The Ethics of Earth Art
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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List of Illustrations
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ix This book is dedicated to Aron Vinegar, with heartfelt thanks. I am grateful for your insights, and for our many spirited conversations, which have enriched these pages. Special thanks go to Christine Ross, for her perceptive recommendations and advice. ...
Introduction: At the Limit of Form
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At the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington, a giant hemlock tree lies entombed in an eighty-foot-long greenhouse. Having fallen over a ravine in a protected watershed area not far from the city, the tree was recovered by the contemporary American artist Mark Dion and installed in a conservatory ...
1. Contemporary Art and the Nature of Site
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25 Though the systematized exploitation of natural resources now seems unstoppable, there has been no lack of vision on the part of artists of how to reinvent our relationship to the environment. A plethora of strategies have surfaced with a view to, in Robert Smithson’s now-famous phrase, “mediating between the ecologist and the industrialist.”1 ...
2. Spiral Jetty: Allegory and the Recovery of the Elemental
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In two essays published in October in 1979 and 1980, the art historian Craig Owens developed a theory of the merging of language and visual art read through the concept of allegory.1 An allegorical impulse, in Owens’s view, explained the decentering characteristics of early earthworks and site-specific projects, ...
3. Ecotechnology and the Receptive Surface
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Spiral Jetty does not merely use the earth as a medium of architectonic shaping; that is to say, it is not just a formed space in the land that can be occupied by the spectator. Rather, through textual modes of presenting the site, it reconfigures the dialectic between sites and nonsites (external nature and representation) ...
4. The Body as Limit
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The artworks I discussed in chapter 3 take two complementary approaches to making the earth visible: first, they confront the viewer with elemental phenomena, and second, in troubling the viewer’s mode of encounter, they posit the earth as a sensorial excess, thus foregrounding the limits of the perceptual field. ...
Conclusion: Facing the Earth Ethically
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In a 2006 press release, Greenpeace reported on the danger of accumulating plastics, also known as “marine debris,” in the world’s oceans.1 Estimating that over 267 species of animals were being contaminated through the ingestion of plastic waste floating in the water or aggregating on seabeds and shores, ...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2010