How to Conserve Art That Lives in a Lake? - NY Times article

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By RANDY KENNEDY, Published: November 17, 2009

"In 1972, a year before his death in a plane crash at 35, the artist Robert Smithson wrote, "I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day to day." And with the creation of his greatest work "Spiral Jetty", the huge counterclockwise curlicue of black basalt rock that juts into the Great Salt Lake in rural Utah  he certainly put that conviction to the test."

Issues like this recently prompted the Dia Art Foundation, which owns the work, to begin exploring the idea of systematically documenting the site, photographing it from year to year to give curators and conservators a better idea of how it is changing and a better basis for making decisions — always tricky in the world of land art — about whether to intervene.

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