Field Trip Readings

Below is a list of readings for the optional field trip to visit major works of land art in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas during the summer preceding the term. For related films, see the Bibliography.

[AA] = Schipsi, Lauren and Josef Helfenstein, eds. Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil. The Menil Collection, 2010. ISBN: 9780300123777.

0 On airport wifi (i.e. before departure)

Land Arts of the American West

Downwinders of Utah Archive

Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform (GSLEP)

Atlas Obscura

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) Land Use Database

SacredSites mobile app

Very Large Array

1 Spiral Jetty, Sun Tunnels

Smithson, Robert. “The Spiral Jetty.” In Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Revised edition. Edited by Jack Flam. University of California Press, 1996, pp. 143–153. ISBN: 9780520203853. [Preview with Google Books]

Alloway, Lawrence. “Site Inspection.” Artforum, October 1976, 49–55.

Coolidge, Matthew. “Introduction.” In Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Edited by Matthew Coolidge and Sarah Simons. Metropolis Books, 2006, p. 16. ISBN: 9781933045337.

Buy at MIT Press ———. “A Tour of the Monuments of the Great American Void.” In Perspecta: Grand Tour No. 41. MIT Press Journals, 2008, pp. 94-–101. ISBN: 9780262512251.

Kennedy, Randy. “How to Conserve Art That Lives in a Lake?New York Times, November, 17, 2009: C1.

Rubio, Fernando Domínguez. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.“The Material Production of the Spiral Jetty: A Study of Culture in the Making.” (PDF) In Curatorial Sociology 6:143 (2012): 143–161.

Landi, Ann. "Discovering Tunnels in the Sand." The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2012.

2 Wendover/CLUI, Double Negative

Glueck, Grace. “Moving Mother Earth.” New York Times, October 6, 1968: D38.

Heizer, Michael. “You Might Say I’m in the Construction Business.” ArtNews 76: 10 (December, 1977): 97–99.

Fox, William L. “Michael Heizer: The Perforated Object.” In Mapping the Empty: Eight Artists and Nevada. University of Nevada Press, 1999, pp. 103–122. ISBN: 9780874173147.

———. Chapter 2. In The Void, The Grid, and the Sign: Traversing the Great Basin. University of Nevada Press, 2000, pp. 23–52. ISBN: 9780874176186. [Preview with Google Books]

Lippard, Lucy. Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West. The New Press, 2014, pp. 26–30; 81–120. ISBN: 9781595586193. [Preview with Google Books]

3 Route 40 Driving Day

Auping, Michael. “The Ecology and Economics of ‘Earth Art’,” Artweek (June 18, 1977): 1.

Butzer, Karl W. "Indian Legacy in the American Landscape." In The Making of the American Landscape. Edited by Michael P. Conzen. Routledge, 1990, pp. 27–50. ISBN: 9780415911788.

Wescoat, James L. "Watering the Deserts." In The Making of the American Landscape. Edited by Michael P. Conzen. Routledge, 1990, pp. 186–203. ISBN: 9780415911788.

Frank, Della. “I Hate to See…/For Those Who Suffer in Life.” In Storm Pattern: Poems from Two Navajo Women: Poems by Della Frank & Roberta D. Joe. Navajo Community College Preses, 1993, pp. 20–21.

Blahut, Chelsea. “City Under Siege.” In Architect, 104: 5 (May, 2015): 40.


Hofmann, Irene, Candice Hopkins, et al. "The Ties That Bind Us." In Much Wider Than a Line. SITE Sante Fe, 2016. ISBN: 9780985660239.

4 Drive to El Paso (Car 1)/Drive to White Sands (Car 2)

Thompson, A.R., B.G. Clark, et al. “The Very Large Array.” In The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 44, (October 1980): 151–167.

Masco, Joe. Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-­Cold War New Mexico. Princeton University Press, 2006, pp. 1–18; 311–27. [Preview with Google Books]

Kett, Robert J. "Monumentality as Method: Archaeology and Land Art in the Cold War.” Representations, Vol. 130 (Spring, 2015): 119–151.

