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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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Contemporary Art and the Nature of Site

Contemporary Art and the Nature of Site

(p.25) One Contemporary Art and the Nature of Site
The Ethics of Earth Art

Amanda Boetzkes

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents an overview of the evolution of earth art. It recalls works created during the 1960s and 1970s which started to redirect art toward an ecological consciousness, such as Shift by Richard Serra and Ocean Landmark by Betty Beaumont. It discusses art that is normally associated with ecology, namely, site restoration and activist art, and traces their roots in postminimalist sculpture, process art, performance art, and conceptual art. It explains how these precedents, in their decided rejection of modernist ideals and institutions, paved the way for an ecological orientation in artistic practice. It also challenges any erroneous presumptions that earth art is only confined to sculpture in the land or that these early practices have no connection to current environmental concerns.

Keywords:   earth art, ecological consciousness, site restoration, activist art, postminimalist structure, process art, conceptual art, Shift, Richard Serra

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