Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty (1970)
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks, water
Coil: 1,500 ft. (457.2 meters) long and 15 ft. wide (4.57 meters)
Collection of Dia Art Foundation
Photograph: Gianfranco Gorgoni
© Holt/Smithson Foundation and Dia Art Foundation/licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Built at the mouth of a terminal basin rich in minerals and nearly devoid of life, Spiral Jetty is a testament to Smithson’s fascination with entropy. Its precarious location lends itself to the structure’s inevitable disintegration, yet its impressive size and deliberate shape command the surrounding landscape. Constructed from 6,650 tons of rock and earth, the spiral continuously changes form as nature, industry, and time take effect.