Center for Land Use Interpretation

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The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a non-profit "research organization involved in exploring, examining, and understanding land and landscape issues. The Center employs a variety of methods to pursue its mission - engaging in research, classification, extrapolation, and exhibition." Although it has a post office address in Culver City, California, USA, it is actually situated in the Palms district of Los Angeles, at 9331 Venice Boulevard. Other locations of the CLUI include the Desert Research Station near Hinkley, California, in the Mojave desert, the exhibit halls and artists residency program at Wendover, Utah, near the Bonneville Salt Flats, and in Troy, New York, along the Hudson River.

The center creates publications, conducts tours, and holds lectures about the way land is used, and also how land and its use are understood. Its newsletter, The Lay of the Land, is available in print to subscribers as well as online.

Programs and projects[edit]

The center produces public exhibits on themes and regions for galleries and museums, as well as for exhibition in CLUI spaces in Los Angeles and elsewhere, and conducts public bus tours and educational field trips. Lectures and presentations are held at the center's exhibit spaces through programs such as the Independent Interpreter series. Other programming includes site-specific Extrapolative Projects in the field and special focus thematic study areas.

Land Use Database[edit]

A collection of source material and processed information on unusual and exemplary land use in the United States, the database is used in-house at the CLUI as a resource for regional and thematic programming, and is coupled with the CLUI Photographic Archive, a collection of thousands of images taken by CLUI representatives, covering all types of land-use sites. A limited version of the Land Use Database, with over one thousand locations, is available online.

The American Land Museum[edit]

The American Land Museum is a network of landscape exhibition sites being developed across the United States. Each site in the network will provide regional interpretive programming for the selected district it represents. The center's facilities at Wendover, Utah, for example, represent the Great Basin region, provide exhibitions and information to the public, and support the Center’s Wendover Residence Program, which enables new and innovative interpretations of the region to be developed and presented.


People were taken in a bus tour along a highway outside Los Angeles to see such sights as the world's largest Frito Lay factory, an abandoned rocket-test pad, and a wind-power facility. Another tour concerned the Salton Sea, an accidental, manmade, inland ocean.

CD-ROMs that can be obtained from the center provide interactive travel guides to such things as nuclear proving grounds around the world and views from the first highway in Antarctica.

CLUI also creates exhibits that are placed into the landscape to draw public interest, such as its "Suggested Photo Spot" project, a metaphorical pun on Kodak Corporation's "Kodak Photo Spots", which are placed in theme parks. One such spot is at the wastewater treatment plant of Kodak's company headquarters.

Another such exhibit featured sound-emitting devices in locations of interest. One of them was a device to emit the sound of lake waves gently lapping at the imaginary shore of Owens Lake, California, once 100 square miles (260 km2) of deep water and now an alkali dust plain due to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which has relied on the area as a water supply until the lake was completely depleted.

Books published by the center include one on the original atomic tests, Nevada Test Sites. The centre produces a newsletter, Lay of the Land, at least once a year.

External links[edit]