Points of Interest in the Meadowlands

The Center for Land Use Interpretation “is a research and education organization interested in understanding the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface.”  The Center is based in Los Angeles – a place which some say does not exist.   The Center veers the fjords within the fjords of information science, gag art and hermeneutics.  Check the website, they have a Land Use Database and an evocative image database.

Last week the Center hosted an event called “Points of Interest in the Meadowlands.”  Future Use was raised on the outskirts of this great terrestrium of industry and highways and sports complexes and chemical factories and container parks, and drove a van for McCarthy Sanitary Supply making deliveries to the shipping/receiving departments in the nooks and crannies of Essex, Hudson and Union counties.

“Points of Interest” was an hour-long slideshow with running narration by director of the Center, Matthew Coolidge.  Part collage, part topographical memo, part travelogue, part Garden State canto, the Center described it as a journey through “the superlative urban antipode swamplands in New Jersey.”

The irony – and strength – of the slideshow was the lack of interpretation.  Coolidge presented, and did not toy with individuation by suggesting to the audience what attitude to take and what thoughts to think.  Coolidge was a friend to the Meadowlands, and his appreciation of the area was untraced by the egghead vagaries of “ruin porn.”

I learned a ton, was entertained, and they gave away an amazing free map… Thanks to Brother Jones, who lives near CLUI in Internal Combustion City.

Hydro-Pruf, Durable Water Repellent.
Hackensack River, Secaucus.
Canoeing in the Hackensack River.
Pulaski Skyway, Hackensack River.
Truck yards, from PATH train.

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