Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey and … 3 (September 2000): 544–67; Rebecca Ann Butterfield, “Colonizing the Past: Archaic References and the Archaeological Paradigm in Contemporary American Earth Art” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1998). In January 1970, Ohio’s Kent State University authorized Smithson, then an artist in residence, to dump 20 truckloads of earth around and atop a decaying shed until its center beam cracked. both artists worked with sculpture and various forms of environmental art. entropy can be seen as a kind of metamorphosis. When “Spiral Jetty” resurfaced in the early 2000s, it did so into an entirely different art historical moment, distant enough from its inception to be ripe for rediscovery, reinterpretation, and various forms of nostalgia — a sunken treasure that washed up, covered in crystals. there is constant confusion between man and nature. Entropy, it turns out, makes people uncomfortable. Afterward, Smithson donated the piece to the university, requesting that nothing be altered or removed from the work. In Rutherford, William Carlos Williams was Smithson’s pediatrician. 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 (1938-73) came of age in the 1960s when a flurry of knotty movements, ideas and adherences were gaining purchase – minimalism, land art, psychogeography, site-specific art, video art and more. Entropy is an idea that hasn’t worn out. Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Today, drought and water diversion have caused the lake’s shore to recede past the outermost edge of “Spiral Jetty,” and lower salinity in the north arm of the lake makes for water that’s still strangely pinkish but rarely the deep red Smithson found there in 1970. “geology has its entropy too, where everything is gradually wearing down.”, “pure science, like pure art tends to view abstraction as independent of nature […] abstraction rules in a void, pretending to be free of time.”. In 1984 the remains were quietly removed by the university. Your email address will not be published. 4:00 A.M. Oy. The month after Smithson finished construction of “Spiral Jetty,” in May of 1970, “Partially Buried Woodshed” was turned into its own kind of icon when, in a tragic turn of fate, the National Guard fired on and killed four student activists at Kent State. Paper: 11 x 18 in. “Spiral Jetty” became almost immediately iconic after Smithson presented the work to the art world through his film and then essay of the same name, and a series of aerial photographs by artist Gianfranco Gorgoni. both artists worked with sculpture and various forms of environmental art. 16 x 20 inches each. It is Smithson’s essay, his film, it is the backdrop of innumerable human moments. Robert Smithson, “Spiral Jetty” (1970), mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks, water, 1,500 feet x 15 feet (Collection of Dia Art Foundation, photograph by Gianfranco Gorgoni, © Holt/Smithson Foundation and Dia Art Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York). Built at the mouth of a terminal basin rich in minerals and nearly devoid of life, ​ Spiral Jetty ​is a testament to Smithson’s fascination with entropy. “if we want a bigger and better car we are going to have bigger and better waste productions”, illustrates the coupling of waste and enjoyment in society. Holt and Smithson developed innovative ways of exploring our relationship with the planet, expanding the limits of artistic practice. "Landscape Today: The Utopian Horizon; History and Entropy; Ecological Views": Series of three lectures given in conjunction with Elusive Paradise exhibition, National Gallery of Canada, February/March 2001. the energy crisis is form of entropy. ),A\lm,..m 111:1 ~ntod WOO". a copy of my earlier research re: robert smithson’s work with entropy. Early on, people didn’t often visit the jetty. At the same time, “Spiral Jetty” is also a Gorgoni aerial photo of itself in 1970 surrounded by pink and blue water. “‘Spiral Jetty’ is a complicated work,” says Le Feuvre. While still attending high school in Clifton, New Jersey, during the mid 1950s, he attended art classes on the side in New York City. Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty turns 50 this month. Made with 6650 tons of black basalt rock and earth, the jetty would stretch 1500 feet straight out into the lake, then curl around itself, an elegant fiddlehead of mud, salt crystals, rocks, and water. smithson describes entropy as an irreversible condition that is moving towards a gradual equilibrium between decay/renewal or chaos/order. For two years, he was enrolled at The Art Students League in New York and, for a briefer period, at The Brooklyn Museum School. Smithson’s pencil drawing Shed with Asphalt (1970–71; fig. Much of Smithson's output was shaped by his interest in the concept of entropy, the second law of thermodynamics that predicts the eventual exhaustion and collapse of any given system. non-renewable fuels). And it’s the sum of the many things, and it’s also not the many things… combined.” Perhaps that’s what it is to be an icon. 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This year, in January, was also the 50th anniversary of another of the artist’s earthworks, “Partially Buried Woodshed.” Both works have changed dramatically since 1970 as they’ve been transformed by nature, culture, and time — which is what Smithson, who was captivated by entropy, wanted them to do. after humanity inflicts mass destruction on the earth, it finds equilibrium by becoming so unstable and unable to be contained that it causes the mass destruction of humanity. It was central to the thinking and writing of Robert Smithson in the mid-’60s, and the psychologist and theorist Rudolf Arnheim wrote about the concept in his canonical 1971 essay on disorder and order. “Entropy, it turns out, makes people uncomfortable.” What a great insight for our present moment. smithson’s work was heavily influenced by the thermodynamic concept of entropy, which has been applied to several different areas outside of science, particularly economics. Solution to gre argument analysis essays from greguidecom increase you can practice sample essays or even go through the solved essays you can get. Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist known for sculpture and land art who often used drawing and photography in relation to the spatial arts. renewable energy), but the entropic process has already been set into motion. This view, like that which has obsessed so many artists of the modern generation, is essentially existentialist in nature. He was invested in a definition of art that was timebound and precarious, that would not claim monumental status, rather … of Robert Smithson’s Sight –Non Sight. Although a great deal has been written about it, strangely, there is no “the reclamation laws really don’t deal with specific sites, they deal with a general dream or an ideal world long gone. Robert Smithson, (born Jan. 2, 1938, Passaic, N.J., U.S.—died July 20, 1973, Amarillo, Texas), American sculptor and writer associated with the Land Art movement. These were the rudimentary components And that’s what Smithson was interested in, this inevitable rise into decline.”, Robert Smithson, “Partially Buried Woodshed” (1970), woodshed and 20 truckloads of earth (© Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York). there is no real distinction between good and bad. A Few Notes on Entropy: Robert Smithson's "Glue Pour" @ Abington. Smithson’s interest in entropy has been covered in Jennifer L. Roberts, “Landscapes of Indifference: Robert Smithson and John Lloyd Stephens in Yucatan,” Art Bulletin 82, no. His interest in geology and mineralogy confirmed this law to him, since in rocks and rubble he saw evidence of how the earth slows and cools. His initial interests were in drawing and painting, which he studied at the Art Students League art school in New York. At the time, high salinity levels and colorful salt-loving microbes gave the water an otherworldly red hue. The work of Robert Smithson comes tightly wrapped in some ­unforgiving artistic concepts. “strip mining actually does sort of suggest lewd sex acts, so it seems immoral from that point. sky proposes that it’s a continual process in which elements undergoing change, but in an evolutionary sense. Smithson wasn’t interested in creating art that was picturesque, “but in his essay about ‘Spiral Jetty’,” says Hikmet Sidney Loe, author of The Spiral Jetty Encyclo, “it is about the sublime. While he is most recognized for his earthworks, Smithson also created a large body of work that explored a variety of themes dealing with the post-industrial landscape, entropy, and paradox. "Garbage and Entropy: The Ruined City in the Work of Robert Smithson and Mierle Laderman Ukeles," Plugin Gallery, Winnipeg, May 2001. However, it is Smithson's unique vision of modern existence that forms the substance of, and interest in, his work. an engineering endeavour intended to prevent flood damage ended up submerging entire cities and nothing could prevent much more severe flood that resulted. Despite its unofficial role as a  memorial and also its international art world recognition, there were many who considered it a campus eyesore. “when they made up the laws for mining reclamation they wanted to put back the mines the way they were before they mined them” – in other words, there was an attempt to reverse entropy. ‘spiral jetty’ 1970, robert smithson. Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist who used photography in relation to sculpture and land art. Currently the jetty is surrounded by salt flats with Great Salt Lake lapping at its outer edge. SELECTED WRITINGS BY ROBERT SMITHSON Entropy And The New Monuments On rising to my feet, and peering across the green glow of the Desert, I perceived that the monument against which I had slept was but one of thousands. Paintings from 1959 to 1962 explored "mythical religious archetypes" and were also based on Dante's Divine Comedysuch as the paint… (27.9 x 45.7 cm) Frame: 19 1/8 x 25 1/2 x 1 5/8 in. is man not a part of nature?”, sky – “there is definitely some sort of perverse fascination attached to the process of inevitable and impending destruction that will occur either in your own environment or be observed vicariously because people persist in living at the bases of volcanos, on earthquake zones […], on top of sinking landscapes such as venice … [which] will eventually fall into the sea.”. it’s like a kind of sexual assault on mother earth.”, smithson explains that niagra falls looks like an open pit quarry – the cliffs around it suggest excavation and mining but it’s just the effect of nature. writer? I use to pick up odd jobs in galleries. It’s about the fear, and the awe, and the terror that can be seen within a landscape. More by Amie Tullius. “is man a part of nature? I970.and>> click to continue Brief essays Suggested essay topics and project ideas for a thousand splendid suns part of a detailed lesson plan by bookragscom. Also, after about two years, it was swallowed up by the lake, where it stayed mostly submerged for the better part of the next three decades. Distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York). Created during a brief period from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Smithson’s provocative works spanned a variety of sites beyond the museum and gallery, from magazine pages to abandoned industrial and natural wastelands. fine artist? “It’s many things. Robert Smithson focused his short but influential career on a reconsideration of the nature of sculpture—or, rather, of sculpture in relation to nature. instead, the river flooded into the canal, overflowing it completely so that it fed back and created a thirty mile lake. 2) has no direct correlation to a specific earthwork, yet it relates to other projects in his oeuvre and again illustrates how the artist used various mediums to synthesize the themes that interested him, including entropy and its effects on both natural and man-made elements. 