Through distinct insertions and ambiguous provocations about life in the future Meadowlands, we encourage community members to fill in the blanks, writing and enacting their own stories based on our initial excitation. Unfolding in small moments or over decades, these interventions generate a proliferation of futures for the Meadowlands, grown in the generative incubator of rich community dialogue, housed in mascots, prophecies, landmarks, and legends, and engaged with through the practice of everyday rituals. With each subsequent increase of sea level, new events and rituals are introduced to help communities adapt to the projected effects of encroaching water.
With each foot of sea level rise, a new chapter of the atlas is introduced. At the annual salt hay bonfire, pyres of reed grasses mark sites of progressive sea level rise across the park, and are burned when finally inundated. As sea level reaches three feet, a new chapter of transition introduces the Great Salt Hay Migration, a new maintenance regime for the park, where shaggy cyborgs roam the park, monitoring environmental conditions and performing landscape operations. At five feet, a new chapter introduces the Media Library, where residents, visitors, and drones are all invited to submit photographs and other recordings of their time in the park.
We see the park, not as a series of distinct and autonomous sites, but as a field of living beings and inert matter, with the American Dream as a communal center. This once private development–located adjacent to Met Life stadium and proposed to host indoor ski slopes, water parks, luxury shopping, and expansive parking lots–becomes a public space for commerce, events, and rituals. In this imagined reality, the unfinished mega mall becomes the ideal shell to support a wide range of activities and people, with increased relevance as seas encroach.
Our initial investigations in estuarine processes examined the sources and characteristics of particulate matter within estuarine systems, as well as the biological and geomorphological processes that influence their transport, disturbance, entrapment, and incorporation into biotic and abiotic structures.