As anyone who makes environmental art can attest, much land art, environmental art, and site responsive eco-art doesn’t make great bedfellows with galleries and museums. This is how we ended up with our rather strange performance and site art tradition of displaying documentation rather than the originating object or action itself. Your environmentally situated artwork may be just as brilliant as Andy Goldsworthy’s (well, chances are it’s not, but ya never know) (no offense)… but unless you’re an exceptionally accomplished photographer, or being followed around by an amazing filmmaker, we’re unlikely to ever know the fabulous heights you’ve reached.
“The decision to organize the Green Museum specifically under the auspices of a museum—as opposed to a network or archive—was a distinctly political strategy to legitimize an art movement that had been marginalized in the larger sense of art history.” Christian L. Frock, writing in Art Ltd.
If this kind of artwork can’t be neatly piled into a museum, or neatly bought and sold, if we’re limited to experiencing it in a removed, documentary fashion, then an online archive-museum makes loads of sense as a central repository for showcasing the work. Art Ltd. delves into just that: greenmuseum.org, notable for its (lack of) fundraising technique, the interesting works archived on its website, and desperate need of a redesign. Good stuff. Do check it out.
Image: Dust Mask, 2009-2010 by Vaughn Bell. Photo by the artist. Stolen rudely from the Art Ltd. article.