Land Arts Of The American West
Land Arts of the American West is an ongoing experiment and interdisciplinary model for an Arts pedagogy based in place. The Land Arts program provides students with direct, physical engagement, investigating a full range of human interventions in the landscape – from pre-contact Native America architecture, rock paintings and petrogylphs to contemporary Earthworks, agricultural environments, federal infrastructure, and the constructions of the US Military. Land art includes gestures both grand and small, directing our attention from potsherd, cigarette butt, and track in the sand, to human settlements, foodsheds, monumental artworks, and military/industrial projects such as hydroelectric dams, interstate highways, mines, and decommissioned airﬁelds.
Each year, Land Arts of the American West, travels extensively throughout the southwestern United States and north central Mexico, to live and work for over fifty days on the land. This engagement merges research, individual experimentation, collective inquiry/collaborative projects with the everyday practice of nomadic living. Investigating sites across diverse territories of cultural significance, biological eco-niches, and socio-political spaces, students experience a critical proximity to the American West and develop methodologies towards studio-based field practices. Some of the sites explored, include – Chaco Canyon, Roden Crater, Hoover Dam, Wendover Complex of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Juan Mata Ortiz, Spiral Jetty, the Very Large Array, US/Mexico Border, Grand Canyon, Grand Gulch, Gila Wilderness, Bosque del Apache and Otero Mesa Grasslands.