Wanderlust Wunderkins


The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a very interesting and prolific nonprofit organization "dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized and perceived." At times they work like an artist collective, exhibiting research-based work, while at other times they are residency providers, educators, and an informational clearinghouse. Their programs have been based largely in Los Angeles, as well as their recently opened center in Houston, but they've also managed to examine the "lay of the land" in regions countrywide. In fact, this is the title of their quarterly publication, of which the Spring 2008 issue was just released. Copies are available online (though a small donation gets you a print copy and goes a long way in supporting CLUI's work), and each issue is jam-packed with fascinating info on the issues around which CLUI's work revolves. There is a clear concern for the health of the environment and communities in each of their projects, which include educational tours of overlooked spaces, scientific field research, and copious photo documentation of the often surreal effects of transportation lust, pollution, and other societal "advances" upon the national landscape. Highlights in the current issue of Lay of the Land include a study of the American parking space, a discussion of garbage with filmmaker Heather Rogers, numerous field trip reports, an analysis of the hovercraft, and insights on Minneapolis--which just might prove helpful for anyone interested in this Republican National Host City's relationship to change, political or geographic. Of course, CLUI's maps indicate that there's always an overlap in the two. - Marisa Olson

Image Credit: CLUI photo