why was the spiral jetty made

“Spiral Jetty” has continued to have an unusual life since it reappeared in the 1990s. But locally, there was no traction. A further irony—with plans for nearby oil-drilling upsetting artists, eco-activists and community people, preserving the unnatural jetty form as an icon of Earth art has become a wedge against extracting this natural earth product from the ground. In 1972, Smithson made a film about the Jetty, also titled “Spiral Jetty,” rife with historical images intended to situate the Spiral Jetty in a larger scope of historical events. “I like to think of (‘Spiral Jetty’) as a point of embarkation for looking at the region, and thinking of it not as an end itself — not a dead end as you walk around the spiral,” he continued. It is 1500 feet in length and is about 15 feet wide made from sand, dirt and basalt rock. “Every time we as Utahns go and visit this, it gains meaning and significance,” she said. It was covered by the water only two years after completion. To create the 457 metre long spiral, Smithson bulldozed material from the shore into the lake. As “Spiral Jetty” remained underwater for 20-plus years, its legend grew — thanks in part to separate written and video pieces about the work, which Smithson also created. The Spiral Jetty was created back in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in 1970 put the modern Earth-art movement in high relief. When Smithson made the work, what he was doing was pretty simple, conceptually speaking: he took a piece of Utah, and made it art. Spiral Jetty is not an easy place to find.This renowned Land Art sculpture is located in Rozel Point, at the Great Salt Lake. Changeable, perhaps even erasable, by time, how permanent should Earth art be? He knew a piece like “Spiral Jetty” wouldn’t stay pristine. UMFA is also presenting aerial “Spiral Jetty” photography by Italian photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, and displaying Smithson’s 1968 piece “Nonsite, Site Uncertain.” Folks who have their own “Spiral Jetty” memories are encouraged to submit them via the UMFA website. But that original contrast between the spiral’s black rocks and the wine-colored water has softened as time has encrusted the jetty with salts. This further separates Smithson’s jetty from the natural world. Its construction, Kivland said, was an enormous feat. Smithson was also fascinated by entropy — a concept about decay that gained increased prominence during the middle part of the 20th century. However, 1,500 ft tall counterclockwise spiral can only be seen when the water level is lower than 4,197 ft. And two recent events in Los Angeles prompt me to make such an assessment: the installation of Michael Heizer’s rock, Levitating Mass, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a complementary retrospective, Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). All Rights Reserved, The strange history of Utah’s ‘Spiral Jetty,’ which just turned 50, an explosion rising into a fiery prominence. While the casual audience might think of “Spiral Jetty” as just the sculpture, the art world holds these accompanying video and written pieces in high esteem. Paranthropus boisei, a little-known member of the... © 2020 Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. Hennessey Youngman made the Spiral Jetty. Because (Smithson and others) came in, they did the work, they had their own entourage of international people who came in and looked at it. You can’t get that experience from watching the film. Three years after “Spiral Jetty” was completed, Smithson died in a plane crash while surveying sites for another land art piece, “Amarillo Ramp,” in Texas. Books • Art historian Hikmet Sidney Loe chronicles the many influences on … To celebrate the piece’s 50th anniversary, there are numerous events and experiences planned. SALT LAKE CITY — The New York Times called it “the most famous work of American art that almost nobody has ever seen in the flesh.” The artist who designed it said it was “the edge of the sun, a boiling curve, an explosion rising into a fiery prominence.” And the woman who financed it said it was “very primal, almost a kind of Luciferian sort of art. Built during a drought by Robert Smithson, once the water levels returned to normal the spiral was then submerged for three decades, reemerging during a drought in 2004. (Indeed, right now, it’s under water.) The Spiral Jetty is the epitome of Land Art, and is located on the north end of the Great Salt Lake. It’s a strange piece of art, with an equally strange history that continues to evolve. Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the central work of the American sculptor Robert Smithson. It’s a minimalist flat form imposed on the lake, visible when the level’s low—a useless berm, a raised driveway, a widget on a stalk. QUESTION 1 1. Spiral Jetty is on the northeast shore of the Great Salt Lake, in the U.S. state of Utah. In this photo from 2002, the Spiral Jetty, a piece of art built in the 1970's along the shore of the Great Salt Lake is more visible recently due to low water levels. However, a question arises these days about how environmentally aware and conscientious are land- or Earth artists? Spiral Jetty is state artwork of Utah The spiral is a universal image Spiral Jetty made with dump trucks and bulldozers Inspired by the Great Serpent mound in Ohio. She remained closely involved with her husband’s work until her own death in 2014. Scientists also regularly visit, because it’s one of the few places they can easily access the Great Salt Lake. “That’s the interesting thing about land art, is that its meaning changes as the world changes around it,” Coolidge said. Until Loe’s interview with Phillips in 1996, he hadn’t publicly spoken about his work. Made of black basalt rocks and earth gathered from the site, Spiral Jetty is a 15-foot-wide coil that stretches more than 1,500 feet into the lake. “We’ve evolved to think of that work, and other works of land art, as gateways to a heightened awareness about where you are.”. “But there is no next time, because then Smithson dies in this plane crash,” Loe said. It was above water from 1993-1996, then submerged again from 1996-2002. Using rudimentary engineering, Smithson traced out the spiral with flags and hired a reluctant construction company to fill it in with local soil and black basalt rock. It would decay and change, just as its surroundings would decay and change. The great reveal. In 1971, for one of a growing number of outdoor projects, he took a 20-year lease on 10 acres (4 hectares) of lakefront land at the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and, using hired contractors, he made a huge spiral extending 1,500 feet (460 metres) into the lake. As “Spiral Jetty” remained underwater for 20-plus years, its legend grew — thanks in part to separate written and video pieces about the work, which Smithson also created. Additionally, the Dia Art Foundation recently released the essay collection “Artists on Robert Smithson” and will soon be commissioning and releasing new “Spiral Jetty” photography. Smithson support groups want to restore and maintain the jetty, rescuing it from entropy. Constructed in 1970 by artist Robert Smithson, the jetty is situated on the north shore of the lake. We reserve the right to remove comments. Using over six thousand tons of black basalt rocks and earth from the site, Smithson formed a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide that … Phillips declined, saying maybe they’d go the next time Smithson and Holt were in town. The latter quickly usurps the former as I realize today is September 25th, a day I’ve waited for my entire life (metaphorically speaking) and actually bee… Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty. You get that experience with your body when you’re there.”, Copyright © 2020 Deseret News Publishing Company. Preservation collaboration. It took six days. It’s a minimalist flat form imposed on the lake, visible when the level’s low—a useless berm, a raised driveway, a widget on a stalk. Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April, 1970 that is considered to be the central work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Time scale becomes Spiral Jetty’s transcendent theme, an arts theme—the “Vanity of Human Wishes.” Imposed unnatural forms succumb to inexorable natural powers. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty. Smithson constructed the 4,500 457-meter (1,500-foot) jetty out of rock and earth. Spiral Jetty. A loud abrasive buzzing bellows from the nightstand and I raise my head, only to be blinded by the red light emanating from the small—in size, not volume—machine against a backdrop of pure blackness. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Made of basalt rock, this natural sculpture is an inspiring desert icon. And through all these periods till now, the site has become an increasingly popular destination for both locals and out-of-towners. However, on closer inspection of the spiral-building video, it’s as if we are close-up, eye-level witnesses to the formation of something metanatural, an archetypical absolute commanded into shape by a master builder and his crew. According to Loe, Phillips often talked about the last time he saw Smithson. Holt’s art, including the land art piece “Sun Tunnels” in Utah’s Box Elder County, didn’t start getting proper recognition till the end of her life. “Art endures while life is brief,” indeed! Click "American Scientist" to access home page. The Spiral Jetty in Utah is a human-made art installation that juts out into the Great Salt Lake and is only visible when the water levels dwindle. I could tell, just from that experience, it held incredible significance for her.”