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The Ethics of Earth Art$
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Amanda Boetzkes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665884

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665884.001.0001

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Spiral Jetty: Allegory and the Recovery of the Elemental

Spiral Jetty: Allegory and the Recovery of the Elemental

Chapter:
(p.64) (p.65) Two Spiral Jetty: Allegory and the Recovery of the Elemental
Source:
The Ethics of Earth Art
Author(s):

Amanda Boetzkes

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665884.003.0003

This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the Spiral Jetty of Robert Smithson, an iconic earthwork made up of black basalt rock and soil. It discusses several reasons why the artwork is a turning point in the development of earth art, such as the establishment of the possibility of a complex synthesis of art and earth, and showing how textual forms could be affected by and were ultimately receptive to elementals leading to the earth to bear on the discursive malleability of the artwork. It explores the artwork’s form of mixed media, being a sculpture, an essay, and a film. It examines Smithson’s encapsulation of the coexistence of the discursive and material spheres of art as they surge up within one another.

Keywords:   Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson, black basalt rock, soil, earth art, mixed media, discursive malleability earthwork

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