Publisher description for Spiral Jetta : a road trip through the land art of the American West / Erin Hogan.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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Erin Hogan hit the road in her Volkswagen Jetta and headed west from Chicago in search of the monuments of American land art: a salty coil of rocks, four hundred stainless-steel poles, a gash in a mesa, four concrete tubes, and military sheds filled with cubes. Her journey took her through the states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. It also took her through the states of anxiety, drunkenness, disorientation, and heat exhaustion. Spiral Jetta is a chronicle of this journey.
A lapsed art historian and devoted urbanite, Hogan initially sought firsthand experience of the monumental earthworks of the 1970s and the 1980s—Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field, James Turrell’s Roden Crater, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, and the contemporary art mecca of Marfa, Texas. Armed with spotty directions, no compass, and less-than-desert-appropriate clothing, she found most of what she was looking for and then some. Her encounters with these artworks are recorded here, personal observations lightly draped in art history and theory. But for Hogan this trip was also the most extended time she had spent alone, and her 3,000-mile circuit through the west became an experiment in solitude, with mixed results.
Spiral Jetta offers a view of a critical moment of twentieth-century American art. It also offers a view of the American landscape, seen through the windshield of a car streaming through the empty highways of the American West, piloted by a woman who had no real idea where she was going.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Earthworks (Art) -- West (U.S.)
West (U.S.) -- Description and travel.
Hogan, Erin -- Travel -- West (U.S.)