LAND/ART Speakers

Monday, November 2, 5:30pm
Art and Ecology: An International Perspective
Lecture by special guest Tricia Watts
at Dane Smith Hall, room 127 (on the UNM campus, map)
for more info contact the UNM Art Museum, 505-277-2868, www.unm.edu/~artmuse

Tricia Watts has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994. She is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, a nonprofit platform organizing exhibitions and programs in collaboration with artists who address environmental issues in the visual arts. Most recently she traveled to New Delhi, India to participate in the 48*c Public Art Ecology international festival and symposia, and to Taiwan for the Tropic of Cancer Environmental Art Project (2008-09), including community dialogues and symposia addressing debris fields of aquaculture waste as material for Land Art and cultural engagement. For more information visit www.ecoartspace.org

Presented by UNM Art Museum & sponsored by the Department of Art & Art History

Tuesday, November 3, 6pm
Principles: Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer
Lecture by Laura Steward
at SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe

for ticket info: 505-989-1199, www.sitesantafe.org

This is the first in a series of lectures titled The Three P's of Land Art: Principles, Poetics and Politics, as part of SITE Santa Fe's Contemporary Art in Context program aimed at grounding the art of today in art history. Laura Steward is the Phillips Director and Curator of SITE Santa Fe, a non-profit contemporary art space located in Santa Fe known for its international biennial exhibitions, and other contemporary art programming. Appointed to the position in April 2005, she came to SITE from MASS MoCA, one of the world’s largest centers for contemporary visual and performing arts, where she was founding curator. Several of her exhibitions have won prizes from the International Association of Art Critics.

Presented by SITE Santa Fe

Tuesday, November 10, 5:30pm
Land Arts of the American West: Investigations in Place
Lecture by Bill Gilbert
at University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, 505-277-2868
, www.unm.edu/~artmuse

Bill Gilbert holds the Lannan Chair in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico where he directs the place-based, field program entitled Land Arts of the American West. Gilbert has worked with indigenous artists at Acoma Pueblo and Pastaza, Ecuador, curated exhibitions and authored essays for the potters of Juan Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Following the lecture, Gilbert will sign copies of his new book Land Arts of the American West (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009) which he co-authored with Chris Taylor.
For more information on the Land Arts of the American West program visit landarts.unm.edu

Presented by the University of New Mexico Art Museum

Tuesday, November 10, 6pm
Poetics: Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long
Lecture by Joanne Lefrak
at SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe

for ticket info: 505-989-1199, www.sitesantafe.org

This is the second in a series of lectures titled The Three P's of Land Art: Principles, Poetics and Politics, as part of SITE Santa Fe's Contemporary Art in Context program aimed at grounding the art of today in art history. Joanne Lefrak is currently the Education and Catalogue Manager at SITE Santa Fe. She received her BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College and her MFA in Studio Art from Montclair State University. In addition, she studied fine art and art history with Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. She has been awarded full fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and I-Park, residency programs in the arts, as well as a Creative Capital Professional Development grant.

Presented by SITE Santa Fe

Site project for LAND/ART at the Harwood

November 9 – 16, 2009
Installation by Christopher Robbins and John Baca
at Harwood Art Center,1114 7th St. NW, Albuquerque, 505-242-6367, www.harwoodcenter.org

Christopher Robbins and John Baca will prevent a tree from losing its leaves this autumn.

Visit the grounds of the Harwood Art Center during daylight hours as the artists attend to their ambitious project. Barring any extreme conditions, the artists will live under the tree for the duration of their stay.


Ramon Renteria / El Paso Times

The El Paso Times published an article on UNM's Land Art of the America West program on October 26th, 2009. Read the article here.

LAND/ART on inFocus

Tonight at 7 p.m. New Mexico inFocus will feature a discussion of LAND/ART with Lea Rekow, director of the CCA in Santa Fe, Suzanne Sbarge, director of 516 Arts, ABQ, Ryan Henel , Land Arts program alum and Bill Gilbert, Lannan Chair and director of the Land Arts of the American West program at UNM.

