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ARTHI 3658: Land Art

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Spring 2017, Mondays 9 12pm, Spertus 314

Instructor: Amanda Douberley,

Office Hours: Mondays 12-1 and Fridays 12-1 (by appointment)

Beginning in the late 1960s, artists like Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson redefined what it
meant to make art in the landscape with their large-scale earthworks. This course uses the work
of Heizer and Smithson as a jumping off point to explore a wide range of related issues and
practices, from works of nineteenth-century U.S. Geological Survey artists, to feminist critiques
of canonical earthworks, to ecologically engaged art. We pay close attention to issues of site,
place, patronage, travel, tourism, and modes of exhibiting land art, including in galleries and
museums, on film and video, as well as through books and various forms of writing. Weekly
meetings are informed by readings from the textbook, supplemented with short primary texts
by artists and theorists. Class sessions combine a lecture component and discussion, along with
a number of visits to sites outside the classroom.

Learning O utcomes: Upon completion of the course, students should possess (1) familiarity
with the major artists and critical issues associated with land art; (2) general knowledge of ways
that artists have helped shape attitudes about the land since the eighteenth century; (3) a
deeper understanding of how the practices of artists have been informed by changing outlooks
on the environment since the late 1960s; (4) enhanced tools of textual and formal analysis; (5)
improved research and writing skills.

Textbook: John Beardsley, Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art In the Landscape, 4th
edition (New York: Abbeville Press, 2006).

All other readings are available via CANVAS.

Assignments with Percentage of C ourse Grade:

Class participation, worksheets, etc. Dates vary (50%)
Short paper March 6 (20%)
Research paper May 8 (30%)

Written assignments are designed to improve your writing and critical thinking skills. All
assignments must be completed to receive a passing grade. Undergraduate and non-degree-
seeking students must achieve at least average performance in the course (the traditional
grade equivalent of a C or 70%) in order to earn CR. Graduate students must achieve the
traditional grade equivalent of a B (80%) or better in order to earn CR. If you are interested in
receiving a letter grade, please notify me at the beginning of the semester, provide a grade
request form, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

C lass participation, worksheets, and short writing assignments: Throughout the
semester, you will be asked to respond to course readings and contribute to class discussion.
You should arrive in class each week prepared to share your own ideas about the assigned
readings and to respond to those of your colleagues. To facilitate class discussion, you will be
assigned several short writing assignments (1-2 pages) and in-class worksheets. Assignments
will be announced in class and via CANVAS.

Papers: The first paper will give you an opportunity to analyze primary sources on land art.
You will choose an artwork and write a 500 to 1,000-word text based on artist statements as
well as period articles and reviews.

For the second paper, you will choose a specific artwork or critical issue associated with land
art to discuss in a 2,000 to 2,500-word research paper. The paper will hone your ability to
describe and analyze works of art, and sharpen your research skills. Further guidelines for both
assignments will be distributed in class.

For all course assignments, please write in complete sentences and use a 12-point font,
double-space sentences, and number your pages. At the top of the first page, include a single-
spaced header with your name, title of course, title of paper, and date of paper. Citations are
required when paraphrasing or quoting unique sources. For a quick guide to citations, see
Unless otherwise indicated, you should submit your work via CANVAS.

Assignments must be turned in on the due date to receive credit. Extensions will be granted
only if you have been sick or had a personal emergency, and can provide documentation from
a doctor or school authority attesting to this fact. Late assignments will be docked ten points
per day.

Writing C enter: SAIC offers free, hour-long writing tutorials at the Writing Center, which is
located in the basement of MacLean. Tutors are available to assist all currently enrolled
students with any stage of the writing process. To schedule an appointment with a Writing
Center tutor, students first need to create an account through the online sign-up system: Once students have set up their own
account, they may sign up for appointments. Weekly standing appointments are available upon
request. When students come to their tutoring appointments, they should make sure to bring
their assignments with them and have any work printed out. Online schedule instructions are
available outside of the Writing Center suite (in the hallway outside of the MacLean Center B1
03). Call 312.345.9131 for last-minute openings. Monday Thursday, 4:15pm 7:15pm are
designated as walk-in hours.

