Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beginnings of Land Art

Contemporary earthworks manipulate the land into art. As Heather's thesis points out, it's impossible to disconnect these contemporary works with ancient ones -- ancient earthworks continue to inspire modern artists, but the causes for creation have evolved over the years.

The topic of my own thesis is Andrew Rogers' enormous geoglyphs. He was inspired by the Nazca Lines in southern Peru. At first formed in the shapes of monkeys, hummingbirds, whales, etc., these gigantic geoglyphs started transforming into geometric patterns like trapezoids and rectangles. In National Geographic Magazine, Markus Reindel of the German Archeological Institute says, "Our idea is that they weren't meant as images to be seen anymore, but stages to be walked upon, to be used for religious ceremonies."

Nasca Lines, Southern Peru:

Photo from National Geographic. Read the article here.
In present day, geoglyphs are not carved into the earth as ceremonial walkways, irrigation systems, or as -- in one theory -- messages to the gods. In the case of artist Andrew Rogers, he wanted to make a mark on the world and connect the Earth with his larger-than-life sculptures. The causation for creating land art has changed significantly since the days of the Nasca Lines in southern Peru.

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