If you miss the project the link will be posted soon at :


Monday, November 2, 5:30pm PATRICIA WATTS will present a lecture entitled
Art and Ecology: An International Perspective, at UNM, Dane Smith Hall, room 127 (west of the terminus of Yale Blvd. N just south of Las Lomas NE on the UNM campus)

Tricia Watts has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994. She is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, a nonprofit platform organizing exhibitions and programs in collaboration with artists who address environmental issues in the visual arts. Watts has participated as panelist at numerous conferences and has given lectures at art departments internationally. Most recently she traveled to New Delhi, India to participate in the 48*c Public Art Ecology international festival and symposia, and to Taiwan for the Tropic of Cancer Environmental Art Project (2008-09), including community dialogues and symposia addressing debris fields of aquaculture waste as material for Land Art and cultural engagement. She was Chief Curator at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, California (2005-08), where she curated Hybrid Fields, an exhibition of artists who create socially engaged art that inhabits a hybrid space where art and life, art and agriculture, converge.

Presented by UNM Department of Art and Art History

For more information visit www.ecoartspace.org

Artisode 2.3

KNME has announced that their Artisodes just won a 2009 National Academy of Television and Arts Rocky Mountain EMMY® Award in the category 'New Media - Arts and Entertainment'.
Check out the latest episode and, "Bring trash back into your life, a journey through the University of New Mexico’s waste stream recycled."

Lordy Rodriguez on Surface Depth: Nevada Museum of Art

ART BITE at the Nevada Museum of Art:

Meet the Artist: Lordy Rodriguez on Surface Depth

Friday, October 23 / noon


Lordy Rodriguez, Lake Land (Geological Series), May 2005.

Ink on paper, 32 x 46 in. Courtesy of the artist and Hosfelt

Gallery, San Francisco.

Lordy Rodriguez shares his exploration of topographies both real and imagined through hand-drawn maps that he designs using age-old mapmaking tools and a kaleidoscopic range of colors. His unique approach encourages viewers to reconsider the history of mapmaking, as well as our tendency to accept maps as wholly truthful and accurate representations of the land we all share.

Rodriguez, who was born in the Philippines and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, carefully crafts his drawings of desert lakes, drifting silt dunes, volcanic island chains, and underwater trenches in the tradition of early cartographers, using ordinary tools such as rulers and felt-tip marking pens. Unlike his predecessors, Rodriguez emphasizes repetitive stylized patterns and intense high-keyed colors rather than specific sites, territories, or boundary lines.

This exhibition is presented as part of the Art + Environment series, an initiative of the Nevada Museum of Art that brings together community, artists and scholars to explore the interaction between people and their environments.

Art Bites give attendees the opportunity to experience an informal and intimate introduction to works in the galleries over a short half-hour dialogue. Cost: $5 / $4 Museum members. The Art Bite series is supported in part by the Gabelli Foundation. http://nevadaart.activitytickets.com/relax/artbites/1006

2009 LHI Art-sci Symposium

The first LHI Art-Sci Symposium, “The Nature of Place: Land Art/Land Use,” will be held October 24-25, 2009 at the San Antonio Toyota Manufacturing Plant Visitors Center located directly across the Medina River from the 1200 acre Land Heritage Institute site in the southern-most sector of San Antonio. The event will be FREE and open to all. Learn more here.


from Kim Stringfellow:

Exhibit, lecture & workshop event:

Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape



THURSDAY- OCTOBER 22, 2009 6:00-9:00

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Center for Photography,
Northgate Hall, U.C. Campus Hearst & Euclid

Stringfellow attacks her subject as a historian, a collector, and a photographer with the vision of a Walker Evans on acid.

—Danny Lyon, author of The Bikeriders and Conversations with the Dead

In conjunction with this event, I will be leading the Land Use & The Built Environment: Photographing the Albany Bulb workshop with Fotovision on October 24th & 25th, 2009 — 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Please visit Fotovision’s Web site for more information and to sign up for this workshop.
Workshop description: Artist/educator, Kim Stringfellow will lead a three-day photographic exploration and collaborative photo book project focusing on the built and cultural landscape of the Albany Bulb, a 30-acre spit of shoreline landfill owned by the City of Albany, which has been “reclaimed” by a variety of interest groups including urban artists, homeless, dog-walkers, teenagers, and environmentalists.
In this unique and challenging workshop participants will have the opportunity to collaboratively produce a book project in the span of a weekend. The workshop will begin with an introductory lecture by Stringfellow on Friday evening. Saturday will consist of a field workshop day where workshop participants document the site photographically supported by field notes and interviews of park users when possible. Sunday will be spent organizing and sequencing the photographs into a print on demand collaborative book project to be printed at Blurb.com.
Additional help with book production, editing and design during the workshop will be offered by Fotovision program director, Adrianne Koteen. PLEASE NOTE: This class will also be meeting on Friday night, October 23rd, from 6-9pm.