. Right: Rozel Point. “The magnitude of the effort, I think, was also part of (‘Spiral Jetty’ creator Robert Smithson’s) legacy,” said Kelly Kivland, a curator at the Dia Art Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that oversees care for “Spiral Jetty” and numerous “land art” pieces around the world. Four major figures and four key works help us assess the evolving role of environmental consciousness in Earth art. What’s an Earth artist to do who may have designed his eco-benign work to have just a few seasons under the desert sun? The New York Times claimed it to be one of the most amazing art pieces constructed on earth. The Bulgarian-born artist Christo has involved large numbers of people in the planning and construction of such mammoth alfresco art projects as Valley Curtain (1972; Rifle Gap, Colo.). It was made to give a portrait of the artist and the concept of the work based on his interest in geology, paleontology, astronomy, mythology, and cinema. The environment yields to the fiats of the engineer-geometer, Daedalus in Utah. Spiral Jetty is a work of art that was created at the north end of the Great Salt Lake by Robert Smithson in 1970. The Spiral Jetty, and more: Utah’s most famous artwork — from A to Z. I nitially, it took six days to construct, but Smithson didn’t like the result. Completed in April 1970, Spiral Jetty is an iconic earthwork and Smithson's most renowned piece. According to Smithson’s writings, though, that was kind of the point. His wife, fellow artist Nancy Holt, had worked closely with Smithson on “Spiral Jetty.” Suddenly, Holt’s own art career changed drastically as she oversaw Smithson’s estate, his art and his legacy. In this and the following three issues of American Scientist I explore these works and attempt to answer that question. Shepard Fairey sued Barak Obama for using his original image. He left his mark with a massive earthwork sculpture on the northeast edge of the Great Salt Lake. The Deseret News spoke with a few experts on the enormous landmark. Like much Earth art, Spiral Jetty is a tribute to the daring and imagination of the artist who goes from concept to actual product—the fact that it is done at all is often what constitutes its significance. The salt water out here is usually tinted red or purple due to bacteria and algae that love the extremely salty water. “And you can never get that experience from reading about it. Spiral Jetty is the land…When Smithson made the work, what he was doing was pretty simple, conceptually speaking: he took a piece of Utah, and made it art.” Yet as several groups and foundations add themselves to the list of parties interested in taking over the lease, the future of the jetty remains in limbo. While the casual audience might think of “Spiral Jetty” as just the sculpture, the art world holds these accompanying video and written pieces in high esteem. It was really quite beautiful. Smithson wished to explore that duality in his work. Utah‘s Great Salt Lake contains an extraordinary earthwork sculpture made from crystals, salt, and basalt. They travelled to “Spiral Jetty,” Kivland said, “and (Holt) just grabbed a chair, pulled it all the way to the side of the parking lot, and she just sat there for hours, to ensure that she had her time with him. Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture on the northeastern shores of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, United States.Built in April 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson, the earthwork sculpture, which is also referred to as earth art or environmental art, is a counterclockwise coil constructed of mud, salt crystals and basalt rocks that is 1,500 ft long and 15 ft wide. True False. The gap between the spiral’s curves is kept constant, so it’s an Archimedean spiral, not the logarithmic one usually found in nature, as in a chambered nautilus, a popular symbol of organic growth. 50 years in, ‘Spiral Jetty’ continues to inspire and confound. It was created in 1970, and worth a visit while it's not submerged. For years, it was those pieces that spread the word, doing the work that the submerged physical sculpture could not. Be respectful. At the current MoCA exhibit, we can view Smithson’s own film of the construction process of unloading tons of rock and soil into the simple form; this inscribes the site with the familiar anonymous mark, “I am here!” A man tries to override irregular, messy Nature with a perfect arithmetic figure. As for the initial awareness locally, Loe said “people just didn’t know about it. But in the ’90s, when ‘Spiral Jetty’ becomes visible, that’s when local people start to get excited.”