The Center for Land Use Interpretation Newsletter

Book Reviews

Books New to the Shelves of the CLUI Library and Bookshop

CLUI-Related Books

Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty
William Fox, University of Nevada Press, 2002
A book about dry lakes, how they are used and perceived, written in the first person. Discusses the authors experiences and ruminations on Burning Man and on a CLUI LA/Wendover trip taken by Matthew Coolidge and the author in 1999.

Ecovention: Current Art to Transform Ecologies
Sue Spaid, Contemporary Arts Center, 2002
The catalog of the recent exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is a good overview of some of the recent activities in the field of "environmental art," from Joseph Beuys to AMD&ART. Co-published by the and ecoartspace.

Deborah Stratman, self published, 2002
A remarkable booklet of maps, diagrams, and photographs, describing the electromagnetic aspects of Wendover, and the technologies of communication transmission in general, by CLUI Wendover Residence Program participant Deborah Stratman.

Salt Desert Tales
Great God Pan, GGP Press, 2000
The Californiana lore writer/research team Great God Pan (Erik Bluhm and Mark Sundeen) expand their coverage to the Salt Lake Desert region for their project with the CLUI Wendover Residence Program (would that be called Utahniana?).

Back to the Bay
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2001
The catalog for the exhibit installed by the CLUI at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, with Stillhere and the Prelinger Archives. Essays by curator Rene de Guzman and writer Dean MacCannell.

Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero
Documentary Film on DVD by Pete Kuran, 2001
This hour-long documentary about off-site nuclear tests includes recently declassified film from the government that depicts the underground explosions in Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico and Alaska, some as recently as the 1970s. Like most of the other Pete Kuran productions on atomic history, the film is narrated by William Shatner, with an original score performed by the Moscow Symphony. This film also includes interviews and images from the CLUI.

More New Books Available from the CLUI Shop

Bill Mann's Guide to the Remote and Mysterious Saline Valley
Bill Mann, Shortfuse Publishing, 2002
Volume 4 in Bill Mann's series of guidebooks on the California deserts, which often reveal interesting and surprising sites. The Saline Valley is definitely one of the more isolated places, between the 14,000 foot White Mountains, and Death Valley.

Emmet Gowin: Changing the Earth
Jock Reynolds, Yale University Press, 2002
Aerial photographs of some of amazing American places, like Tooele Army Depot's bomb disposal areas, mining operations in Globe, Arizona, and the Nevada Test Site, as well as aerials of sites in other countries. The state of the art in clarity and black and white aerial magnificence.

Oil, God, and Gold: The Story of Aramco and the Saudi Kings
Anthony Cave Brown, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999
Important background and history of the American involvement in Saudi Arabia, and the oil politics that are at the cause of so much trouble in the world today.

Barbed Wire: A Political History
Olivier Razac, New Press, 2002
Barbed wire, invented in the 19th Century American West, has spread around the world, becoming a critical component of the global landscape. This elegant little book, written by a french Foucaultian philosopher, focuses primarily on the use of barbed wire in the American Prairie and the world wars.

Spying with Maps: Surveillance Technologies and the Future of Privacy
Mark Monmonier, University of Chicago Press, 2002
A new book on current GIS systems, traffic cams, dataveillance, and other mapping and geospatial surveillance technologies, from the author of How to Lie With Maps. A good overview, as it were, of the subject.

New to the CLUI Library, and Recommended

Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties
Suzaan Boettger, University of California Press, 2002
This new book delivers the dirt on 60s earthworks. Focusing on land art related events during the mid sixties to early seventies, the author has exhumed a host of new facts and ideas about the genre, and is especially lucid in describing the individual psychologies and social mechanations of the artists, dealers, backers, and theorists.

The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America's Embassies
Princeton Architectural Press, 1998
An examination of the federally sanctioned architecture of American embassies built in other countries reveals a fascinating expression of our governments complex political and diplomatic intentions. Great idea for a book, and well executed too, by a former curator at the National Building Museum.

Mobile: The Art of Portable Architecture
Edited by Jennifer Siegal, Princeton Architectural Press, 2002
Many interesting examples of some architect/designers ideas and executions of mobile architecture including inflatables, truck-mounted structures, tents, and lots of good uses for modified shipping containers. Designers include Lo/Tek, Acconci Studios, Festo, and the Office of Mobile Design.

Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong
James W. Loewen, New Press, 1999
Selects 95 historic sites all over the country, many fairly obscure, and explains how the official description of the place - its interpretive plaque, for example - reflects inaccuracies usually based on racist and colonial attitudes.

Man-Made Catastrophes
Revised Edition, by Lee Davis, Checkmark Books, 2002
An encyclopedia of non-natural, mostly recent, international disasters: ships sinking, airplanes crashing, buildings collapsing, that sort of thing. "Revised edition" means that it covers September 11, and is slightly repackaged to be sensitive to this new "post-disaster" political landscape.

Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team
Daniel Lenihan, New Market Press, 2002
An account of the adventures of the founder and director of U.S. National Park Service's dive team, which surveys, maps, and protects America's "sunken heritage." Mostly off-shore wrecks and the like, but some other interesting continental sites as well.