Center for Land Use Interpretation: Texas Oil


The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) is a research organization based in Los Angeles, CA., dedicated to exploring, examining and understanding land and landscape issues. In the Spring of 2008 members of the CLUI were invited to the University of Houston campus for the first Mitchell Center Creative Development Residency. The CLUI established their Gulf Coast Field Office on property owned by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, which acted as the hub for their work with students in the School of Art, College of Architecture and Creative Writing Program.

During their Residency at UH the CLUI also mounted the exhibition Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry at the Blaffer Art Museum and produced the publication On the Banks of the Bayou City: Center for Land Use Interpretation in Houston with Rachel Hooper, Blaffer’s Associate Curator and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fellow. While in Houston they also participated in Confluence: Points of View, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Public Art series curated by Andrea Grover. And the Mitchell Center collaborated with the Aurora Picture Show to present “The Junkyard Drive-In”, “Downstream: CLUI Boat Tour of Houston’s Water and Oil” and the “Grand Respectacle: Celebrating Petrochemicals and Sesquicentennialism”.


On the Banks of Bayou City publication:
Published to coincide with the CLUI exhibit at the Blaffer Art Museum Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry at the culmination of their residency with the Mitchell Center for the Arts, this book contains interviews with CLUI founder/director Matthew Coolidge and program managers Steve Rowell and Erik Knutzen, as well as a photographic essay on land use in Houston, a panoramic, foldout section and a comprehensive chronology of the CLUI’s projects and publications over the past 14 years. Edited by Rachel L. Hooper and Nancy L. Zastudil. 2009, Blaffer Art Museum of the University of Houston.

CLUI Gulf Coast Field Office Established in Houston: Though the CLUI’s year-long focus on oil wrapped at the end of 2009, before leaving Houston they established a semi-permanent Gulf Coast Field Office to support regional programming. An exhibit area has been installed inside the field office trailer, housing an exhibit about the industrial end of the Buffalo Bayou, and Houston’s petrochemical corridor. The exhibit is open by appointment 713.743.1519.

Nationwide CLUI Bench Mark program initiated along the Buffalo Bayou: Houston marks the spot of the first in a series of Bench Mark overlooks. Bench Marks are viewing areas that have been selected to encourage passer bys to sit for a spell and watch as what is happening in the landscape. This first Bench Mark is on a newly paved walking trail that runs along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, at a spot with the panoramic view of the Proler Southwest metal scrap operation.


Related Events:

May 21, 2011 – TexHex