. A piece of art rarely spends some of its 'life' submerged under a lake, but that is precisely what this jetty is, and does. That’s when Loe’s interest started, as well. Check out Betty Krulik's ANTIQUES ROADSHOW appraisal of this 1970 Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty Plans from Salt Lake City, Hour 2! Other articles where Spiral Jetty is discussed: environmental sculpture: …extend a rock and dirt spiral, 1,500 feet (460 m) long, into Great Salt Lake in Utah (Spiral Jetty; 1970). It was this really interesting sort of connection that these two men had with each other, that Bob Phillips always valued.”. Or it may be a form of creative play, now augmented by machines. Robert Smithson was becoming increasingly well known in the New York art world during the 1960s when he conceptualized “Spiral Jetty.” Smithson wanted to make art that wasn’t confined to a normal gallery space — an extension of the “phenomenology” concept that previous artists like Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne had explored. Over time, she said, she’s come to appreciate the Utah community’s unique relationship with it. The most famous jetty is probably Spiral Jetty, a large sculpture created by the artist Robert Smithson in 1970. Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the most important work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. It is made from local black basalt rock, which can turn white in some places, due to extended exposure to the ebbs and flows of the salty water. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. That piece of art is the “Spiral Jetty” — a swirling, 7,000-ton landmark off Rozel Point in northern Utah, built of salt crystal, mud and basalt rocks, that stretches more than 1,500 feet into the Great Salt Lake. Spiral Jetty is a "portrait" of Smithson's monumental earthwork of the same name at Rozel Point in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. “Just the amount of work, and how can that many tons of basalt and earth be pushed and shaped along a shore? As for in-person experiences, UMFA visitors will be able to watch Holt’s 16 mm film “Utah Sequences,” which she shot at the “Spiral Jetty” site in 1970, once the public coronavirus quarantines are lifted. True False 1 points QUESTION 44 1. But the impulse to rescue and preserve it defines it as fine art like nothing else. Interacting with such a huge piece requires a shift in perception, which then shifts how one experiences the entire world that surrounds it. Today, Spiral Jetty is still art and it’s still a part of Utah. People are often surprised to learn that the site is not regulated or monitored — “there’s nothing keeping you from being there at midnight,” Kivland said. Drought and rain govern how this work of art is seen. Dia Foundation. And the piece’s sheer magnitude inspired numerous artists who got sucked into its orbit. See learning resources here. Smithson and Holt visited Phillips’ house sometime in the early 1970s after “Spiral Jetty” was completed, and tried convincing Phillips and his wife to join them at the sculpture site that day. In the early 1960s some artists abandoned the wall, the gallery and the museum for altering the landscape outside. “When you’re with land art, it’s everything, and it’s bodily,” Loe said. Robert Smithson's earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970) is located at Rozel Point peninsula on the northeastern shore of Great Salt Lake. The jetty is surely a quaint monument to simple engineering, and a solid bit of environmental process art with a hefty dash of cool public relations. How can an artist do such a thing these days?” she said. Left: Spiral Jetty. “She was an artist with ambition,” Coolidge said. And for Holt, overseeing it all became a lifelong endeavor. There’s something underworld about this particular spiral.”. Tassie knows people who visit the site on the same date every year. However, little environmental consciousness seems involved in Spiral Jetty. Coiling out into the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Robert Smithson’s ‘Spiral Jetty’ was a groundbreaking work of Land Art in 1970. These supplemental experiences are enriching, but through it all, it’s important to remember one of Smithson’s motivations for creating “Spiral Jetty” in the first place: to get people experiencing art in the natural world. What the rising and falling lake waters don’t destroy, the “lone and level” sands of time surely will. 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