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)

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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.