PRINT Summer 2005

A Talk with Center for Land Use Interpretations’s Matthew Coolidge

SEWER SYSTEMS AND TRAFFIC PATTERNS; abandoned air-force bases and simulated Main Streets built to train law-enforcement officers; dead shopping malls and towns swallowed by the rising waters of technologically diverted rivers. This is the American landscape as seen through the eyes of Los Angeles’s Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI): a complex national topography that’s emphatically physical yet also has a certain uncanny lyricism, one rich in the cadences of what CLUI’s director, Matthew Coolidge, calls “anthropogeomorphology”—the landscape as altered by humans.

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. Though

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