TABLE OF CONTENTS

ON SITE

the Center for Land Use Interpretation

YOU WON’T FIND the Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale on any star map, but on a September Saturday last year, fifty of us are on a tour bus heading for that very town. There, scattered among the standard landmarks of contemporary suburbia—a strip mall, gas stations, an office park—are the peculiar and sublime sites we’ve come to see: a gravel quarry, some piles of sand, a speedway, a dam, an asphalt factory, a brewery.

The guide for this unusual excursion is the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI). CLUI was started in 1994 as a nonprofit institution devoted to understanding the “utilization of terrestrial and geographic resources.” Early on, the group, having done several site-specific installations, such as placing a sound-emitting device (“gently lapping water”) in a dry lake bed in central California, moved beyond art making per se to organizing fact-finding missions, publishing the

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