Attendance: SAIC policy states that students are expected to attend all classes regularly and
on time.

Students should miss class only with reasonable cause. If a student needs to miss class with
reasonable cause, it is the students responsibility to contact the instructor to receive
instruction for how to make up for the missed class. It is the instructors responsibility to give
this information to the student as his/her/their schedule permits. Missing class for other than a
reasonable cause may jeopardize the students academic standing in the class.

Any MORE than two missed classes, whether or not for a reasonable cause, is grounds for No
Credit in all Art History courses. There are no excused absences.

Reasonable cause to miss a class might include:

Illness or hospitalization (the student should contact Health Services, who will relay
information to the faculty in whose class the student is enrolled)
Observation of a religious holiday
Family illness or death

Classes missed during the add/drop period are counted towards absences. The student is
responsible for assignments given during those missed days. Students officially enrolled in a
course will be given credit only if they have responded adequately to the standards and
requirements set by the instructor.

Please be on time! When you are late to class, you disrupt discussion and miss important
information. Be advised that, if you arrive more than ten minutes after the start of class, you will
be marked absent. You are required to ask for permission if you need to leave class early for
any reason and should avoid scheduling appointments during class time. Tardies are
cumulative and may be counted against attendance.

Remember to power down. Electronic devices such as cellphones and pagers must be
turned off and put away before class begins. Laptops, tablets, and e-readers may be used
ONLY to view course readings. The use of digital devices in class to perform non-class related
work will not be tolerated. Any student who ignores this policy will be asked to leave class and
will be marked absent.

Academic Misconduct: Academic misconduct includes both plagiarism and cheating, and may
consist of: the submission of the work of another as ones own; unauthorized assistance on a
test or assignment; submission of the same work for more than one class without the
knowledge and consent of all instructors; or the failure to properly cite texts or ideas from
other sources. Academic integrity is expected in all coursework, including online learning. It is
assumed that the person receiving the credit for the course is the person completing the work.
SAIC has processes in place that protect student privacy and uses LDAP authentication to verify
student identity. Specific procedures for faculty to follow in the case of academic misconduct
are detailed in the Student Handbook. Additional resources for students: Plagiarism: How to
Recognize It and Avoid It, a short guide prepared by the Faculty Senate Student Life
Subcommitee in 2004.

The Flaxman Librarys quick guide titled AVOID PLAGIARISM.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: SAIC is committed to full compliance with all
laws regarding equal opportunities for students with disabilities. Students with known or
suspected disabilities, such as a Reading/Writing Disorder, ADD/ADHD, and/or a mental health
condition who think they would benefit from assistance or accommodations should first contact
the Disability and Learning Resource Center (DLRC) to schedule an appointment. DLRC staff
will review your disability documentation and work with you to determine reasonable
accommodations. They will then provide you with a letter outlining the approved
accommodations for you to deliver to your instructors. This letter must be presented before
any accommodations will be implemented. You should contact the DLRC as early in the
semester as possible. The DLRC is located within the Wellness Center on the 13th floor of 116
S Michigan Ave. and can be reached via phone at 312.499.4278 or email at

C ourse Schedule
Unit 1
January 30

In-class screening: Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Ellen Hovde, Christos Valley Curtain
(1974, 28:00).

Unit 2
February 6
Monument and Environment: The Avant- Garde, 1966- 1976 I

Required reading:
Earthworks, Introduction and Chapter 1, pp. 6-26.
CANVAS: Robert Smithson, A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey,
Artforum (December 1967): 52-57.
CANVAS: Smithson, The Spiral Jetty (1972), and Liza Bear and Willoughby Sharp,
Discussions with Heizer, Oppenheim, Smithson (1970), in Jack Flam, ed., Robert
Smithson: The Collected Writings (Berkeley: Univ. California Press, 1996), pp. 143-153,
CANVAS: Rosalind Krauss, Sculpture in the Expanded Field, October 8 (Spring 1979),
pp. 30-44.

