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Transcript of Environmental Art
What is Environmental Art?
Environmental art emerged in the 1960's as a movement created to publicize and combat the escallating waste toxins and pollution.
Informs and interprets nature and its processes and educates people about environmental problems
Artworks that are affected or powered by wind, water, lightning, earthquakes, and other occurrences
Idea was to facilitate a sustainable balance between human and non-human nature
Environmental art can be as large as fabric surrounding islands to simple footsteps in the earth
In environmental art, precise meanings may vary, but underlying meaning is the same - create artistic imagery using earth, rock, soil, and other natural materials
Associated with many other art forms including Minimalism and Conceptualism
Environmental art may be:
Ephemeral or permanent
Conceptual or beautiful
Deliberate or playful
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are very famous environmental artists
More of their works include The Umbrellas (USA and Japan), Wrapped Coast, The Running Fence, and many more
Art projects take years to plan, need public meetings to be held, need safety tests to be performed
Projects usually do not last for more than a few weeks and the projects are taken down and materials recycled
took 24 years to get an approval for the project
"All of our projects have a fragile quality. They will be gone tomorrow.
They have total freedom. That is why they cannot stay.
Because freedom is the enemy of possession and possession is to equal to permanence.
We have to have freedom with no strings attched."
- Christo and Jeanne-Claude
What are the focuses of environmental art?
Community involvement is central
Environmental art is grounded in ethos and it focuses on interrelationships
The relationships of environmental art are not only physical and biological, but also cultural, political, and historical aspects
Famous environmental art includes Walter DeMaria, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Jan Dibbets, and Dani Karavan
Created by Robert Smithson in 1970 in Great Salt Lake, Utah
After it was created, it became submerged
Reappeared in 2002 during a drought and had white salt crystals on it
Smithson saw Entropy ("evolution in reverse")
Nature took back what was created
Environmental Art Practices:
Restore: artists collaborate on teams to restore damaged ecosystems and landscape
Mediate: artists interpret historical, social, and environmental information and facilitate our understanding and appreciation of natural and human systems
Reflect: artists employ a range of art forms to heal and celebrate our bonds with the earth
Integrate: use metaphor, image, and installation to reveal patterns and relationships
Ancient cultures also used art to express themselves:
Nazka Indians in Peru
Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, USA
Inukshuks in Canada
Ironically, many art projects are very expensive and were built on private property, which resulted in restricted public viewing and access.
Female environmental artist who is in collaboration with ecologists, policy makers, communities, and design professionals
Creates art projects for wetlands, rivers, streams, and stormwater runoffs
Her projects demonstrate how indervalued resources, like stormwater runoffs and polluted water can be used to create lush environments and public spaces
Biscayne Bay, Florida
11 islands surrounded by 6.5 million square feet of pink polypropylene
Environmentalists worried about the birds that nested on the island and the endangered manatees near the islands
Usually artists return the site to its original condition, but in this situation, Christo and Jeanne-Claude improved it by removing 40 tons of garbage from the islands
Took 24 years to get permission to do the project
Wrapped in 1.076 million square feet of woven fabric with an aluminum surface
10 miles of bright blue polypropylene was wrapped around the fabric
Famous within the art community
Roden Crater Project in a dormant volcano in the Painted Desert, Arizona is one of the largest and most ambitious projects ever created
It took $40 million to complete the project
There are nine chambers in all and all have the same amount of natural light
The Vietnam War Memorial
Proposes neither the winners nor the losers, only the names of those who died
Open-ended in book-like form, but also that you read the names six below the horizon - in the space of the dead
Cuts into the Washington Mall
The emotions that accompany the memorial, are said to be "as natural as the cycles of the earth"
Both 247-foot walls hug and depend on the land for support
Uses only natural materials
He believes his mind and works should change with the natural causes