SkyDog Farm Permaculture Workshop with Andrew Leslie Phillips

Permaculture Workshop - 11/7/09
SkyDog Farm Permaculture Workshop with Andrew Leslie Phillips
When: Saturday November 7th. 10am to 4pm
Where: SkyDog Farm
1724 County Rt., 23
Narrowsburg NY 12764
Contact: Andrea Reynosa 845.252.3518
areynosa@skydogprojects.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Enrollment: Suggested course fee of $75 per person ($65 for permaculture graduates) Please call in advance if you have questions the suggested tuition. Course limited to 15 participants

Workshop Description:

Preparing for Next Season.
Applying principals of permaculture the workshop will install a no-till, sheet-mulched Mandela garden. Location and aspect, sectors and zones of use, the nature of compost and soil science will be explored as we design the garden exploring aspect, access and circulation, edge effect, keyhole gardening, mulching strategies, stacking functions, vertical gardening, seedlings and planting. This will be an introduction to basic permaculture design skills for garden, home and community. Workshop held Saturday November 7th from 10 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and includes organic vegetarian lunch (or pot luck).
SkyDog Farm will provide finished compost, lots of cardboard to spread over the beds, hay and some tools. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and bring a sturdy pair of work gloves, a rake and shovel (if you have them) and a water bottle.
This will be a no-till garden and we’ll sheet mulch the space after laying it out.
It may also be possible to install a herb spiral and we need the same materials plus some nice stone to create the spiral which will be about six feet in circumference and four feet high. SkyDog Farm has plenty of blue stone to harvest from the old quarry behind the house for this special occasion.

Instructor: Andrew Leslie Phillips, Hancock Permaculture Center,
Teaches permaculture design skills & is lead consultant with Permaculture Design Solutions.

The Bog Quakes in Provincetown

Quaking Bog IV opens in Provincetown, MA

Smudge is among six artists who have created site-specific works in Provincetown, MA for the fourth annual Quaking Bog installation. The works ranged from conceptual to "restorative" to whimsical, and from entirely composed of found materials at the site to deliberately introduced "artificial" materials that commented on how people relate to landscape.

Provincetown is well known as one of America's earliest and preeminent artist colonies. Its natural beauty, remoteness, and acceptance of eccentricity and difference has inspired generations of fine artists, playwrights, photographers, and performance artists.

While much of the work that artists make here responds to Provincetown's dunes, beaches, and light, and many of its artists express concerns for its fragile environments, this small town at the tip of Cape Cod's spiral of sand hasn't been particularly known for "land art."

For four years, the annual Quaking Bog installation has challenged artists to create site-specific work suitable for the scale, fragility, and unique eco-systems surrounding this, the world's largest quaking bog located on a seacoast. Located just outside of Provincetown, the bog was purchased by the town to preserve it from development. In a town that thrives on luring visitors from around the world via a calendar filled with special weekends and week-long themed events, the Quaking Bog installation is a relatively intimate and local project. There is a palpable sense in this installation of the artists' own intimacies with the natural forces of the Provincelands, including the forces of its landscape.

Frank Vasello organized Quaking Bog IV, created one of this year's works, and hosted the artist walk-through on a brilliant October day, October 11. Each of the artists took turns presenting their works to a group of about 20 visitors who walked from site to site.

The Provincetown Quaking Bog Art Installation remains until the end of October.

(Click photos to enlarge

Paula Draper's "Spiritual Tree Healing." Artist statement:
Dead bottom branches on living trees are wapped in strips of sheeting to resemble bandages. the idea is adapted from the Shinto Shrines in japan where parents tie bibs with wishes for their sick childrens' health on rock and then ring a bell for the Kami to heal their children.

Connie Hatch's "Vessels." Artist statement:
Plant materials and rusted metals exhibit the muted colors of this season in abundance all around us. I tried to contain them for a bit of time.

