Exhibitions & Events



Lost Prairie Valley

Planetary Bayou

Field Guide to Environmental Crime: Houston and the Oil Coast

Dead Zones

Extinction Simulation Landscapes

Lunar Mosaics

MacDowell Trilogy

Humans Lived Here Once

Whole Life Academy

Comfort in Hydrology

Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys

Water Castle

Radio Aporee Sound Map

Midstream at Twilight



Forest Threnody

Big Hill Petro-glyphs

Current State

Points of Presence

Brandenburg Series

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Sonic Boom Archive

Johnston Island Saturday Night

Suspension of Disbelief

Quantum Danube


Culpeper Media Bunker

A Doubting World

“... the floors of silent seas”

Background Listening Post

Regional Spatialities

Dark Places

Ultimate High Ground

American Oil Vol. I

Kleine Stücke von Berlin


Playas Townsite

Shepard Inversion Ghost


Shock + Awe

Gloom & Doom / Tactile Air

Routes of Least


Weather Radio

Site: Nonsite: Quartzsite

The Mountain Radio Project

Ballarat: Beneath Sentinel

CLUI Projects

Networked Nation


Urban Crude

CLUI Touchscreen

Texas Oil

Wendover, U.S.A.

CLUI Exhibit Posters

Pavement Paradise

Vacation: Dauphin

Dissipation & Disintegration

Terminal Island

Immersed Remains

Diversions & Dislocations

Emergency State

Loop Feedback Loop

A View into the Pipe

Ground Up

Nellis Range - Revisited

West Coast Points

The Best Dead Mall


Antarctic 1

One Wilshire

Alternate Routes

Proximity Issue

Back to the Bay

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© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell

Vacation: Dauphin Island

In collaboration with the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

An exhibit on display at the Center for Land Use Interpretation’s Los Angeles exhibit hall in the winter of 2006, as part of the Center’s Coastal Islands: Fragments of America program. The exhibit, titled Vacation: Dauphin Island, looked at the community there as a representative extreme of the architecture that has immerged in the hurricane and flood-prone Gulf coast.

Naturally, Dauphin Island is a dynamic, migrating sand bar, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Alabama. French settlers first named it “Isle Massacre,” as it was littered with skeletons when they found it. Over the years this marginal land was claimed by France, Spain, England, and the Confederate nation. At the island’s more solid eastern tip is Fort Gaines, guarding the mouth of Mobile Bay, into which Admiral Farragut charged in the American Civil War, famously uttering “Damn the torpedoes—Full speed ahead!” Following the Civil War, the island slowly became a community of leisre, with a summertime population more than five times larger than the year round population.

Dauphin Island’s remaining battle is with the ocean, whose hurricane winds and surging surf threaten to wipe its western half clean. The island was ransacked by hurricanes Frederick in 1979, Danny in 1997, George in 1998, and Ivan in 2004. Rebuilt homes, funded by FEMA- backed insurance policies, grow back on higher and higher stilts, floating like domestic hovercraft above the crashing waters. The latest round of storms, 2005’s Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma, erased dozens of houses off the island, and left many of the surviving, damaged homes teetering, in limbo in a no-man’s land. Dauphin Island, it seems, is another one of those places determined to go away.


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