Land Arts of the American West

Land Arts of the American West

Land Arts of the American West is a studio-based field program that seeks to construct an expanded definition of land art through direct experience connecting the full range of human interventions in the landscape--from pre-contact indigenous to contemporary practice. Our definition of land art includes everything from constructing a road, to taking a walk, building a monument, and leaving a mark in the sand. The program seeks to expand upon connections between typically separate fields. Each fall we spend two months camping while traveling 10,000 miles to engage sites that range from the CLUI complex at Wendover, Utah to the pottery culture at Mata Ortiz, Mexico, from earth works like James Turrell’s Roden Crater to archeological sites like Chaco Canyon. We learn from the fact that Donald Judd surrounded himself with both contemporary sculpture and Navajo rugs; that Chaco Canyon and Roden Crater function as celestial instruments; and that the Very Large Array is a scientific research center with a powerful aesthetic presence on the land. We spend the semester living and working in the landscape with guest scholars that expand the range of our definition in disciplines including archeology, art history, architecture, ceramics, criticism, writing, design, and studio art. Occupying the land for weeks at a time, living as a nomadic group, students develop skills of perception and analysis unattainable in a standard classroom setting. This direct participation experiencing and shaping the landscape affects how we see and make.

Land Arts of the American West started at the University of New Mexico by artist Bill Gilbert in 2000 and has developed as a collaboration between Gilbert and architect Chris Taylor since 2002. From 2002-2008 Land Arts was co-sponsored by the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas at Austin where Taylor taught in the interdisciplinary design program of the Department of Art and Art History. In 2008 Taylor began teaching in the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University where Land Arts will continue to develop in relation to the programming at the University of New Mexico. Operational funding for Land Arts of the American West is provided in part by Lannan Foundation and Andrea Nasher.

The book [ Land Arts of the American West] documents the history and development of the program and will be published by the University of Texas Press in early 2009.

Program Directors

* [ Bill Gilbert] , Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico
* [ Chris Taylor] , College of Architecture, Texas Tech University

Guest Scholars who have participated

* Nick Abdalla, Tori Arpad, Jerry Brody, [ Matt Coolidge] , [ William L. Fox] , Hector Gallegos, Mary Lewis Garcia, [ Joel Glanzberg] , Lucy Lippard, Graciella Martinez, [ Ann Reynolds] , [ Michael Scialdone] , Kathleen Shields, Susan Spring, [ John Stokes] , [ Marianne Stockebrand] , [ Mary Tsiongas] , Henry Walt, Blaine Young, Joe Zuni.

ites Visited

* Anaya Springs, Chaco Canyon, Bisti Badlands, Cebolla Canyon, Very Large Array, The Lightning Field, Bosque del Apache, Sawtooth Mountains, Turkey Creek, [ Deming] , Otero Mesa, El Vado Lake, Three Rivers, Mount Withington, Wild Rivers, New Mexico; Blue Notch, Lake Powell, Muley Point, Moonhouse, Goblin Valley, Horse Tanks, Horseshoe Canyon, CLUI Wendover, Spiral Jetty, Utah; Roden Crater, Fire Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona; Double Negative, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Nevada; Boquillas Canyon, Marfa, Texas; Mata Ortiz, Mexico.

External links

* [ Land Arts Website]

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