25 November 2009

"Nature is never finished"

“In my field we’re trained to make condition reports,” said Francesca Esmay, Dia’s conservator, but she added of Smithson’s work [Spiral Jetty], composed of more than 6,000 tons of rock and soil: “Its scale is such that I can’t just go out with a camera and pencil and clipboard by myself and describe it.” So several months ago she turned to the Getty Conservation Institute, an arm of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which has organized and assisted in conservation and monitoring of art and historic sites from Central America to Africa to the Middle East.

After considering nearly every possible way to document “SPIRAL JETTY” from above — Rent a weather satellite? An airplane? A helicopter? Use a kite? — the institute, which often works in countries where conservation projects are carried out on shoestring budgets, came up with a remarkably simple solution: a $50 disposable latex weather balloon, easily bought online.

(Story and image extracted from The New York Times, November 17 2009)

12 November 2009

The Zero Island

Via the Starkwhite Blog, we discover the Cactus Dome of Enewetak Atoll, a cracked concrete cap more than 100m across, covering a radioactive dump left after US nuclear testing in the Pacific Proving Ground. The dome fills a crater left HERE by the 'Cactus' blast, preceded by 'Ivy Mike''s world-first test of a hydrogen bomb in 1952 as part of Operation Ivy, which completely atomised the island of Elugelab, leaving a 2km-wide hole HERE.

"What you have just seen was an awesome turning point in history..."

Image: Ivy Mike makes the cover of Life, found here.


Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.