Center for Land Use Interpretation

The mission statement of the CLUI is to "increase and diffuse knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived."[3]

Programs and projects
The CLUI also executes exhibitions, research projects, and public programs. The Center's programs and projects cover many types of land uses in the US, including those related to agriculture, energy, industry, mining, communication, waste management, water resources, transportation, commerce, housing, recreation, and defense and preparedness.[4]

The organization produces exhibitions about land use phenomenology in the US, and displays them at its exhibit locations and at other museum and non-commercial and educational venues. The CLUI produces publications, online resources, tours, lectures, and other public programs across the country. Activities of the Center are summarized and discussed in its annual newsletter, The Lay of the Land, in print and online.[5]

The CLUI's main office is in Los Angeles where it operates a display space open to the public.[6] It also operates other facilities and interpretive sites throughout the US, including in Wendover, Utah, at a former military facility, where the CLUI operated an artist residency program from 1996-2016; and the Desert Research Station in Hinkley, California.[7][8][9][10]

CLUI is also the lead agency for the establishment of the American Land Museum, a network of exhibition sites in various interpretive zones across the country, which together form a dynamic portrait of the national landscape.[11] According to Coolidge, the "man made landscape is a cultural inscription that can help us better understand who we are and what we are doing."[12]
The CLUI organizes public field trips to sites of interesting and unusual land use. This has been documented in the book, Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation.[13][14]

Read More


0 Comments4 Minutes

Troublemakers

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms. The film casts these artists in a heroic light, which is exactly how they saw themselves. Iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever, these revolutionary, antagonistic creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field) and Michael Heizer (Double Negative); a headstrong troika that established the genre. As the film makes clear, in making works that can never be possessed as an object in a gallery, these troublemakers stand in marked contrast to the hyper-speculative contemporary art world of today.

Troublemakers points out that land art was rife with contradiction and conflict, a site where architecture, landscape, sculpture, technology, archaeology and photography would all converge. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Cold War anxieties and other political uncertainties of the nuclear age, land artists often subscribed to a dystopian view of the future that questioned the military-industrial complex, consumerism and the banalities of modern life and culture.

The period was also marked by the release of the first image of the entire earth. Produced by NASA, such images turned the conceptual space of earth into a two-dimensional sphere; an object on which to conceivably draw, design and create. The most compelling land art sites offered viewers a means to imagine and negotiate the scale of the human body with the enormity of our planet. Land artists were exploring a larger canvas to work on while simultaneously seeking to create works that induced awe in the viewer, thus producing a new kind of pilgrimage and a new kind of visceral viewing experience. The film shows how nature performs in these works and alters them over time, sometimes radically reclaiming them, creating an ongoing competitive dialogue between artist and the natural world.

Using original footage produced with helicopters and rare re-mastered vintage footage from the period, Crump’s cinematic journey takes viewers on a thrill ride through the most significant land art sites in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, an immersive and physically transportive experience that movie goers will not forget

Read More


0 Comments5 Minutes

K

Titled succinctly with the capital letter “K,” this exhibition is to be understood as a story, not unlike a parable, about the “darkest concerns of human life,” as Walter Benjamin once described the theme of Franz Kafka’s literary oeuvre. That oeuvre is dominated by fragments of Kafka’s three great unfinished novels—Der Verschollene or Amerika, Der Prozess, Das Schloss—which alone are worth more than entire libraries of finished novels. These three texts are perpetuated and interpreted in Martin Kippenberger’s large-scale work The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s “Amerika,” in Orson Welles’ film adaptation of The Trial, and in Tangerine Dream’s album inspired by The Castle. Altogether, the three novels by Kafka form the “trilogy of loneliness,” according to his executor Max Brod. Seen in this light, we may also view “K” as a triptych, an exhibition that resembles a tripartite or a triple-layered picture. Its structure is therefore similar to that of a traditional altarpiece, with Amerika occupying the large central panel and The Trial and The Castle the side panels. The three parts can be read together as a remarkable allegory of the vicissitudes of life, or, in the writer’s words: “all these parables really set out to say merely that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that already.” Presented entirely separately from one another in the exhibition, both in space and time, the three parts are each accorded their own assigned, atmospherically predestined place. The artistic sculptural installation is set in a glass-walled, floodlit arena-like performance space, the cinematic epic in a theater completely sheltered from daylight, and the symphonic compositions in a walled, fortress-like sound space. Visitors are invited to embark on what amounts to an excursion into the realms of art, film, and music—straight into the heart of vibrant life with all its ups and downs! But please do not rush things. Do not jump to conclusions. First try to see and hear as much as possible.

Read More


0 Comments4 Minutes

Amate l’Architettura

Era il 1957 quando questa “piccola architettura da tasca”, scritta e plasmata da Gio Ponti in ogni suo dettaglio iconografico e tipografico, venne pubblicata da Vitali e Ghianda. La casa editrice genovese aveva chiesto all’allora sessantacinquenne architetto di ripensare L’architettura è un cristallo, uscito nel 1945. Erano i primi anni del boom economico, si sentiva l’urgenza di portare avanti un’opera di rinnovamento e nel suo campo Ponti era l’uomo giusto per farlo. Profondamente animato da uno spirito moderno incarnato nell’estetica della leggerezza, il maestro era anche un grande comunicatore, dote indispensabile per diffondere l’entusiasmo per il nuovo e contagiare un pubblico vasto. Il prezzo di Amate l’architettura fu tenuto basso e la tiratura si spinse a 3.000 copie, tante per un libro sull’argomento. Il volume fu un successo, tradotto in inglese e giapponese, ma venne penalizzato in seguito dai circuiti della distribuzione, che gli impedirono per decenni di arrivare a una seconda edizione. Anche la ristampa del 2004 a opera di CUSL (Cooperativa Universitaria Studi e Lavoro) non ha saputo restituirgli la giusta visibilità. Tutti elementi che rendono ancora più interessante l’operazione fatta da Rizzoli con questa nuova versione, rispettosa dell’originale e arricchita da un’appendice che ne documenta la gestazione editoriale (lettere, schizzi e disegni d’archivio). A distanza di quasi sessant’anni si può finalmente riassaporare questa sintesi del pensiero pontiano, costellata di aforismi e narrazioni brevi, organizzata in capitoli dai titoli accattivanti anche per un pubblico di non addetti ai lavori. Il libro “è una collezione di idee”, ed “è stato fatto come si dipinge: a riprese, a ritocchi, a particolari”, scrive l’autore nella prefazione. Amate l’architettura è un’autobiografia sviluppata attorno a concetti come il tempo, il colore, l’arte, l’estetica e i materiali, ma anche un diario illustrato impreziosito da carte di diverso colore e grammatura che lo rendono ancora più piacevole al tatto. Del resto, Ponti era un uomo dai mille talenti e non sorprende che il volume in questione sia anche uno splendido oggetto di design.

Read More


0 Comments4 Minutes