The Lay of the Land
Spring 2003, #25
Aerial photography exposes the scattered tracks and traces of humanity on the planet’s surface, their extent, their shapes, and their layers - in a sense, everything that defines human settlement as an aspect of the earth’s surface. It also demonstrates that the landscape is always both the incidental product and the physical expression of the meeting between mankind and nature. - from the essay Aerial Geography, by Jean-Marc Besse, from Designs on the Land, by Alex MacLean
Editors Note: On the Horizon
Roden Crater is expected to open in two years, Heizer’s Complex City may be complete within a year, and Charles Ross’ Star Axis is in the final stages of completion. The Big Land Art projects it seems are alive and well and moving forward, with the Dia Foundation, Lannan Foundation, and others making it happen. This issue of the Lay of the Land discusses some of the “site-based” art activities along the Hudson River, centered on the town of Beacon, and Dia’s new 240,000 square foot museum there, greatly supported by Lannan Foundation. Also in this issue is a report from Marfa, a West Texas town in a curious and heavily altered condition due to support from these foundations as well. We hope that this momentum continues to build, and that new creative land projects will be enabled at other places, all over the country, further infusing the landscape with meaning, mystery, and compelling, progressive interpretations. Incidentally, the fact that the Center is about to open a Northeast Regional Office in the Hudson River town of Troy, New York (waaay up river!), is just a coincidence. This issue also reflects a recent CLUI research focus on the Pacific Coast of the United States, including the exhibition of the California Coastal Records Project, currently on display at CLUI Los Angeles.
- Lay of the Land Editors