The Center for Land Use Interpretation Newsletter

Houston Gulf States Office Report


1345 TexHex screening films under the freeway on the Buffalo Bayou in Houston. CLUI photo

THE GULF STATES OFFICE IS supporting a few regional research initiatives in 2011/2012, projects that will become exhibitions and publications in the future. Its exhibit rooms remain open to the public, and contain a display about the oil industry in and around Houston.

The primary activity at the Center’s site in Houston in 2011 was the continued development and deployment of the TexHex vessel, an interpretive and research platform for use on inland waterways, built by SIMPARCH. In May 2011, a series of video programs curated by the filmmaker Deborah Stratman was presented at different locations along the Buffalo Bayou, as part of her residency aboard the TexHex, supported by the Mitchell Center for the Arts.

1344 For another event, in November, 2011, TexHex headed further upstream from its industrial haunts than usual, to the park-like setting around the Sabine Street bridge, where it was on display for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s annual fundraising gala, going on on the bridge (which was closed to traffic for the occasion). Inside a tent, a few hundred business and arts professionals, including Houston’s Mayor, Anisse Parker, ate a catered dinner, and celebrated “Confluence,” the partnership’s arts program on the Bayou.

Below the bridge, the TexHex floated in the middle of the bayou, tethered to the shores, showing its video program, to whoever noticed. The program was mixed by Johnny Dekam, combining live video footage from remote cameras, with footage shot along the Bayou by the CLUI, and selections of narrative films (Waterworld, Anaconda, Mosquito Coast, Apocalypse Now) that feature themes and scenes deemed appropriate for the context and occasion. 

1343 Visitors from the American Association of Museums at the CLUI’s Gulf States Field Office for a briefing from CLUI Director Matthew Coolidge.