Shoreline 0.1: The Spiral Jetty (1970): / by Nathan Webster


[hw]The Spiral Jetty is considered the seminal work[/hw] of American environmental sculptor Robert Smithson. This remarkable and remote earthwork is located two hours from Salt Lake City, and is accessible only in decent weather when the mud road is passable. It is a counter-clockwise spiral 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide. Constructed during an unusually low water year in the Great Salt Lake, it has spent most of it's 40 year life submerged. It has made brief dry appearances since then, but is usually shallow enough to be seen even when submerged. Smithson was attracted to the slates, at the north end of the lake, because of it's primordial nature, and the intense red of the salt-resistant algae that flourish there. He was a believer in entropy, and wanted this massive installation to erode and react with and to it's surrounding environment, and the earth itself, as it is slowly doing. Sadly, Smithson is unable to witness this glacial decay. He was killed in a plane crash in Texas just three years after finishing his iconic work. -- Words by Mark HofelingSpiral-LInes