David Bastien's "Weather Vane." Artist Statement:
Natural material, primarily thin sapling wood, is used to create a 'drawing in space' that will turn with the wind.

Hannah Verlin's "Agro-Culture." Artist Statement:
We humans have a strange--almost estranged relationship with nature. We might embrace it, but only on our terms. Think of public parks that are designed to look wild, or manicured paths running through woodlands. This installation will explore how we attempt to both tame and cultivate the wild.
traces of a piece by Frank Vasello from a previous Quaking Bog installation

Frank Vasello's "Nautilus." Artist Statement:
Using sticks gathered on site, this sculpture seeks to invoke a feeling of movement from what are normally static materials. Originally thought of as a nautilus, the piece evolved into the form you see before you.

tsmudge studio's "Signals from the Deep." Artist Statement:
This piece is a creative response to the meeting of geologic, biologic and atomic forces. These forces make the deep past, present, and deep future of Provincetown's Quaking Bog. A peat-moss sculpture and take-away "newsprint" invite visitors to expand their capacities to sense and live in relation to geologic time.
Read the newsprint here.


LAND/ART on the radio

KUNM Call-in show with Arcie Chapa this Thursday, October 8, 8-9am
Featuring Grasslands artist Michael P. Berman, Grasslands / Separating Species

Curator Mary Anne Redding and Steve Capra, Executive Director of New Mexico Wilderness Alliance,

which is presenting its 2009 conference on grasslands.

Call in with questions (starting at 8:30am, (505-277-5866 or toll-free 877-899-5866) www.kunm.org

Upcoming Events for LAND/ART

RECEPTION: Friday, October 9, 6-8pm
Mapping a Green Future
October 9 – November 21
at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, 505-982-1338 www.ccasantafe.org

CCA presents Mapping a Green Future, an exhibition that looks toward the promise of sustainability, and the challenges we currently face. Featuring artists include Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga, Bill Gilbert Jenny Polak, Joan Myers, Eve Andrée Laramée, Basia Irland, Jenny Marketou, Claudia Borgna, Catherine Harris and Lee Montgomery, Beatriz da Costa, Brooke Singer and John Fogerty and Lea Rekow. Also presenting The Bioneers; The American Institute of Architects and a film by CCA and organizations engaged with environmental issues. The Center for Land Use Interpretation's Display Facility in Albuquerque will continue weekends October 16 – November 22 in conjunction with this exhibition. More details

FILM: Friday, October 9, 4pm
family farm activities, 7pm film screenings

Heart & Soil
Leopold Legacy Film Series & Speakers

at The Sanchez Farm, Open Space La Placita Gardens, 1108 Arenal Rd. SW, Albuquerque
505-314-0398 www.leopoldcelebration.org

free admission

Does what you eat affect global warming? Are small scaled farmers the new super-heroes? Can growing local organic food save the Earth? Heart & Soil, a 45-minute family documentary, offers hope for our planet. Filmed in the rugged Four Corners Area of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, Heart & Soil has been called "a love song for farmers," those stalwart keepers of the earth who speak with passion on diverse topics including animal husbandry, soil science and climate change. Heart & Soilalso touches on the darker side of agriculture: the corporate extractive systems that produces - not only most of the food we eat - but global warming. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and dinner for these outdoor film screenings. More details

Saturday, October 10, 7pm (fireside)
Coyote Stories

Performance by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith for Lost and Found
at Gus Wagner Farms Corn Maze, 6445 Corrales Rd, Corrales, 505-459-0719

Map to Maze

Lost and Found, a corn maze created by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Neal Ambrose-Smith (both Salish from the Salish and Kootenai Nation in Montana) in collaboration with Gus Wagner Farms, integrates images based on ancient Indian glyphs into a field of corn in Corrales. The project connects the corn, the people and the glyphs to commemorate the long standing symbiosis between the birds, the animals and humans in a continuum that has lasted for thousdands of years. Organized by Kathleen Shields Contemporary Art Projects for LAND/ART, presented by 516 ARTS

Panel Discussion with Guggenheim Fellows at 516 ARTS

A report from 516 Arts, Oct. 3, 2009:

Panel Discussion with Guggenheim Fellows
Michael P. Berman, Erika Blumenfeld and David Taylor

