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Working in the Public Eye

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

What is the difference between earth works and site specific works? Do you believe there could be logistical problems inherent in working within the natural environment, or public space?

Christo & Jeanne-Claude Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California 1972-76, Site-specific: 18 ft x 24.5 miles Nylon fabric and steel poles

Earthworks are sculptural forms made of materials such as earth, rocks, and sometimes plants. They are often very large, and they may bee executed in remote locations. Earth works are usually designed to merge with or complement the landscape. Many site works and earthworks show their creator’s interest in ecology and in the earth works of ancient America.

Site-specific works are works that are inseparable from the sites for which they are designed. The artist’s sensitivity to lo the location determines the composition, scale, medium, and even the content of each piece. Art is an expression, and is perceived in different way by our senses, yet each grows

from a common need to give expressive substance to feelings, ideas, insights, and experiences. Here artists who create conceptual art, earthworks, site works, and performance art share a common desire to subvert the gallery-museum-collector syndrome, to present art as an experience rather than as commodity. As long as the work is not hurting the environment and is being sensitive to the public space, I don’t see why it can’t be supported. Here, art has to think of its audience as well as its creator, as its using space that is common to both, just like Graffiti.

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