In-class screening: Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty (1970, 35:00).

February 8 END O F ADD/DRO P

Unit 3
February 13
Monument and Environment: The Avant- Garde, 1966- 1976 II

Required reading:
Earthworks, Chapter 1, pp. 26-39.
CANVAS: Tom Holert, Land Arts Multiple Sites, in Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon,
Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art), pp.
Earth Art (Ithaca, NY: Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1970).
Look through the catalogue, read the essay by Willoughby Sharp and the excerpts from
the symposium:

Unit 4
February 20
The Ramble

Required reading:
Earthworks, Chapter 2, pp. 41-57.
CANVAS: Hamish Fulton, No Walk, No Work!, in John K. Grande, Art Nature
Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press,
2004), pp. 129-138.
CANVAS: Richard Long, Artist statements, in Richard Long: Heaven and Earth (London:
Tate Pub., 2009), pp. 142-145.
CANVAS: Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (New York: Penguin Books,
2000), Chapter 10, Of Walking Clubs and Land Wars, pp. 148-168.
CANVAS: Andrew Wilson, From Page to Page: An Introduction to Richard Longs
Books, in Heaven and Earth, pp. 194-199.
Optional reading:
CANVAS: David Nash, Real Living Art! in Grande, Art Nature Dialogues, pp. 1-13.

In-class visit: Joan Flash Artists Book Collection.

Unit 5
February 27

Required reading:
CANVAS: Lucy Lippard, Introduction and Feminism and Prehistory, in Overlay:
Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory (New York: New Press, 1983), pp. 1-13, 41-
75, 243-245.
CANVAS: Ana Mendieta, Ideas and Notes, in Gloria Moure, Ana Mendieta
(Barcelona: CGAC, 1996), pp. 189-202.

March 6 NO C LASS C ritique Week
Short paper due via C ANVAS

Unit 6
March 13
Tradition & Antecedent

Required reading:
Earthworks, Chapter 3, pp. 59-87.
CANVAS: Edmund Burke, from A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of
the Sublime and Beautiful (1957), and Uvedale Price, from Essays on the Picturesque
(1794), in Harry Francis Mallgrave, ed., Architectural Theory Volume I An Anthology
from Vitruvius to 1870 (Malde, Mass.: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 277-283, 307-312.
CANVAS: John Brinckerhoff Jackson, The Word Itself, in Discovering the Vernacular
Landscape (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1984), pp. 3-8.
CANVAS: Hugh Honour, The Morality of Landscape, in Romanticism (New York:
Harper & Row, 1979), pp. 57-72.
Optional reading:
CANVAS: Remainder of Honours chapter on landscape, in Romanticism, pp. 73-118.

In-class visit: Art Institute of Chicago.

Unit 7
March 20
Perspectives on the Nineteenth C entury

Required reading:
CANVAS: Zoe Leonard, This Is Where I Was, and Lynne Cooke, Mapping a Course
from Site to Sight, in Zoe Leonard: You See I Am Here After All (New York: Dia Art
Foundation, 2010), pp. 8-33, 204-219.
CANVAS: Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, One Mississippi: Coloney & Fairchilds Ribbon Map
of the Father of Waters (1866), Common-Place 15:4 (Summer 2015).
CANVAS: Christopher Morris, Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi
and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina (New York: Oxford Univ.
Press, 2012), Chapter 5, Consolidation, Transformation, Conservation, pp. 86-107,
Optional reading:
CANVAS: Lytle Shaw, Unsettling Time at the Falls, in You See I Am Here, pp. 190-