An event for LAND/ART in conjunction with Grasslands / Separating Species at 516 ARTS
and Early Findings: Artifacts from The Polar Project at Richard Levy Gallery

moderated by Mary Anne Redding

William deBuys has written in his book The Walk: “A species of hope resides in the possibility of seeing one thing, one phenomenon or essence, so clearly and fully that the light of its understanding illuminates the rest of life. Almost any object of contemplation can be the vehicle for such discovery.” Talk about your long-term commitment to understanding place and the issues that emanate from a particular place through photography and how your photographs illuminate a life philosophy: Michael, the desert grasslands, David the US/Mexico border, and Erika, Antarctica.

Robert Adams writes in Beauty in Photography: “Landscape pictures offer three verities: geography, autobiography & metaphor. Geography is, if taken alone, sometimes boring, autobiography is frequently trivial, and metaphor can be dubious. But taken together the three kinds of information strengthen each other and reinforce what we all work to keep intact – an affection for life.” How do you weave these three truths, as defined by Adams, into your work?

Each of you photographs in relatively inaccessible locations and bring your images and installations back to public venues. What is it about inaccessibility and relative desolation that is significant to where and how you work?

Talk about how your work fits into the larger interpretations of the LAND/ART project of which these installations now on view at 516 & the Richard Levy Gallery are the culmination and explain how you see your artwork having an impact on the land environment and the human environment both now and in the future.

I wasn’t going to ask you about inspiration, but yesterday I was at a panel discussion where artists and designers were asked about who inspired them and I was surprised at the thoughtfulness and detail of their answers, so I decided I would ask each of you who inspires you. The answer can be anyone, other artists, poets, scientists, your partner...

Scale and ambiguity are obviously importance in your work, please talk about scale as it relates to your images, and this may be a good time to speak briefly about technique and equipment.

Panel comment from Robert Wilson
"Curator Mary Anne Redding asked the panel how the photographic work in Grasslands / Separating Species fits into the Land Art movement and this LAND/ART project in particular, and artist Robert Wilson said, “What we may think of first when we think of Land Art is the earth works that have been created since the 1960s, work in which human beings "played around" with the land and the landscape for the purposes of art: that is, physical manifestations of the artist's response to the landscape.

But the work we see here at 516 ARTS exemplifies how landscape photographers, for a long time, have been similarly involved with the landscape by first noticing and then documenting what God and/or Nature and Man have done to it. Michael Berman's piece "Line", which shows a Chihuahuan landscape divided by a fence, overgrazed on one side and not so overgrazed on the other, epitomizes how some landscape photographers have been out in front of the Land Art movement for years, noticing and documenting the aesthetics of the Man-altered landscape. In this case, a simple straight-line fence, separating land under different kinds of environmental pressure, resulted in an aesthetically exquisite, all be it tragic, land alteration when seen through the photographer’s lens."

Comment from Panel Moderator, Mary Anne Redding:
"It was fantastic that the audience stayed for an hour and a half and had such great comments and questions.... I loved what Michael said about being seduced by a landscape and how Erika thinks of herself as an "Eco-Archivist" I also liked her correlation of
geography = body
autobiography - mind
metaphor = soul"

Link to 3 videos from the panel from Darius D. Himes, Radius Books, Editor.

Photos from the opening of "Grasslands / Separating Species" for LAND/ART at 516 ARTS can be viewed at the following address:

Click the slideshow icon in the upper right to see them big. At the end are a few shots during the installation process and of the panel and a school tour. The exhibitions are on view through December 12.

Link to Blog for flash flood's blog posting about the Grasslands / Separating Species show.

Adobe Airstream reviews the panel discussion here.


Nina Dubois and Jeanette Hart-Mann, Culture digest(e)

Smudge flew to New Mexico this weekend for two events: the Dispersal/Return 2000-2006 exhibition currently at the University of New Mexico Art Museum (part of the continuing LAND/ART project); and the semi-annual opening of the Trinity site to the public (see our Trinity posting here).

These two events drew us from New York to Albuquerque because they span two interests that shape our work on this blog and as artists-collaborators (www.smudgestudio.org). That work is to trace how contemporary artists are responding to forces that shape the land, land use, and built environments; and to expand human capacities to sense and live in relation to deep time.

