Saturday, June 21, 2008

Erin Hogan

From an interview with Erin Hogan, author of Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip through the Land Art of the American West:

Question: Spiral Jetta is as much a book about solo travel as it is about the land art that you visited. You contemplated this 3,000-mile excursion vaguely for a long time—was there a single moment when you finally thought, “Yes, I'm going to do this!”? If so, what triggered it?

Erin Hogan: There wasn’t a single moment that I decided to do this. In fact, I always knew if I ever had an epiphany about my trip, it would be a resounding “No! There is absolutely no way I am going to do this!” So, to make it impossible for me to back out of my own trip, I told everyone I knew that I was going to do it. It was like an insurance policy. Once I told people I was doing it, I more or less had to go, because people were asking “When are you going to take that trip?” Thus I was forced to come up with an answer and then leave at whatever made-up time I had said I would.

Q: All these monumental works tend to get grouped together under the name of land art. Do you think that is a sensible way of thinking about them, or does the variation within the group require a more nuanced approach to categorization?

Hogan: I am a fan of categories. There are exceptions and variations in every category, of course, but to organize large thoughts, categories can’t be beat. All of these works were artistic manipulations of very large landscapes, and that’s good enough to make a category as far as I’m concerned.
Read the full interview.

Read an excerpt from Spiral Jetta.

--Marshal Zeringue