Wendover Report
From the CLUI Outpost in the Bonneville Basin
5406 Close call: wide (and tall) load, crossing the continent in April 2018, nearly gets stuck under casino sky bridge at the Nevada/Utah state line. Wendover is on the edge of many things, and while margins are extremely wide, tolerances can be exceedingly narrow. CLUI photo
THE CENTER'S BONNEVILLE BASIN OPERATIONS complex in Wendover, Utah, continues to serve as a base for regionally focused creative projects, and did so in a variety of ways over the 2018 season. CLUI facilities, on the edge of the old airbase, housed a number of creative researchers including Everest Pipkin and Alex Lucas, from Carnegie Mellon, who worked on a project documenting the rock art and graffiti along the Interstate through the flats. After a few weeks at the CLUI, they headed on to a residence program in Montello, Nevada, to continue their work. 
 
Others using the CLUI facilities in Wendover in 2018 included Terry Ownby, a professor of communication at Idaho State University, who was working on a photographic project in the area, and a group of filmmakers from New York known as Thirteen Black Cats, who are working on a film addressing aspects of the atomic history of the region, who will be returning in 2019. 
 
The artist Lukas Marxt also spent some time in Wendover this year, working on the “loading pits” part of his larger project about the Manhattan Project-era nuclear bomb testing based out of Wendover. 
 
Wendover recidivists such as the aerial photographer Michael Light and the artist William Lamson also used CLUI facilities to support their ongoing projects in the region. Lamson’s salt encrustation installation, called Mineralogy, continues to evolve and draw people to it. Oswaldo Gonzalez visited in the fall to construct a new CLUI exhibit space which will open later in 2019.
 
Late in the year some of the contents of the CLUI exhibit hall were removed and shipped to the Center for Art + Environment, part of the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, to join the rest of the Wendover Residence Program archives. The CLUI residence program officially ended in 2016, transitioning to a more informal program for the support of fewer and longer-term projects in the region. 
 
Numerous groups and individuals visited the CLUI Exhibit Hall, Orientation Building, and other publicly accessible CLUI displays, some leaving their signatures in guest books, some not. Some were just witnessed poking around on CLUI security cameras. Some journalists even wrote about Wendover, like Sarah Urist Green, as part of a PBS project about art in Utah, called Spiral Jetty, Sun Tunnels, and Salt (viewable on YouTube).
 
The Land Arts of the American West class, based out of Texas Tech in Lubbock, stayed in Wendover for close to a week, as it has for more than ten years, as part of its annual semester in the field. Its leader, architect professor Chris Taylor, developed the Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform, with fellow Wendover recidivist Steve Badgett of Simparch. The GSLEP has been based out of Wendover since its maiden voyage on the Great Salt Lake in 2015. It is now headed to California’s Salton Sea, to embark on its expanded role, as the Terminal Lake E/x Platform, the TLEP.
 
An informal gathering of educational field program facilitators was organized over Memorial Day weekend at Wendover by CLUI Program Manager Aurora Tang. Tang, who teaches a field program called Wilderness as Myth and Metaphor with collaborator Ian James at Otis College, convened this group to share strategies and experiences among practitioners of this method of teaching and learning about landscape in-situ. Attendees included Matthew Fluharty, of Art of the Rural; Mary Rothlisberger and Richard Saxton, of the Rural Environments Field School, at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Alexander Robinson, from the  Landscape Architecture department at the University of Southern California; Jesse Vogler, of the Sam Fox School at Washington University; Chris Taylor, from Texas Tech’s Land Arts of the American West program; and Kaitlin Pomerantz, of the University of Pennsylvania.
 
In 2018 CLUI Wendover became a local management partner for Sun Tunnels, an increasingly well known piece of land art located near Lucin, 40 miles north of Wendover. Earlier last year the work, completed by the artist Nancy Holt in 1976, was acquired by the New York-based Dia Art Foundation, following Ms. Holt’s death in 2014. It makes a perfect complement to Spiral Jetty, her husband Robert Smithson’s 1970 work, located on the other side of the Bonneville Basin, which she gave to Dia in 1999. ♦ 
 
5407 Student group heading towards a bunker at the old Wendover airbase. photo by Chris Taylor