The solution, I believe, is ideas. You need an idea, the desire to see it realized, the courage to take the risk, the perseverance to continue when it is crumbling around you, and the vision, strength, and stamina to see it through. You may not think dumping 6 ½ tons of basalt rock into a lake bed in the form of a reverse spiral is significant. You may even think it is a waste of time, energy, and resources. I’m here to tell you differently. If you haven’t yet stood on the edge of the Spiral Jetty as I have, and like many before me, looked out across the lake and saw where the horizon line designates where one of the Earth’s four sides ends, then you won’t be able to understand the human spirit and the innate desire to create.
I stand and dream. I see an abandoned oil jetty in ruin from the 1900s (Amoco Oil tried to resurrect one in the '70s), 500 yards to my left – man’s failed attempt at reverse entropy. I am on solid rock, on a solid shape, created in harmony with nature, that is slowly being absorbed, coddled, blanketed by the ebb and flow of a lake, its salty breath heaving in and out, its even respiration ever steady, not ready to stop, not crumbling, not retiring as the jetty holds this part of the Earth together. The Spiral Jetty is a gift to the Gods, an ancient symbol, a testimony and a sacrifice on the altar of a red algae sea, poised gracefully (delicately) within the landscape, it is a marker of time and of a man’s imprint. I stand, pelicans fly overhead, F-16s follow, and then there is silence. Only the airless vacuum of the sun’s rays and blinding white heat, glistening off the icy white crystals floating like miniature icebergs or clinging to molten rocks, licking their pocked faces, filling their orifices with slippery fluids, ebb and flow, hardening, crystallizing, growing, expulsion, rebirth. I am a sacrificial lamb, a victim to the lake that drains the moisture out of my body, I am ALIVE. I am such a small insignificant part of this vast ecosystem, helpless, defenseless, and puny. I am grateful to be here.
Smithson created a roundabout to infinity; he is nature’s beloved architect. To the very bowels of the earth, he has staked a claim where Man is allowed to stand freely, on par with the Gods if for only a moment, before we are sent back down the entropic slide into Hell. Time is of the essence now, and we are threatened – you, me, the jetty and art. The Spiral Jetty has finally emerged from its archaic slumber within recent years, having been submerged or partially for most of its life, the lake waters dropping, in part due to record dry seasons. I dare say global warming? It has risen like a Phoenix from the womb, from its source, for a reason. What should we do with it now? Let me help you decide.