This research takes an in-depth look at the relationship between energy, society and space. It takes the results obtained during the first phase of the “Cultural Landscapes of Energy” project as a starting point, which identified the areas that generate most of Spain’s energy. The research explores the spaces that are crucial to post-industrial society, highlighting their cultural significance from a discursive approach.

When the energy industry came to certain rural areas over half a century ago, it not only brought about changes to the land’s topography and ecosystems, it also brought an unprecedented change to lifestyles and culture, as well as to the way in which people interacted with their surroundings. In order to study these aspects, we have used descriptors (recording instruments that capture qualitative variables within the landscape) such as historical photographs, documentaries, cinematography, literature, front pages of newspapers, the map created for choosing the location, sound, matter and the geomorphology of the site. By means of phenomenological analysis, we were able to track perceptions and meanings relating to the awareness of industrial landscapes of energy.

The results of the research were presented at the “Cultural Landscapes of Energy” exhibition at the Sala de la Arquería in Nuevos Ministerios, Madrid (from 26/4/2013 to 31/5/2013). Arranged along a 45 metre long table, the exhibition included collections of digital maps, tactile maps, front pages of newspapers, models, documentaries, film excerpts, photographs, objects and sound recordings that took visitors on their own journey through these extraordinary landscapes.