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Re-found Robert Smithson’s writing, while reviewing locative media literature. “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic New Jersey” is one of four texts cited as ‘Primary Documents’ in the  LEA special issue on Locative media (2006) and had been recommended to me back in the days when with the KIT collaboration we were thinking about ruins. Only a couple of days ago Jen Hamilton was describing Alexander Graham Bell’s experiments with Kites, and I find a reference to those kites in Smithson’s “Towards the Development of an Air Terminal Site” (1967). The text refers to airports, aircraft, surveying satellites, grids, kites and crystalline structures, and the aesthetic resemblances between them. And then this text describes something I’ve been trying to get at recently, the quality of the journey as an audience experience of an artwork. Was this an event that happened?

See the Monuments of Passiac New Jersey (1967)

What can you find in Passaic that you can
not find in Paris, London or Rome? Find
out for yourself. Discover (if you dare)
the breathtaking Passaic River and the
eternal monuments on its enchanted banks.
Ride in Rent-a-Car comfort to the land
that time forgot. Only minutes from N.Y.C
Robert Smithson will guide you through
this fabled series of sites. . . and don’t
forget your camera. Special maps com
with each tour. For more information visit
DWAN GALLERY, 29 West 57th Street.

Smithson, Robert, “See the Monuments of Passiac New Jersey” in Jack Flam (ed), Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings (Berkley: University of California Press, 1996).

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