• Continental Divide
    Matthew Coolidge and Aurora Tang
    The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Culver City
    Dec 06, 2019 to Mar 13, 2020
    The Center for Land Use Interpretation

The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Continental Divide at Campbell Pass, New Mexico, 2015. Courtesy of CLUI Archive

Humans, who have altered the surface of the planet in infinitely large and small ways, have changed one of the largest and most fundamental contours of American topography too: the Continental Divide. This exhibition explores the landscape of this line and the alterations made intentionally and incidentally, showing how the architectures and infrastructures we build engage with systems that are literally continental in scale. As a geographical typology, this ultimate and liminal space is also rich with phenomenological anomalies and curiosities, which reveal obscure but meaningful aspects of humanity’s aspirations and oversights, expressed through architecture and infrastructure.

Matthew Coolidge is the founding director of The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), and acts as a project director, curator, writer, and photographer for CLUI exhibits. He is the author and editor of several books, including: Los Alamos Rolodex (Blast Books , 2015), Above the Bay: Man-Made Sites of Interest in the San Francisco Bay Region (Blast Books,  2013), Up River: Man-Made Sites of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy (Blast Books, 2008), Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with The Center for Land Use Interpretation (Metropolis Books, 2006), and the Nevada Test Site: A Guide to America's Nuclear Proving Ground (The Center for Land Use Interpretation, 1996). Coolidge is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, the Smithsonian Institute's Lucelia Artist Award, and a Creative Capital Artist Award. He has served on the faculty of the California College of the Arts, and lectures internationally.

Aurora Tang is a program manager at CLUI, since 2009, and acts as a project manager, curator, photographer, and editor for CLUI exhibits. She is also an independent curator and researcher—recent curatorial projects include exhibitions at Materials & Applications and the Barrick Museum of Art at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has worked with the Getty, the Chinati Foundation, Museum of Contemporary, Art Los Angeles, and High Desert Test Sites, where she was managing director from 2011–15. She has taught at Otis College of Art and Design, and is a founding board member of Common Field.

Founded in 1994, The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived.