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Roger Williams University

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    Old dogs on the porch:

    oe Sep 5 '04 0

    ****image


    A landscape adaptation on Gooseberry Island, a spit of land sticking into the Atlantic near Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts.


    The Island is famous for 3 historical absurdities: First, that FDR was known to visit the island, being carried down the beach in a wheel-barrel as he suffered from polio in the 1920s. His visits ended when his and nearly every other home in the immediate vicinity were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938.

    Second, the "Island" became a peninsula in 1941 when the US military laid out a causeway during WWII, irrevocably altering the ecology and erosion patterns of the area, to build a watchtower to spot and target a German invasion that never came. Originally, the tower and support gun posts and bunkers were disguised as an innocent lighthouse and cottages; a lighthouse for sinking ships.

    Third, following the wreck of a commercial shipping frigate on the island in 1953, two neighbors, John Baker and John Straker went to claim and salvage the wreck, officially on no-mans-land. Each claiming their own rightful stake, a fight ensued in which John Baker shot John Straker in the heart with a .38, killing him almost instantly. Baker was convicted of manslaughter and served 1 year of a 4 year sentence.




    [A concrete hand and spoon on the western beach.]

    image

    "What will we mean?
    Nothing."






    [The parking lot, a large pile of field stones moved to the island in the 40s to form a catch basin for natural sediment that formed the causeway.]

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    "
    i wait at the edge for the tide to come in but all it brings is
    empty plastic containers and sticks and polythene
    nothing that even remotely
    resembles

    me.
    "

    - Peter Heymans






    [A forest of randomly placed 20 ft steel poles along the eastern beach.]

    image

    “Its only once we have lost everything, that we are free to do anything.”

    -Tyler Durden in Chuck Paluhniuk's ”˜Fight Club'






    [The turret, and entrance to bunker: a 2000 pound surplus military "dumb-bomb" to be buried 6 feet into its foundation and detonated to form an outdoor classroom.]

    image

    We wait. We are bored. No, we don't protest, we are bored to death, there's no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste...in an instant all will vanish and we will be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!

    Samuel Beckett - Waiting for Godot






    [A B29 "Superfortress", the first American bomber large enough to drop an atomic bomb, stood on end-and-wing with a crane, forming a gateway arch to the island's point.]

    image

    I am inclined while watching the turtle to turn it over and inspect its underbelly. From this unnatural position I can see how this platonically solid creature makes its way through the world.

    Douglas Darden - Condemned Building







    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

     

     
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