"In 1918, Van Wyck Brooks published the essay 'On Creating a Usable Past' where he proposes a new way to look at literary history outlining principles in his article that can be applied to many fields, including ecology. He encourages us not to revere the past as it's been presented to us but to mine memory for the facts we find significant in telling our own stories. He believed that history 'yields only what we are able to look for in it'. The Usable Earth was a group exhibition that explored how critical response to issues of the environment vary based on the way we shape our value systems."
- Kristen Neville Taylor, curator