The Lay of the Land
Fall 2001, #22
There is good reading on the land, first-hand reading, involving no symbols. The records are written in forests, in fencerows, in bogs, in playgrounds, in pastures, in gardens, in canyons, in tree rings. The records were made by sun and shade, by wind, rain, and fire, by time; and by animals. As we read what is written on the land, finding accounts of the past, predictions of the future, and comments on the present, we discover that there are many interwoven strands to each story, offering several possible interpretations. - May Theilgaard Watts, Reading the Landscape of America
After a few years of doing a number of exhibits for other venues, the Center is now focusing on internal projects, such as our web site, publications, and upcoming exhibitions for our own exhibit spaces. Currently on display at the Center’s Los Angeles location is an exhibit about our Land Use Database, featuring new information and images. The database, after all, is the foundation of the organization, the collection of material on “unusual and exemplary” locations across the country that we draw from for most of our programming, and therefore needs constant attention. Also on display is a selection from the Back to the Bay exhibit, a large project focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area that was on view at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco until a few weeks ago. The globally transformative events of September 11th have indeed had an impact on what we do, and the Bay project could not have been created in the climate that followed the tragic events of that day. Our consultations with major petrochemical and electrical generation industries in the Bay, for example, would have only served to raise the interest of the FBI, and the aerial photographic survey of the Bay’s shoreline conducted by the CLUI would not have been permitted under the new security regulations for small aircraft. The impact of restrictions to information are expected to continue to be felt. Web sites that we have depended on for accurate and up to date information, such as the Federation of American Scientists site, have pulled much of their resources, due to security concerns. And, incidentally, the server hosting our web site, with our on-line database which describes, among other things, military sites and infrastructure, was hit by a mysterious hacker, and the site has been down for a few weeks (!). Our system administrator believes, however, that it was a random, automated attack on the system, and not targeted at any particular organization’s data. A new and redesigned site should be back on line by the time you read this. Stay well, and keep low.
-Lay of the Land Editors