We arrived at the UNM campus and Dispersal/Return after weeks of posting to this blog photos, announcements of openings, and artists’ statements about the exhibition. We were excited to see the works ourselves and to read across them as a group.

Dispersal/Return gathers recent works by 18 artists who participated in the innovative pedagogical experiment that is the Land Arts of the American West program. Work by the program’s founder, Bill Gilbert, is featured alongside the students’ in his one-person exhibition entitled Physiocartography 2005-2006. Land Arts of The American West continues to this day in a new form, with one group of students accompanying Bill Gilbert out of UNM and a second group accompanying the program’s co-director, Chris Taylor, out of his new home institution, the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University, Lubbock TX. (Click here to view reports from Taylor’s students now in the field).

Dispersal/Return marks the return of students to the place from which they set out in 2000 on the first Land Arts of the American West field semester. Their return consists of new works that bear traces of their formative experiences during that semester. Never heavy-handed in their references to the raw, in-the-field experiences of the Land Arts program, the works instead shimmer with what seems to be an indelible afterglow of those experiences. Far from waxing nostalgic or reminiscent about the field semester, the works exude the freshness of recent, deeply embodied encounters with land, place, and environment. For these artists, “the field” has become the lives they are living now in dispersed sites that include urban and public spaces, the domestic, and interiors (psychological and constructed). The creative responses they are making today to place, environment, and bodies exposed to the forces that shape the world continue to develop and expand what they learned and practiced during the field semester: namely, to respond as artists to where you are.

Many of the works share a common gesture of invitation that reaches beyond that of the artist’s self-expression and acknowledges the audience/viewer. Invitations include opportunities to interact directly with works and to add to them by taking them into the field for a small taste of what is at the heart of the pedagogy of the Land Arts program. They also include offerings of experiences that give a sense of the power of a body’s prolonged living in the field as students/artists.

Julie Anand's Itinerant Camera Obscura

Several works invite viewers into small and simple shelter-like spaces of inhabitation ... places that seek to moderate the intensity of exposure to the field that is the Southwest with its vast, monumental and sometimes harsh environments. These works expose as they shelter and shelter as they expose--much like the Land Arts of the American West field-based pedagogy itself.

The physical, emotional, intellectual, and aesthetic effects and treasures that return with students after weeks in the field can never be explained or told directly to others who weren’t there ... but they can be translated into colors, shapes, motion, objects, and actions.

Nicolas Bourriaud, (Gulbenkian Curator of Contemporary Art at the Tate Britain and author of Relational Aesthetics) writes in a new book (“The Radicant”) about the power of translation within the contemporary moment. He speaks of “wandering” as an aesthetic and political form at this moment in history. Dispersal/Return, Land Arts of the American West, the field notes currently emerging from the Lubbock group’s journeys, and Bill Gilbert”s Physiocartography 2005-2006 might be viewed as emblematic of several of the social and contemporary art developments that Bourriaud addresses in his book.

Here’s Bourriaud:
"... contemporary creators are already laying the foundations for a radicant art--radicant being a term designating an organism that grows its roots and adds new ones as it advances. To be a radicant means setting one’s roots in motion, staging them in heterogeneous contexts and formats, denying them the power to completely define one’s identity, translating ideas, transcoding images, transplanting behaviors, exchanging rather than imposing. What if twenty-first century culture were invented with those works that set themselves the task of effacing their origin in favor of a multitude of simultaneous or successive enrootings? This process of obliteration is part of the condition of the wanderer, a central figure of our precarious era, who is insistently emerging at the heart of contemporary artistic creation. This figure is accompanied by a domain of forms--the domain of the journey-form--as well as by an ethical mode: translation .... In performing [translation], one denies neither the unspeakable nor possible opacities of meaning, since every translation is inevitable incomplete and leaves behind an irreducible remainder.” (The Radicant, p. 22)

Bill Gilbert’s Physiocartography 2005-2006 could be taken as a case in point. Its audio recordings and journaled mappings are translations of self via the journey and of particular journeys via their translations by Gilbert into aesthetic events. In this case, the events are Gilbert’s walking journeys that leave no trace on the land and whose pathways are given neither pictorial nor representational documentation. The emphasis is on the itinerary, the path--what Bourriaud might call “a dialogical or intersubjective narrative that unfolds between the subject and the surfaces it traverses, to which it attaches its roots to produce what might be termed an installation: one ‘installs oneself’ in a place or situation in a makeshift or precarious way, and the subject’s identity is nothing but the temporary result of this encampment.” (Bourriaud, pp. 55-56).

