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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDeserts of the Political

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Deserts of the Political - Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Smithson and Michael Snow
icon: authorTom Holert

The desert boomed in the years around 1970. And not just because images of the desolate surface of the moon recorded the existence of a new desert. It was more because the colonization of the extraterrestrial desert was accompanied by the terrestrial deserts impacting emphatically on the imaginings of a global popular culture. In the late 1960s the desert became the construction site for spectacular earth works that artists like Robert Smithson carried out, preferably in the deserts of California, Nevada and Utah. But the cultural location in which deserts positively exploded was the cinema. Once again the desert played its part as a semantically ambiguous heterotope of emptiness, death, temptation, revelation, but also of origin, purity, purification. Deserts and desert-like landscapes as cinematographic-psychological sign complexes are analysed through the following productions: »Zabriskie Point« (1970) by Michelangelo Antonioni, »Spiral Jetty« by Robert Smithson (1970) and »La Région Centrale« by Michael Snow (1971). [more]more

Text Sections
icon: heading Desert Yearsicon: heading Desert People «Zabriski Point» by Michaelangelo Antonioniicon: heading The Desert as Laboratoryicon: heading Antonioni s Vision of the Politicalicon: heading The Desert as a Dispositif of Perceptionicon: heading Aerial Viewicon: heading «Spiral Jetty» by Robert Smithsonicon: heading «Zabriskie Point» and «Spiral Jetty»icon: heading Smithson s Political Stanceicon: heading Disintegrated worldicon: heading The Moral of the Spiralicon: heading Sandboxicon: heading Smithson and Deleuzeicon: heading La Région Centraleicon: heading The Desert as Filmic Subject