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. “a kind of domino effect where one mistake begets another mistake, yet there mistakes are all curiously exciting”, sky brings another example of human control inevitably being thwarted, describing buildings where “an attempt was made at ‘total control'”, with even the curtains were a uniform specific design to coordinate with the building facade. MY notes tell me I earn earned $30.00 and rock salt was selling for $22.00 a ton. Great shame Smithson died so young. Robert Smithson’s Experiments in Entropy Revisiting Smithson’s earthworks “Spiral Jetty” and “Partially Buried Woodshed,” which have dramatically changed 50 years later. smithson’s critique of mining reclamation directly reflects virgil’s work with the pastoral – an urban society fantasising about returning to a lost golden age, an arcadia, when that place cannot be brought back or returned to. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Smithson’s early artwork reflected his primary focus on painting the human body, and science fiction and fantasy themes. the following points are the most significant and relevant points i have taken from ‘entropy made visible’ (1973), an interview between robert smithson and alison sky. Robert Smithson, “Partially Buried Woodshed” (1970), woodshed and twenty truckloads of earth (photograph by Nancy Holt c. 1980s, © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York). The artwork is noted as one of Smithson’s best. Holt/Smithson Foundation exists to continue the creative and investigative spirit of the artists Nancy Holt (1938-2014) and Robert Smithson (1938-73). entropy made visible/alison sky (1973) 301 robert smithson on duchamp / moira roth (1973) 310. unpublished writings poems (1959-1961) from the temptations 315 from the walls of dis 316 from the city 317 to the eye of blood 318 the lamentations of the paroxysmal artist 3 19 prose sky’s comment prompts the image of natural destruction wiping out humanity and its traces from the earth, like a kind of reclamation of the world from nature itself. here we have to accept the entropic situation and more or less learn how to reincorporate these things that seem ugly.”. Required fields are marked *. it came about after an attempt to reroute the colorado river to keep it from flooding, by illegally building a canal in mexico. And people wanted to go see. Robert Smithson is most well known for his monumental earthwork Spiral Jetty, 1970, located in the Great Salt Lake, in Utah. A pivotal figure in the evolution of post-war sculpture, Robert Smithson created iconic Land art that radically changed prevailing ideas about the making and viewing of art. Robert Smithson was born in New Jersey, United States on 2 January 1938. Courtesy of Christos Dikeakos Vancouver, BC. sky mentions that she often works alongside architects and smithson relates this idea to engineering mistakes, specifically the salton sea in california. RONJ\~D 1l~J\D~N, c'\'II'iI'~ 196. Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all. “But of course,” says Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of the Holt/Smithson Foundation, “the moment the central beam breaks, the whole of the structure is going to gradually, gradually fall apart. His large-scale sculptures, called Earthworks, engaged directly with nature and were created by moving … He primarily identified as a painter during this time, and his early exhibited artworks had a wide range of influences, including science fiction, Catholic art and Pop art. Robert Smithson’s interests in travel, cartography, geology, architectural ruins, prehistory, philosophy, science-fiction, popular culture, and language spiral through his work. 1. the earth is the closed system in which there are a certain amount of resources (e.g. The Legacy of a Pioneering Land Art Intervention in Utah. His monumental earthen sculptures such as Spiral Jetty (1970), were inspired by the Minimalist work of his contemporaries, as well as geology, science fiction, and the concept of entropy. Robert Smithson was a seminal American artist and writer known for pioneering the Land Art movement. Robert Smithson expressed a profound interest in the arts from an early age. For over fifty years his work and ideas have influenced artists and thinkers, building the ground from which contemporary art has grown. Now if only the Whitney could return the island's earth and trees to northern New Jersey, in true homage to Robert Smithson's origins and to entropy. it’s an attempt to recover a frontier or a wilderness that no longer exists. Its precarious location lends itself to the structure’s inevitable disintegration, yet its impressive size and deliberate shape command the surrounding landscape. It was perceived to be in the remote “middle of nowhere” far from the center of the art world — New York City. (48.6 x 64.8 x 4 cm) $ 45,000. It is completely encrusted in white crystals, it is barely visible under the water, its black rocks sinking into the expanse of salt and time, it is growing, diminishing, endlessly documented and continually changing. though the science community seems to disapprove of this liberal application of the term entropy, and often criticises the overtly simplified and sometimes incorrect definitions of the term, i will continue to use the term in relation to smithson and his intended meaning. idk a creative diary, a copy of my earlier research re: robert smithson’s work with entropy. I’m immediately beset by the eternal morning conflict: ten more minutes of sleep vs. the rush of adrenaline that wants to start the adventures that await. As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. “ironically the white curtains so carefully controlled have since faded to different tones of white so the process occurred anyway.”. there is an equation between pleasure and waste – while the opposite of waste may be luxury, both tend to be useless. Photograph of Robert Smithson's Glue Pour 1970, by Christos Dikeakos. Just a few months later — three years before he died in a plane crash at age 35 — Smithson created the “Spiral Jetty” at Rozel Point on Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Body, and website in this browser for the next time I comment has been. Fantasy themes good and bad Nancy Holt ( 1938-2014 ) and robert Smithson ’ s early reflected... 1938-2014 ) and robert Smithson on entropy: robert Smithson ’ s pediatrician one. 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