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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDeserts of the Political
Spiral Jetty (Smithson, Robert), 1970

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wide, white space (among other things) provided the foundation for the post-minimalist interventions of earth artists such as Dennis Oppenheim, Michael Heizer, or Walter de Maria.[22] Spectacular interventions by artists such as Heizer and de Maria could be called «cinematographic,» in the Baudrillardian sense, in that they are based in the attempt to converge ancient myths, the liberation promised by minimalism, and modernist ideas of the desert in one constantly perfect, giant sculpture. The view from above the aerial view (which is also the view of the desert artists earth works) is the predominant one, which sees the desert as a kind of grandiose nature. On the ground, the individual is lost, decentralized, disoriented. From the air, it becomes apparent that there are an infinite number of ways to make both strategic and aesthetic inscriptions. At the same time, flying can eliminate this 9visual model, : make it possible to continually vary directions and clues. In attempting to define «nomadic art,» Deleuze and Guattari mention, among other things, aerial acrobatics, which supposedly forces the ground to constantly change direction.[23] And was not Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one of the greatest


twentieth-century desert poets, a pilot first and foremost? Furthermore, the perspective from an airplane, helicopter, or satellite is a very male one. Zabriskie Point emphasizes this, too: while the woman on the ground drives through the desert in an old car, the man flies above the area in a stolen private plane. The audience flies along with him, so that they have the chance to experience the landscape as a geographic, cartographic relief. On the ground, however, maps must always be consulted in order to compensate for the lack of an overview, in order to orient oneself.

«Spiral Jetty» by Robert Smithson

Like «Zabriskie Point,» which presents an entire catalogue of ways to move and orient oneself in the desert, «Spiral Jetty», a film by Robert Smithson, is also structured like an anthology. Here, the New York artist finds a new way to modulate the relation between de- and reterritorialization. His construction of the «desert» differs essentially from the minimalist scenarios of point zero, emptiness, and the sublime. Nonetheless, Smithson participates in the

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