Betwixt and Between
For artists, much of the appeal of New Jersey lay in its identity as a threshold, a liminal place on the border of other places. Associated with social and cognitive disorientation, as well as rites of passage, liminality designates the quality of being “betwixt and between.” Such was the character of New Jersey after World War II. As Allan Kaprow wrote in 1965, “it seemed significant that [New Jersey] was imbedded in the strip-city running between Washington and Boston: something had to happen there.” And something certainly did: the artists in New Jersey as Non-Site, all of whom were avid drivers, took advantage of New Jersey’s burgeoning system of roads, which grew exponentially due to the 1956 Federal Highway Act. Along with the experience of travel, transit, and displacement, their work gives form to the visual culture of driving and to that quintessentially American subject: the road trip.