of Tears and the Natchez Trace, the formation only begins to coalesce as it aggregates along its 6000 mile surface federal land designated as a new national resource for reparations. As ATTTNT passes through Alabama and Mississippi, New Deal public lands, scripted with supremacist narratives, receive another reckoning with the under-told histories of Black and Indigenous resistance and survival—persistent elegant activist experiments including mutual aid societies, cooperatives, agricultural wheels, labor unions, and land trusts. ATTTNT gathers Indigenous reserves, state and federal parks, wetlands, freedmen towns, historic and contemporary Black cooperatives, the Kush, and Bolton, the capital of the New Republic of Afrika. Finding resources in the failures of capital and governance, it also develops protocols for converting to trust land adjacent private parcels that are exhausted, bankrupt, over-subsidized, or stagnant because of retiring farmers, debt, or heirs property conundrums. ATTTNT creates a planetary infrastructure as worthy of funding as those of concrete and conduit. Not smoothing over its ugliness, it becomes more robust through its patchiness, lumpiness, and difference.


Mapping team: Keller Easterling, Nicholas Arvanitis, Andrew Clum, Zach Felder

The City is the Site