Link - article by M. Christian and Avi Abrams

      "Man's Reaction To His Earth" - The Grandest and the Most Sublime Land

      Go to a museum and look at the paintings, go to a concert and listen to
      the music... but look out the window - and see art? Often called "Earth
      Works", or "Land Art" these not-too-subtle masterpieces
      use the landscape itself, sometimes on a scale that, to appreciate
      it, means stepping far away from it: very far away.

      (left: land art by Andrew Rogers,
        via; right: Uysal Mehmet Ali in Parc de Chaudfontaine, Belgium,

      Travel to Catron County, New Mexico, for instance and you'll see a work
      that is immediately, and quite literally, striking. Created by Walter De
      Maria, The Lightning Field is 400 steel poles set in a grid
      covering one mile by one mile portion of desert land. 
      The Lightning Field is impressive, a haunting visa of steel spears against the dramatic
      landscape of the Southwest, but what gives it that literal striking beauty
      is the most beautiful sight in the desert: lightning.

      (images credit: John Cliett, Dia Art Foundation, via

      Given the right set of circumstances, nature itself paints in brilliant
      illuminations of forked electricity, shaped and sculpted by De Maria's
      metal rods. Not that far away, in Rozel Point, Utah, you'll see an
      installation that (because of the on-again, off-again nature of its media)
      actually vanished for close than 30 years. Created by Robert Smithson
      using natural rock, Spiral Jetty is exactly that: a coiling
      formation of stone that, when it was first created in 1970, was harshly
      black but as it aged its become more and more pink and white because of
      its home in the Great Salt Lake. As with The Lightning Field, Spiral Jetty
      works with the earth itself, not just in color only, but also in appearing
      and disappearing: when the water rose in the lake,
      Spiral Jetty disappeared, only to reappear again recently:

      (images credit: SpiralJetty,
        KAP Cris/Cris Benton,
        Fred Holley)

      While not as large in scale as Smithson or De Maria, there's an artist
      whose work has been known to bring tears to even the most jaded of eyes.
      Andy Goldsworthy works with nature, and nothing else, to create
      some truly unique, and absolutely beautiful, art. No glue, no supports, no
      paint ... nothing but grass, stone, ice, and the earth:

      (images credit:
        Andy Goldsworthy, via 1,

      The art of Jim Denevan is so large, so staggering, that to
      appreciate it you have to step away from it all, rising above the earth
      itself. (Read our previous article about his
      Largest Human-Made Art on Earth):


      At over nine miles across, Denevan's creation in the Black Rock Desert of
      Nevada is the one for the record books ... that is, until Denevan or
      another artist like him goes for something even larger. His current
      project consists of creating huge circles on the frozen surface of Lake
      Baikal, Siberia (more

      (images credit: Jim Denevan,

      Another earth artist is Michael Heizer's work-in-progress called
      City, in Nevada. Almost as big as a real city at one and a quarter
      miles long, Heizer's creation is not built from steel and cement, however,
      but from stone and other natural materials (more

      "As long as you're going to make a sculpture, why not make one that
        competes with a 747, or the Empire State Building, or the Golden Gate
      --Michael Heizer

      (images credit:
        Michael Heizer)

      James Turrell also uses the earth itself for his work but unlike some
      other environmental artists he uses not just the ground but also the sky
      above. His Roden Crater, which is as immense as Denevan's
      creations, is an ongoing work that will eventually transform a natural
      crater in Flagstaff, Arizona, into an open air observatory where the earth
      will provide a naturally framed view of the sky above.

      (images via Steve Shoffner,

      Still hungry for some fascinating and unexpected land art installations?
      Sylvian Meyer
      takes a forest and populates it with impossible curves and spirals (even
      spiders!) to convey the wonder of the environment:

      (images credit:
        Sylvian Meyer)

      Unintentional land art - irrigation patterns for Kufra growing in Sahara,

      (images via 1,

      Not too subtle hint about pollution: the sinister "Green Cloud"
      Nuage Vent installation by HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiki Hansen) -
      winner of the 2008 Ars Electronica Golden Nica award):


      From Utterly Huge to Detailed Miniature

      Mini-environments by
      Michael Samuels
      are somewhat endearing and cute, but don't let it fool you. He lets his
      pet hamsters to invade the sets when he gets tired of them, generating an
      interesting Pet-Zilla effect (er... just kidding):

      (images by
        Michael Samuels,

      Jack Clifton, author of The Eye of the Artist, said, "Man's reaction to
      his earth expressed by means of a medium is ART." In the case of these
      wonderful artists, the ground beneath our feet and the sky above our heads
      becomes art, an artist's response to his earth, a celebration of the world
      set all around us. 
      And in the absence of intentional artists, the Nature
      itself is making art and embellishing architecture - check out these
      Victorian ornaments (something called a
      snow roller):

      (image via)



Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

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Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Art Deco
Imperial Dreams: Art Deco Update

Wings, Gears, & Glamorous Ladies

1970s SciFi
DRB Pics-of-the-Day

Grand Space Adventure 1970s Art

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

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Blogger Unknown said...

Great post. Check out Opus 40 if you're not aware of it.



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