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This assignment is based on the documentary film Rivers and Tides: working with time (2001). The section at Goldsworthy’s home shows him doing independent work, exploring the possibilities of materials at hand. But the Nova Scotia cone, and much of the other artwork shown in the film, was done on commission. In those cases, Goldsworthy is working in the centuries-old tradition of fulfilling a contract, to produce a specific kind of work using specific materials. One of the distinctions is often between ephemeral and permanent materials; most of the time natural materials are used in his processes.
The goals of the assignment are to:
1) to consider art making as a physical practice that requires practice and problem solving
2) to contemplate the balance of factors in negotiating personal creativity and the expectations of patrons & society in general
3) to reflect on the importance of materials as tangible substances that have impact on art making practices and that also carry psychological meaning.
4) to evaluate the importance of art-making as reflective of, and an influence on, cultural beliefs and attitudes towards the earth in general and their specific relationships with the environment.
Did the film disclose information about any of these aspects in Andy Goldsworthy’s art or process?
What are some of the other concerns and aspects that link Goldsworthy’s work to that of the other artists/works/concerns we’ve been looking at over the term?
Analyze some of the interesting aspects of the film; did it help you understand/appreciate Goldsworthy’s art?
Discuss the implications of creating art to specification (including use of specific materials). Are restrictions always detrimental to art making?
How do the different forms of land art resonate with you? Why?
We looked at the work Carbon Sink in an earlier class. Do you see any connections between that work and Goldsworthy’s? What are they?
Imagine you are commissioned to prepare a work of land art. What would you create? Why? Develop your answers.
Think about past course discussions about materials, process, spirituality, and cultures.
Write a brief analysis, minimum 750 words


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