"Driving West on Highway 83 late in the afternoon (…) we went down a dirt road in a wide valley, (…) [it] spread into an uncanny immensity unlike the other landscapes we had seen. The roads on the map became a net of dashes, while in the far distance the Salt Lake existed as an interrupted silver band. (...) We followed roads that glided away into dead ends. Sandy slopes turned into viscous masses of perception. Slowly, we drew near to the lake, which resembled an impassive faint violet sheet held captive in a stoney matrix (…) An expanse of salt flats bordered the lake, and caught in its sediments were countless bits of wreckage. Old piers were left high and dry. The mere sight of the trapped fragments of junk and waste transported one into a world of modern prehistory. The products of a Devonian industry, the remains of a Silurian technology, all the machines of the Upper Carboniferous Period were lost in those expansive deposits of sand and mud.
(...)For forty or more years people have tried to get oil out of this natural tar pool. Pumps coated with black stickiness rusted in the corrosive salt air.(…)A great pleasure arose from seeing all those incoherent structures. This site gave evidence of a succesion of man-made systems mired in abandoned hopes.
About one mile north of the oil seeps I selected my site. Irregular beds of limestone dip gently eastward, massive block of black basalt are broken over the peninsula(…)
I began building the jetty in April, 1970. (...) Two dump trucks, a tractor, and a large front loader [were sent] out to the site. (…) A string was then extended from a central stake to get the coils of the spiral (…) Basalt and earth was scooped up (…) by the front loader, then deposited in the trucks, whereupon the trucks backed up to the outline of stakes and dumped the material. On the edge of the water, at the beginning of the tail, the wheels of the trucks sank into a quagmire of sticky gumbo mud. A whole afternoon was spent filling in this spot. Once the trucks passed that problem... "
Robert Smithson The Spiral Jetty (1972) I
"A cartografia implica uma categoria de imagens e de acções: contrair, expandir, deslocar, que compreendem um tipo de retórica visual que transforma as ideias sobre a terra em imagens cartográficas. Os Mapas são abstracções que apelam principalmente à mente: porque o seu referente é o globo, também uma abstracção. O mapear preciso de uma localização na terra é fútil pelas mesmas razões que a renderização de um território ou objecto tridimensional na superfície bidimensional de um papel é impossível. (…) Os mapas começam e acabam com a sua estrutura integrante: as linhas longitudinais e latitudinais, que são capazes de ser infinitamente contraídas ou expandidas (...) Estas estruturas transferem informação de uma escala e dimensão para outra e tornam todos os mapas relativos: sempre diferem e referem outros mapas".II
I STILEZ, Kristine; SELZ Peter (2012) “Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists Writings”, London: University of California Press
II REYNOLDS, Ann (2001) “Roberth Smithson: Mapping dislocations”, New York: James Cohan Gallery