Dion Chapter 2

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S.R. Which practice in the history of art is your favorite and can be conceived as your favorite?

M.D. It's difficult to isolate a practice, and also I'm not sure if I feel confident that a lot of the terms we use to describe practices really fit them very well. But I think that in some ways something comes together for me around ideas that we would call Conceptualism, and also where the Conceptual art ends, maybe Earth Art sort of come together and some of these people. A whole handful of artists, everyone from Smithson to Hollis Frampton to people like Weiner, Kosuth, more like people you think about in the conceptual tradition. I think in some way that functioned for me. On the other hand there were also people coming from a documentary practice in film-making, people like Godard, and people coming out of the British film studies like Laura Mulvey or Peter Wollen, so writers as wells as filmmakers, and also the equivalent of that in looking at photography, so people like Allan Sekula, Martha Rosler... I don't know, is that late conceptualism? I don't really know. It would be hard for me to put a specific term on it. Smithson was important to me, of course, largely because of his ability to take the art discourse and overlay it onto another discourse: geology, you know, the science of time. In some way that was a very important model for me, to take a certain kind of very complex, critical practice and apply it to a field which is entirely not related to art, like geology. You can't really understand Smithson unless you understand a little bit about geology. Geology is not really about studying rocks but about studying time.

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