Category Archives: Earth

Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

Preserving the Art of Earth - Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”Earth was the artist’s first canvas. Before paint supplies and art tools, individuals used natural settings as means to document history and express cultural identity.

After tools to create paintings, sculptures, and sketches came into use, some artists – like the late Robert Smithson – still chose to create massive artistic marvels using natural elements. Earthwork, as it is commonly known, consists of large scale artwork that is set in nature and composed of the elements.

The Spiral Jetty, located at Rozel Point in Great Salt Lake, Utah is the defining earthwork of Smithson. In 1970, he used “mud, precipitated salt crystals, and rocks” to create a 1,500 foot long, 15 foot wide water coil.

Any challenges the artist was confronted with when creating the Spiral Jetty may be comparable to the work that is going into conserving the art. As nature continues to recreate this work of art, the importance of documenting this earthwork is ever more important.

How Is The Spiral Jetty Being Preserved?

Both nature and man have made quite the impact on the Spiral Jetty. In recent years, because of drought, the earthwork has emerged from its safe home underwater. Smithson was said to have been, “fascinated by the concept of entropy…” and may have even “…welcomed this transformation.” However, less appealing are the man made changes that occur when visitors, who have access to the site, walk away with rock souvenirs.

Today, the Dia Center for the Arts, which acquired the Spiral Jetty from the Robert Smithson Estate in 1999, is partnering up with the Getty Conservation Institute to document the earthwork regularly. Only time will tell if there will need to be conservation efforts to keep the Spiral Jetty constructed in the way Smithson intended it.

The preservation efforts are inexpensive and consist of a disposable latex weather balloon, which monitors the vast creation from above. The images, captured with a Canon point and shoot camera, help conservationists see how the work of art is changing over the years. These photographs will be useful in continuing to weigh options as to how they may best preserve, and possibly restore the piece.

Why Is It Important To Preserve Earthwork?

As nature and people threaten the structure, there may come a day when portions of Smithson’s Spiral Jetty needs to be rebuilt. Though many of the existing earthworks were created to withstand the elements, they may need to be touched up and monitored to ensure they last for years to come.

For the sake of preservation, it is important to be mindful of how both art and nature impacts the world around us. One reason why earthwork captivates us is because these pieces are subject to the elements. This means they are always changing and reshaping, to create a unique type of art. When merging man’s abilities with the natural world, it is important to maintain man’s hard work and nature’s creativity.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/arts/design/18spiral.html?_r=1&

http://www.robertsmithson.com/earthworks/spiral_jetty.htm

http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/videos/focus/spiral_jetty.html

Read more Segmation blog posts about art beyond the canvas:

Travel Like an Artist

The Body as a Canvas

The Natural Side of Art

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Where Urban Life Meets Natural Art

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The image above may look like a gardening project gone wrong, or a lot of effort to set up a unique photograph. However, neither of these options can explain the image.

Art can take on many forms and serve many purposes. The photograph above showcases the collaboration of art and nature. It serves as a medium for discussing the importance of growing awareness for both nature and art in urban areas.

This photograph is just a tiny piece of a larger project. The French village of Jaujae celebrated the 10th year of its Arts and Nature Trail program by spreading 1,400 feet of living turf throughout the community.

In this urban city there is little room for art or nature. This extensive stretch of turf weaves its way throughout the city; up stairs, around corners and down streets calling one and all to experience both nature and art.

The 3.5 tons of natural, living turf grass is meant to bring both art and nature into an urban area that would otherwise be overwhelmed by its stone structures. The goal is to provide urban dwellers with a link to all things artistic and shine light on the beauty of the natural world. This winding band of grass serves as a connection for the individuals of Jaujae with the place where art and nature meet.

This endeavor forces individuals to take a moment away from their everyday activities and appreciate that which is creative. It urges the public to support both the arts and projects that bring the natural world into the city. This creative, artistic idea definitely calls for attention and support in a way that a simple garden never could.  It literally attempts to use art to connect man with the environment.

The grass path that runs throughout the city is only a temporary installation. However, it will be interesting to see how this artistic effort works to inspire not only the people of Jaujae, but also others who wish to discover artistic ways of bringing communities together through nature.

Image made available by Web Urbanist – Local Designs to Global Destinations

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On Cloud Nine www.segmation.com

Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC released (see more details here)

Clouds are visible masses of water droplets which are suspended over in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds are classified in various groups depending on their altitude, structural appearance, and coloration. Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Nimbostratus, Cumulonimbus, and Cumulus are the most common names given. Their coloration gives clues onto what they contain due to light scattering effects of water drops and ice crystals and the direction of the light hitting the clouds. Our set of cloud patterns will put you on Cloud Nine. We have many representations of clouds of various types photographed against cactuses, birds, bridges, shades, water, and grass fields. Several of the patterns are based on clouds images which have been artistically enhanced to give them a different yet, fun, and colorful appearance.

This set contains 23 paintable patterns.

On Cloud Nine

Have fun and relax with beautiful online painting art. So fun and easy to use with no mess but just a mouse!

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