Torn Photograph from the 2nd Stop (Rubble): 2nd Mountain of Six Stops on a Section
Smithson was one of the leading Earth Artists of the 1960s and early 1970s, most famous for his 1970 site piece, the Spiral Jetty. This photographic print depicts a geological study of mixed rubble that contains discarded manufactured materials like lumber and brick. Four large torn pieces make up the overall composition, adding to the raw, fragmented feeling of the image. This print is an example of his “non-site” pieces, collections of earth and rocks gathered at various geological sites that he installed in galleries and also represented through maps and photographic documentation. These pieces are a commentary on a human distance and abstracting of the natural world within modern technological society. The recording of debris in this work also references a concern with the destructive effects of commercial industry on the American land, which was initiated by the geological surveys documented by Timothy O’Sullivan.