What a Dump!

It’s time for a road trip with the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Don’t forget to pack the Purell.

Los Angelenos, take note: the Center for Land Use Interpretation is conducting one of its periodic bus tours on Friday, August 1. Its destination is the Puente Hills Landfill, Los Angeles County’s main dump and the largest active landfill in the nation. Tickets go on sale online this Friday.

For those unfamiliar with the Center for Land Use Interpretation (or CLUI), it can be tricky to characterize its mission. At its most basic, the center attempts to diffuse information about “how the nation’s lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived.” Yet its activities often have the tinge of a vast, tongue-in-cheek art project.

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CLUI maintains a massive database of “unusual and exemplary” sites across the nation. It holds a residence program whose facilities include a portion of a former military airfield in Wendover, Utah. It has mounted exhibitions on parking, postcards, law-enforcement-training architecture, and the best dead mall in America. (In 2006, Metropolis Books published a generously illustrated survey of the center’s many activities.)

The Puente Hills Landfill tour is part of the exhibit Post Consumed: The Landscape of Waste in Los Angeles, currently on view at the center’s headquarters in Culver City, California.

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