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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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At the Limit of Form

At the Limit of Form

(p.xii) (p.1) Introduction At the Limit of Form
The Ethics of Earth Art

Amanda Boetzkes

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter presents an outline of the earth art movement, and highlights the role of art in critiquing the ways that humans frame nature through representation as well as through science and technology. It briefly analyzes the Neukom Vivarium which mobilizes the double bind of ecological ethics at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It describes how the aesthetic and ethical concerns of the earthly earthworks of the late 1960s have come to fruition in the multimedia strategies in contemporary earth art practices. It enumerates two stances contemporary art has brought toward earth: the instrumental view, which seeks to master the planet through, and exclusivity human-centered knowledge of it; and the romantic view, which argues that art can return to a state of unencumbered continuity with nature. It also considers the notions of various artists regarding the place of earth art in relation to the discourse of site-specificity.

Keywords:   earth art movement, nature, contemporary art, site-specificity, Neukom Vivarium, Mark Dion

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