Artwork & Writing > Earthworks Observational Kits, 2015 - 2016

In March 2015, I discovered a photograph of James Turrell’s Roden Crater Field Kit (2000). The oak box, reminiscent of a portable desk from the 19th century, contains instruments used by surveyors, a rock from the location, documents, and maps. I was drawn to Turrell’s idea that other materials were necessary to fully understand an earthwork (and the absurdity that this was the way it should be seen).

While visiting Amarillo Ramp, The Lightning Field, Double Negative, Sun Tunnels and Spiral Jetty in the year and half that followed, I took note of what would have enriched my experience. The objects are those that I wished I had brought, those that were used to perform an action at the site, and those that were culled from the caretakers’ stories. Surprisingly, many focus on cleaning and upkeep – the antithesis of the entropy that some of the artists desired. In the end, Roden Crater makes an appearance, though its observation, due to great cost and inaccessibility, is highly unlikely.

Special acknowledgements to Andy Traub for transforming my crude sketches into three-dimensional boxes, Laurie Blakeslee for gifting me the Golden Guide books from her personal collection, Hannah Barnes for her assistance with the watercolors, and Nate Larson for suggesting that bubbles were the ideal way to interact with Sun Tunnels (he was right, you should try it).

Roden Crater (Unobserved)
Wooden box, green ribbon closest to the color of money
3.5” x 8.5” x 5”
Roden Crater (Unobserved)
Wooden box, green ribbon closest to the color of money
3.5" x 8.5" x 5"
Spiral Jetty
Wooden box, paper to soak in the Great Salt Lake and plastic bags for storage...
5" x 9" x 14"
Double Negative
Wooden box, Golden Nature Guide to Rocks and Minerals, bandages for impending injuries, matches for the impromptu fire pit, notebook for the Geocaching box on the North Cut
3" x 16" x 8.5"
Sun Tunnels
Wooden box, broom to sweep the dirt out of the concrete tunnels, Golden Nature Guide to Stars, bubbles to blow from the opening that points to the constellation Draco
11” x 13.5” x 4.5”
Sun Tunnels
Wooden box, broom to sweep the dirt out of the concrete tunnels, Golden Nature Guide to Stars, bubbles to blow from the opening that points to the constellation Draco
11” x 13.5” x 4.5”
The Lightning Field
Wooden box, map to trace one’s route through the lightning poles, metal polish cream and rag, cloud identification book, tea
11” x 16” x 5”
Amarillo Ramp
Wooden box, trowel to bury a significant object at the site, cotton to replace the ...
17" x 16" x 5"
Amarillo Ramp
Wooden box, trowel to bury a significant object at the site, cotton to replace the ...
17" x 16" x 5"