Wendover Report
From the CLUI Outpost in the Bonneville Basin

5159 University group visiting the CLUI Orientation Building in Wendover. Photo by Hikmet Loe

THE CLUI OUTPOST ON THE edge of the salt flats had another busy season in 2017, with former residents coming back to work on long-term local projects, including Kristin Posehn, who installed her Metropolis project in the exhibit hall, and Dan Torop, who flushed out his installation there as well. Alan Nakagawa visited to work on an audio project connecting his family’s hometown of Hiroshima with the hangar at Wendover. Lucy Raven returned to work on a film project. William Lamson returned to build Mineralogy, an elaborate installation on display indefinitely in an old armaments building. 
 

5167 William Lamson’s Mineralogy exhibit, a long-term dioramic salinification installation in the Partially-Missing Building on the old airbase at Wendover. CLUI photo

Other Wendover recidivists and regulars came to help out at the work party, including Wendy Wischer, John Mack, Eric Potter, Phil Weil, Jed Lackritz, Dan Torop, Jenny Lyon, Sara Velas, Oswaldo Gonzalez, John Hogan, Hikmet Loe, Aurora Tang and Matthew Coolidge. Thanks to all of you for your help!
 
Land Arts of the American West, based out of Texas Tech in Lubbock, came for a week during their season in the field, as they do every year. This year the class covered more than 5,500 miles during their semester-long classroom in the landscape, camping out 48 nights in expert expeditionary style, led by Chris Taylor.
 
5160 Endless hallway: The CLUI Exhibit Hall, next to the Orientation Building, has many rooms of projects done by researchers and interpreters at Wendover over the years. CLUI photo
Other classes and groups visited this year, including from the University of Toronto, Brigham Young University, Westminster College, University of Utah, Otis College of Art and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Dia Art Foundation, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Others came on their own and signed the guest book, or not. 
 
5161 A young woman known only as Amanda, seen here heading west on the eastbound lane of Interstate 80 near the Aragonite Exit, stopped in to rest at CLUI Wendover for a day on her eight month solo walk across the country from coast to coast. CLUI photo
Expeditions on the Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform (GSLEP) continued in 2017. Visitors and travelers included Monty Paret from the University of Utah, Hajoe Moderegger and Franziska Lamprecht from eteam, Emily Rabinowitz and Jose Villanueva from Land Arts, and Alex Robinson from the University of Southern California, along with members of the CLUI, and GSLEP program managers Steve Badgett and Chris Taylor.
 
The craft was stationed at Lakeside, next to the Lucin Cutoff causeway, in a safe harbor of sorts, as the winds and waves on the lake can be dramatic, challenging anchorages and overwhelming the electric propulsion systems of the platform. 
 
This position, on the north side of the cutoff, enabled travel on the north arm of the lake, known as Gunnison Bay. Over the course of the season, starting in May, the solar-powered floating habitat was able to visit all the points of interest around the north arm, including Little Valley Harbor and the new breach in the cutoff. 
 
5162 The GSLEP on the north arm of the lake. CLUI photo
 
5163 Group on board the GSLEP heading towards the new breach in the causeway. CLUI photo
Excerpt from Field Report from GSLEP experientialist Alex Robinson, May 2017:
… After two days of heavy winds and deep swells kept us in our original harbor, at Lakeside, next to the friendly waves and toots of passing freight trains, we headed north. Scouting in the Zodiac and the day’s glassy pink waters gave us confidence to travel past Behrens Trench spit, into perhaps the most remote portion of Gunnison Bay…We cruised steadily under solar power past the superlative Gunnison Island and north of Spiral Jetty and Rozel Point, both submerged deep under the eastern horizon. We navigated along the shallow western littoral zone, floating just above the difficult-to-anchor-in salt pan, in waters soupy with brine shrimp and pink cyanobacteria. Around the bird refuge of Gunnison, bobbing seagulls spread out evenly like desert sagebrush, sparsely carpeting the lake for miles. As we cruised along—propelled by the sun—islands, mountain ranges, trestles, and dredge materials would slowly appear and disappear above and below the horizon. Beyond the angled constructions of the ingenious aluminum craft, there were no corners, only the curvature of the earth, made tangible and intimate by open distances. Standing up from the pilot’s low berth would reveal a new landmass—maybe an edge to a previously infinite distance. Around the time the sun would mercilessly stare us in the face, we would stop, clinging with anchors to some patch of soft mud and sand left by the lake’s regular human industry. The sunsets over glassy waters were stunning. Ecstatic. The sun’s shadow would subtly arc, reflected in waters that would later collect the night’s stars. At night our hammocks would violently rock and flap in the winds, as we slept… ♦