Bingham Copper Mining Pit—Utah / Reclamation Project

Robert Smithson American

Not on view

In the last two years before his death in a plane crash at age thirty-five, Smithson proposed various land-reclamation projects that would transform devastated industrial sites into a new form of public art. Here he envisions an earthwork that would have dwarfed even his famous "Spiral Jetty": the oldest open-pit copper mine and the largest man-made excavation (more than two miles wide) in the world. The unexecuted project involved the construction of a massive revolving disk—reminiscent of the viewing platform of a nineteenth-century panorama—at the pit's base from which to survey nature's gradual and inevitable reclamation of man's invasive enterprise.

Bingham Copper Mining Pit—Utah / Reclamation Project, Robert Smithson (American, Passaic, New Jersey 1938–1973 Amarillo, Texas), Photostat and plastic overlay with wax pencil

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