May 11th, 2012


lightning field report

walter de maria wrote an article for art forum in 1980 soon after LF was complete. i think it's the only thing he ever wrote about it. it's in a bound book in the cabin. wish i could find it online-- the precepts are below but what was most interesting was all the engineering details. (38,000 pounds of steel for 400 stainless steel rods, 5 years of searching to find the right spot, 5 months of topographic surveying to place the rods, all of them are aligned perfectly at the top (to within 1/25 inch tolerance))

i think a big part of the "art" is just the project itself-- the project management, hiring of contractors, permit wrangling, etc. etc. something in my brain just gets tickled by seeing a huge large scale engineering project come together--- involving project planning on the order of a decade, tons of external consultants, etc-- for no real purpose, other than just because. so Type-A, yet so right brain. i like christo for the same reason.

1. Facts are not the art.

2. Isolation is essential to the art.

3. The sum of the facts does not constitute the work or determine its aesthetics.

4. Part of the essential content is the ratio of people to space — small number of people, large space.

5. The land is not the setting for the work but is a part of the work.

6. Light is as important as lightning.

7. The invisible is the real.

8. Isolation is the essence of land art.

the homestead cabin we stayed in was really perfect. i think it counts as part of the art too. it was built from pieces of old homestead cabins elsewhere. i liked it cos it was comfortable but absolutely functional-- no ornamentation, nothing there that didn't need to be there. it felt like everything was there for a reason, the whole thing just seemed right. like someone had really thought about it. the opposite of those horrible all-wood tahoe cabins where there's a moose head on every surface and everything is ersatz

it's really in the middle of nowhere. like an hour's drive from quemado which is already BFE

i wish the moon hadn't been so full that night cos i bet the milky way would've looked amazing

i want to go back.