Spiral Jetty never stops changing.

Robert Smithson’s spiral jetty was built by pushing 6,650 tons of earth and basalt into the Great Salt Lake, forming a spiral 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide. As massive as the earthwork is, however, it defers to its surroundings. These photographs, taken by the artist soon after the work’s completion in 1970, display the environmental entanglement that he was hoping to achieve.

Smithson’s Jetty has no edge, no frame. Water interpenetrates it, a gleaming, mercurial counter-spiral spooling into its open rockwork. The work’s appearance is infinitely sensitive to the dynamic conditions of the lake: As the level and salinity of the water change, so too does the jetty. Salt crystals play a special role in this collaboration. A student of crystallography, Smithson knew that the rocks would take on a ghostly patina of salt. As he liked to point out, salt crystals themselves can grow in a spiraling pattern; he wrote that the work would keep spiraling, like a fractal, no matter how closely you look. Every inch of Spiral Jetty becomes an intricate, vertiginous interface between the work and the world.

Smithson also invited viewers to walk along the spiral’s brackish curves, deliberately courting disorientation. “Following the spiral steps we return to our origins,” he wrote, “back to some pulpy protoplasm.” To visit the jetty is to dissolve into its milieu.

A monument to contingency, Spiral Jetty submits itself to perpetual change, refusing all pretense of permanence. Today, 50 years after Smithson’s death, the lake’s ecosystem is struggling to recover fully from a catastrophic drought. Desiccated and exposed, Spiral Jetty both reveals this crisis and proposes an ethics for confronting it: a way of being that recognizes our radical inseparability from the Earth.

Spiral Jetty never stops changing.

The work was named Utah’s official state work of land art in 2017.[20] April 2020 marked the Spiral Jettys 50th anniversary, which Smithson referred to shortly before his death in 1973 as “the work of the decade”.

Spiral_Jetty on wiki

How much is ego and how much is ‘art’?

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