It’s an ethical act, Bourriaud suggests, to make works of “translation” because all translations require both the translator and the translated to change in accord with one another. “...translation in both directions.” (Bourriaud, p. 56).

And this is what we believe is the aesthetic event and eco-ethics of the pedagogy of the Land Arts of the American West program: it involves students both in translating and being translated by the environments they traverse. Its students are invited to install themselves within the field precariously and create temporary artist-selves-as-encampments. They experiment with being selves who efface where they came from in order to face each field-day's new situations ethically--meaning, by becoming highly responsive to their new surroundings.

A pedagogy that teachers and invites responding creatively to where you are was not, unfortunately, the pedagogy that we experienced when we visited the Trinity site’s semi-annual open house.


all images copyright smudge studio 2009

Last weekend we attended the bi-annual open house at the Trinity site. We arrived one day after visiting the Dispersal/Return exhibition at the UNM Art Museum and encountered an entirely different pedagogy of reading the land, its uses and human traces. Unlike previous experiences at nuclear sites throughout Nevada and New Mexico, we were not alone during our time at the Trinity site. Saturday we were surrounded by hundreds of other visitors. While other sites of nuclear incident in the United States seem virtually unmarked and forgotten, Trinity is widely remembered. The parking lot was filled with cars and tour buses with license plates spanning the continent. While other nuclear (under)ground zeroes are accessible to anyone, anytime, Trinity is nested within the White Sand Missile Testing Range and only accessible twice a year on specific days and hours. Photography was prohibited anywhere but near ground zero.

Food was served, speakers and tours were given, demonstrations of the radioactivity of Trinitite were offered, and a mock Fat Man atom bomb was trucked in for the occasion. A photographic exhibition of the history of the Manhattan Project and the Trinity site facilities was installed along hundreds of feet of the fence that surrounds ground zero and bears signs warning: "Caution: Radioactive Materials."

We found it difficult to locate a space and time to step back from the crowds and cameras. The implied pedagogy of the prescribed activities and temporary built environment made it impossible to experience a moment of personal or group reflection, or to consider or even to fully take-in the surrounding landscape while standing there, on the very ground of a most monumental pivot point in human and geologic history.

If the pedagogical address of the Land Arts of the American West program pivots on opportunities to creatively respond to where you are, the pedagogical address of the Trinity open house turns its visitors in the opposite direction: away from responding in any sort of non-habitual way to the abiding reality of where they are.

National Radio Program features ASU Art Museum

National Radio Program features ASU Art Museum
“Defining Sustainability” Season
Presented on 24 Affiliate Stations across the United States, Sea Change Radio features the current ASU Art Museum season “Defining Sustainability” in a segment titled “Art of Sustainability” with interviews of ASU Art Museum Senior Curator/Interim Director Heather Lineberry and Tempe based artist Kade Twist.
Listen to the segment online at:

LAND/ART video at the Smithsonian

La 2e Peste, a video first shown at the ABQ Open Space Visitor Center as part of the LAND/ART exhibitions, is now a finalist in the WPA Experimental Media Series.

The fifth annual WPA Experimental Media Series is a multi-evening screening of innovative international video and sound art selected by Kelly Gordon, Associate Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution.

Shot in the Sandia Foothills Open Space and on BLM lands northwest of Albuquerque, La 2e Peste was part of Stephen Ausherman's interactive video display, Kammer 2.1, which received a New Visions Award in experimental film from the NM Film Office.

For more about the WPA Experimental Media Series: http://wpadc.org/events/evnts_current.html

For more about Kammer 2.1:


Studio participants have been announced (we are thrilled to be included).

Landscapes of Quarantine is an independent, multi-disciplinary design studio, based in New York City, consisting of eight Tuesday evening workshops, from October 6 to December 5, 2009, in which up to 14 participants will gather to discuss the spatial implications of quarantine. Quarantine is an ancient spatial practice characterized by a state of enforced immobility, decontamination, and sequestration; yet it is increasingly relevant—and difficult to monitor—in an era of global trade, bio-engineering, and mass tourism.

