Great Basin Report
From the Center's Complex in Wendover

1382 Informal experimentations in form on the salt flats at Wendover. CLUI photo

ANOTHER FULL SEASON FOR THE residence program is complete, with several new participants, and several continuing residents returning to continue or finish their projects. New residents this year included the photographer Mike Osborne, who arranged to photograph the interior landscapes of local casinos, and photographed the ordnance disposal teams on the old bombing range; Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg, collaborators from Milwaukee, who worked on a project about the pathos of historic western immigration; Dan Torop, a writer and photographer from New York, researching and revisiting Mark Twain’s travel and writings about the region; Patrick Kikut, Shelby Shadwell, and David Jones, teachers at the University of Wyoming, who worked together on a series of projects that will be installed at Wendover next spring; Mikael Lindahl, from Sweden, who conducted research for a project for next year; and Ross Robertson, from Scotland, who worked on interpretive projects with local senior citizens.

Returning residents included the writer Miriam Sagan, from New Mexico; the German photographer Eva Castringius; the Florida-based stereoscopic aerialist William Keddell; Rob Ray; Jen Hofer, from Los Angeles, who installed her quilted history project in Exhibit Hall 2; Rich Pell from the Center for Post-Natural History in Pittsburgh, who is working on a project involving Dugway Proving Ground; Bay Area photographer Lisa Blatt; Mary Kavanagh, a video maker from Alberta, and Kelly Loudenberg, a New York video-maker whose two new Wendover-related videos will be presented in our exhibit spaces in the spring.

The Living Systems Research Facility at Southbase continued to be developed and improved this year by the SIMPARCH team, with Nancy Klehm assisting with biosoil experiments, and the Land Arts class from the University of New Mexico engaged heavily in water collection and irrigation systems. The other Land Arts class, led by Chris Taylor of Texas Tech, overlapped with the other Land Arts class for a night at Southbase with filmmaker Sam Douglas, who is working on a new film project about Land Arts and the American West, and who showed his film Citizen Architect, about Sam Mockbee and Rural Studio.

Other classes and field trippers stopped by the CLUI facilities in Wendover for a day or two, including some from Sierra Nevada College, Westminster College, and Northwestern University. Some, like Catherine Lord’s class from UC Irvine, were on an extended tour visiting land art sites such as Sun Tunnels and Spiral Jetty. Brett Bloom, from the Chicago-based group Temporary Services, brought his class of forty students from the Jutland Art Academy in Denmark to Wendover, the last stop on their two-week road trip odyssey, traveling mostly in RVs. The tour started in Houston, where they also stopped in to look at CLUI activities there. Other visitors to Wendover who came by to introduce themselves included the art historian Jeff Kelly, and Spiral Jetty scholars Hikmet Loe and Ann Reynolds.

The annual work party brought more than a dozen CLUI friends and supporters to help fix up the place. Work included painting exteriors, installing new exhibits, fixing broken windows, and preparing a new building for use as an exhibition space. Rich Pell, aided by Lauren Allen, Stuart Anderson, and Leafan Rosen, updated and repaired the Autotour quadra-bike, made by Municipal Workshop as a residence project several years ago. The Bike is now back online and available for people to take automatic GPS-powered guided tours of the old airbase. Mathew Lippincott and Olivia Everett visited from Butte, Montana, and displayed their kite photography prowess on the salt flats.

Thanks to all the work party 2011 participants: John Hogan, Jennifer Bennett, Jed Lackritz, Phil Weil, Kate Moxham, Dan Torop, Ben Loescher, Rich Pell, Lauren Allen, Jen Hofer, Rob Ray, Aurora Tang, John Fitchen, Eric Potter, and William Keddell.

The residence program will start up again in April 2012. In the meantime, the Center’s exhibit spaces in Wendover remain open to the public all winter.