Optional Car #1:

Kripa, Ersela and Stephen Mueller. “Infrastructure of Dust: Managing Particulate in the Borderland.” (PDF)

———. "Domestic Insecurities: Informal Housing and the Future of Low-Intensity Conflict.” (PDF) In MONU, Issue on Domestic Urbanism, 2016.

Day after lightning Field (car specific):

Beardsley, John. “Art and Authoritarianism: Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field.” October 16 (Spring 1981): 35–38.

Nisbet, James. “A Brief Moment in the History of Photo‐Energy: Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field.” Grey Room 50 (Winter, 2013): 66–89.

Optional Car #2:

Building Technology Inc., Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, and National Park Service. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader."Historic Properties Report: White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and Subinstallation, Utah Launch Complex, Green River, Utah.” (PDF - 7.9MB) 1984.

5 Drive to Marfa

Judd, Donald. "Specific Objects." In Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959–1975: Gallery Reviews, Book Reviews, Articles, Letters to the Editor, Reports, Statements, Complaints. Judd Foundation, 2016, pp. 181–189. ISBN: 9781938922930.

Tillim, Sidney. “Earthworks and the New Picturesque.” Artforum 7: 4 (December 1968): 43–45.

Smithson, Robert. "Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape.” In Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Edited by Jack Flam. University of California Press, 1996, pp. 157–171. ISBN: 9780520203853. [Preview with Google Books]

Larson, Kay. “New Landscapes in Art.” New York Times. May 13, 1979.

Wilsey, Sean and Daphne Beal. "Lone Star Bohemia." Vanity Fair. July, 2012.


Judd, Donald. "It's Hard to Find a Good Lamp" Talk Series.

Kennedy, Randy. "Robert Irwin's Big Visions, Barely Seen." New York Times. January 1, 2016. 

6 Marfa

Tomkins, Caivin. "The Benefactor." The New Yorker. June 8, 1998, pp. 52–67.

———. "The Mission." The New Yorker. May 19, 2003, pp. 46–53.

Kimmelman, Michael. “The Dia Generation.” The New York Times Magazine. April 6, 2003.

Colacello, Bob. “Remains of the Dia.” Vanity Fair. September, 1996.

Seman, Michael. "No Country for Old Developers: The Strange Tale of an Arts Boom, Bohemians, and 'Marfalafel' in the High Desert of Marfa, Texas." (PDF) Applied Research in Economic Development 5:3 (December, 2008): 25–31.


"Chinati Foundation Announces Major New Work by Robert Irwin." Chinati Foundation.

Vasquez, Sarah M. "With Controversy Behind Them, Irwin Project Under Way." Big Bend Now. October 8, 2015.

Garcia, John Daniel. "Chinati Unveils Major New Work by Robert Irwin, Finally." Big Bend Now. July 21, 2016.

"A One-Day Excursion from Marfa to the South." (PDF - 9.2MB)

7 Drive to Austin

Potts, Alex. "Tactility: The Interrogation of Medium in Art of the 1960s." Art History 27: 282–304.

Chave, Anna. This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.“Revaluing Minimalism: Patronage, Aura and Place.” (PDF) Art Bulletin 90:3 (September 2008): 466–486.

Ginsburgh, V. and A.F. Penders. "Land Artists and Art Markets." In Journal of Cultural Economics 21 (1997): 219–228.

Deitch, Jeffrey. “The New Economics of Environmental Art.” In Art in the Land: A Critical Anthology of Environmental Art. Edited by Alan Sonfist. Plume, 1983, pp. 85–91. ISBN: 9780525477020.

8 In Houston

[AA] "Aesthetics as a Vocation."

[AA] "Two Museums and Two Universities: Toward The Menil Collection."

[AA] "Regard the Light: The Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall."

Kaplan, Barry J. "Houston: The Golden Buckle of the Sunbelt." In Sunbelt Cities: Politics and Growth Since World War II. Edited by Richard M. Bernard and Bradley R. Rice. University of Texas Press, 1984, pp. 196–212. ISBN: 9780292775800. [Preview with Google Books]