Studio participants will explore a wide variety of spatial and historical examples, including airport quarantine facilities, Level 5 biohazard wards, invasive species, agricultural regulations, swine-flu infected tourists confined to their hotel rooms, lawsuits over citizens' rights to resist involuntary quarantine, horror films, World Health Organization plans for controlling the spread of pandemics, lunar soil samples, and more.

During the studio, participants will develop individual design projects in response to the problem of quarantine, with guidance and inspiration provided by readings, screenings, group discussions, and an evolving line-up of guest speakers and critics. These projects will then be eligible for inclusion in "Landscapes of Quarantine,” an exhibition hosted by the internationally renowned Storefront for Art and Architecture in early 2010.

By the end of the studio, each participant will have produced a complete design project. This could range from the speculative (plug-in biosecurity rooms for the American suburbs) to the documentary (recording the items and animals detained for quarantine on the U.S./Mexico border), and from the fantastical (plans for extra-planetary quarantine facilities) to the instructional (a field guide to invasive species control). -from the BLDG BLOG

updates from the LAND/an art site

“Ollin Burial” by Yei Ehekatl is a long-term project that covers approximately 2 acres of the exhibition space at THE LAND/an art site in Mountainair, NM. “Ollin Burial” consists of 20 plots or “graves” arranged in a design that allows visitor to physically experience the various energies associated with each of the symbols of the Aztec Calendar by lying in the earth.

“Stone Score” by Lynne Hull blurs the boundary between conservation and art. Lynne has created a series of stone constructions based on the designs and research of Quivira Coalition hydrologist Bill Zeedyk. The purpose of these interventions is to restore the stability of incised stream channels or arroyos. By scientifically re-arranging the stones, the music of the arroyo is being re-written, creating a new stone score for the surrounding habitat.

“Dry River” by Basia Irland is about anticipating the flow of water in an arroyo that only runs a few times each year. Basia has created books from un-fired New Mexican clay and mud. The “texts” are written with seeds ready to be dispersed when the books dissolve. The books are on display in THE LAND/gallery, and will be strategically placed to sow their seeds into Lynne Hull’s “Stone Score”.

“October” by J.A. Lee is an environmental essay-installation at THE LAND/an art site in Mountainair, NM, which addresses ideas of “here” and “there” by way of a walk around the number 8. A related text piece brings a sampling of these ideas into the walled environment of THE LAND/gallery. And,

Reba Hasko and Joseph Angelo are presenting original recorded music and sound art at THE LAND/gallery constructed and influenced by sound at THE LAND.

Presented in conjunction with LAND/ART: A Collaborative Exploration of Land-Based Art in New Mexico

Albuquerque Now: Fall

Learn more: www.cabq.gov/museum/

Reception: Saturday, October 10th, 6-8pm

Albuquerque Now: Fall is the first of two installations of diverse work by artists of the metropolitan area and is organized by Andrew Connors, Curator of Art. Albuquerque Now celebrates the diversity of visual culture in all of its active manifestations, from traditional woodworking to digital video, from printmaking to installation art.
The exhibit will be on view October 11th, 2009 - January 3, 2010.


Please join ecoartspace and Solar One on Saturday Oct. 3rd for events with the Habitat for Artists Collective
and a performance piece Mothers and Daughters at Solar One by artist Chere Krakovsky from 1 – 4pm
Solar One -23rd Street and the East River, NYC

Followed by an opening at ecoartspace NYC, for Down to Earth from 6 – 8pm
ecoartspace - 53 Mercer St. between Broome and Grand, 3rd Fl, NYC

Down to Earth Artists:
Joan Bankemper, Knox Cummin, Stacy Levy, Ann Rosenthal/Steffi Domike, Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Simon Draper and the Habitat for Artists Collective, including Todd Sargood, Cathy Lebowitz,
E Odin Cathcart and Jeff Bailey.

Additional Contributing Artists:
Jacinto Astiazarán and Fritz Haeg, Lenore Malen & The New Society for Universal Harmony, Eve Mosher, Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga, Andrea Reynosa/Kevin Vertrees-SkyDog Projects and Christy Rupp

learn more on the ecoartspace site