Guest lecture: Nenette Luarca-Shoaf

Unit 8
March 27
The Artists Garden

Required reading:
Virginia Grace Tuttle, A Desperately Aesthetic Business: Garden Art in America,
1870-1920, in Anna O. Marley, ed., The Artists Garden: American Impressionism and
the Garden Movement (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), pp. 27-41.
Gabrielle van Zuylen, The Eye of a Gardener Claude Monet, in Marina Ferretti
Bocquillon, ed., Monets Garden in Giverny: Inventing the Landscape (Giverny: Muse
des Impressionnismes, 2009), pp. 39-47.
James Yood, Making Monet Matter: Giverny and Modern Art, in In Monets Garden:
Artists and the Lure of Giverny (Columbus, OH: Columbus Museum of Art, 2007), pp.

In-class visit: Terra Foundation for American Art

March 29 Last day to withdraw

Unit 9
April 3
Beyond Earthworks: The Public Landscape & The New Urban Landscape

Required reading:
Earthworks, Chapters 4 and 5, pp. 89-157.
CANVAS: Robert Morris, Notes on Art as/and Land Reclamation (1980), in Jeffrey
Kastner, ed., Land and Environmental Art (New York: Phaidon, 1998), pp. 254-256.
CANVAS: Richard Serra, Extended Notes from Sight Point Road (1985), in Richard
Serra: Writings/Interviews (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 167-173.
CANVAS: Nancy Holt, Interview with James Meyer (2007), in Nancy Holt: Sightlines
(Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2011), pp. 222-233.
Optional reading:
CANVAS: Richard Serra, Interview with Douglas Crimp, Richard Serras Urban
Sculpture (1980), in Writings/Interviews, pp. 125-139.

Unit 10
April 10
The Greening of Art

Required reading:
Earthworks, Chapter 6, pp. 159-201.

CANVAS: Alan Sonfist, Natural Phenomena as Public Monuments (1968), and Joseph
Beuys, Interview with Richard Demarco (1982), in Kastner, Land and Environmental Art,
pp. 257-258, 266-268.
CANVAS: Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (New York: Random House, 2006; first
published 1989), pp. 40-52.
CANVAS: Barbara C. Matilsky, Fragile Ecologies (New York: Rizzoli, 1992). Selection

Unit 11
April 17
The Global Landscape

Required reading:
Earthworks, Afterword, pp. 203-218.
CANVAS: Robert Smithson, Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape
(1973), in Smithson: Collected Writings, pp. 157-171.
CANVAS: Peter Reed, Beyond Before and After: Designing Contemporary
Landscape, in Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape (New York:
Museum of Modern Art, 2005), pp. 14-32.
Optional reading:
CANVAS: Peter Latz, Interview with Udo Weilacher, in Between Landscape Architecture
and Land Art (Boston: Birkhuser, 1999), pp. 121-136.

In-class visit: Lurie Garden, Millennium Park.

Unit 12
April 24
Land Art Since the New Millennium

Required reading:
CANVAS: Remote Possibilities: Land Arts Changing Terrain, a roundtable discussion
with Claire Bishop, Lynne Cooke, Tim Griffin, Pierre Huyghe, Pamela M. Lee, Rirkrit
Tiravanija, and Andrea Zittel, Artforum 43 (Summer 2005): 288-295, 366.
CANVAS: Stephanie Smith, Beyond Green and Victor Margolin, Reflections and Art
and Sustainability, in Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art (Chicago: Smart
Museum of Art; New York: Independent Curators International, 2005), pp. 13-29.
CANVAS: T.J. Demos, The Politics of Sustainability: Art and Ecology, in Radical
Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet, 1969-2009 (London: Barbican Art
Gallery and Koenig Books, 2009), pp. 17-30.

Unit 13
May 1 In- class paper presentations

Unit 14 Research Paper Due
May 8 Field Trip to Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State

*The instructor reserves the right to adjust the course schedule; announcements will be made
in class and via CANVAS.