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Smithson considered every aspect of Spiral Jetty's site before construction began: from the pink salt water to the journey past Golden Spike National Monument. The interviews below explain various aspects of the work and phenomena related to its site in Great Salt Lake. Click the images to play. Click the square in the bottom corner of the images to enlarge.



Bob Phillips

Hired by Smithson to oversee the construction of the earthwork, Phillips was essential to its completion. In this interview Phillips recounts his first impressions of Smithson and the construction process. CLICK to watch an extended interview.

Hikmet Sidney Loe

Spiral Jetty is not only an earthwork but also an essay and a film. Local art historian and Spiral Jetty expert, Loe explains the idea of multiplicity behind these three pieces and gives an overview of the history of the piece. CLICK to watch an extended interview.


Bonnie Baxter

Director of the Great Salt Lake Institute, Baxter has spent most of her career studying very salty water. In this interview she explains why the water in the north arm of Great Salt Lake is colored pink and describes other important organisms that live near Spiral Jetty.



Barbara Nash

Smithson's work and writings reflect his deep interest in geology. Nash, Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah, shares her thoughts on Smithson's use of geological terms and time in relation to Spiral Jetty.


Francesca Esmay, Rand Eppich, and Aurora Tang

Dia Art Foundation and The Getty Conservation Institute partnered to document Spiral Jetty in an effort to understand how the earthwork is changing. Listen to this interview to learn how they are photographing the piece and what they are finding.



Matthew Coolidge

Coolidge, Director of The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), is interested in how humans interact with the earth around them. In this interview, he describes the apparent emptiness of the Bonneville Salt Flats and Rozel Point, where Spiral Jetty is located.



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related links

The Smithson Effect on view March 10 through July 3, 2011

Robert Smithson in the UMFA's Permanent Collection

Dia Art Foundation
directions to Spiral Jetty

More about Robert Smithson


land art

Robert Smithson
Nancy Holt
Spiral Jetty partnership





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