The first part of CLUI's endeavor focuses specifically on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
However whimsical Middlebrook's superimposition might seem, it is hard not to view CLUI's analysis of the pipeline--which is presented in the following pages by the organization's founder and director, Matthew Coolidge--through the prism of Smithson, whose approach hovers over much of the group's work.
Founded in 1994 by Coolidge with a small group of colleagues and run today out of a modest Venice Boulevard storefront in Culver City, CLUI has emerged as the most astute of many creative groups around the United States currently engaging contemporary issues related to land and its uses, both functional and aesthetic.
In addition to its West Coast headquarters, CLUI has an office in upstate New York and is currently branching out around the country through its American Land Museum project, a network of far-flung "landscape exhibition sites" designed to serve as bases for an ongoing interpretive project on the distinctiveness of regional land-use patterns, from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Plains breadbasket.
JK: I'm interested in CLUI's modes of representing place.
JK: I've always thought this was the most interesting conceptual question related to Land art, and it's one that really seems to be at the heart of what CLUI does.
The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a good example of the latter.
In spite of such Ruskinian pronouncements, CLUI is not always so "hands-on." The group can be rather mysterious--indeed, even virtual.
CLUI has succeeded in identifying compelling episodes in the otherwise workaday story of land use, and that's why we're spending our Saturday in Irwindale.
That CLUI's tour was inflected by Smithson's sensibility was evident before the bus left for Irwindale.
As we head out on the eastbound 10 freeway, CLUI cofounder Matthew Coolidge delivers some opening remarks over the bus's PA system.
In fact, these are precisely the sorts of artifacts one might find presented as found objects in a CLUI gallery show or publication.