Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
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dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
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Like my brownhouse:
   the many things children like to hit with sticks
Saturday, April 28 2007

setting: Room 44, Sleep-E Hollow Motel, Lawrenceville, New Jersey

When she was checking us out this morning, the guy at the front desk (who was Indian) asked Gretchen if everything had been to her liking. It had been, she said, not adding that she'd been hoping for a consummately sleazy motel experience. He seemed surprised and mumbled "namaste," a parting Gretchen normally only hears in the context of yoga. "Namaste," she replied. He must not have been a Pakistani.
Before heading back to our home region, we drove to the Grounds for Sculpture, a 32 acre sculpture park near Princeton that Gretchen had discovered online while researching activities for the Princeton area (that's the kind of gal she is). Grounds for Sculpture is situated in a typical mixed-used New Jersey landcape of aging factories and slightly-quaint tract suburban housing. At the I-295 exit is an enormous sculpture of abstract faces, but you're not there yet. There are other sculptures, most large and ambitious, all along the route in factory yards and highway embankments. And then finally you're there. The grounds used to be part of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds and featured a racetrack for horses and then cars. To make it a setting suitable for sculpture, the flat terrain was heavily landscaped by architecture nerds into a range of low hills covered with bushes and trees from all over the world (such mixes run counter to my horticultural æsthetic, which prefers to champion native vegetation). The sculpture itself covers a wide range of genres. Of this, the most unique is a series sculptural representations by J. Seward Johnson of famous Impressionist paintings ranging from Manet to Monet. These are mostly figurative, with the figures dropped into appropriate parts of the landscape. There will be a couple of Renoir's café people permanently taking up a seat at a table in the museum's café or waterfront people along a waterfront. Monet's Lady with a Parasol stands at the summit of a steep knoll permanently blooming with artificial red poppies.
Next to every sculpture was a little color-coded message saying whether or not it could be touched. For the many ADD-addled children running wild and armed with sticks, one sculpture had been designed specifically to be beaten. To facilitate its assault, it had been outfitted with hammer handles attached to coiled cables (so they couldn't be stolen or thrown).

Our car parked in front of room 44, at the Sleep-E Hollow Motel. [REDACTED]

A little sculpture of a critter along the path at Grounds for Sculpture.

Gretchen poses with a tense Impressionistic couple along the waterfront.

I pose in a famous sculptural take on Le déjeuner des canotiers, a painting by Renoir.

A sculptural take on Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe.

Unlike in the painting, I can see whether or not she has pubic hair. She does!

Several peacocks live near the Ground's café. They tend to disperse whenever children wielding sticks come through. People are forever thinking of the children and neglecting the many things children like to hit with sticks.

Across a small lake from Grounds for Sculpture is the most ordinary-looking slice of suburbia imaginable. Here I've framed one of those houses in a sculpture made of iron and river stones.

Sideways-mounted dudes and a little guy climbing a wall.

This guy would look better if he was standing on the grass instead of a gravel rectangle.

There are few indoors-only sculptures inside one of the old fairgrounds buildings. This is an exhibit of books that have been manipulated and "frozen" in epoxy, turning them into objects that resemble fossils. This might be how our libraries will look in a million years.

I stand at the back of a sculpture called "Breadline."

Gretchen offers comfort to an impaled bronze dude.

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