How many people know Smithsons’ Spiral Jetty? How many people have actually seen it? For most, the gargantuan work is no larger than a page in a book or magazine. How many people have actually seen children sprayed with napalm, the surface of a nearby planet or open-heart surgery? Mediated knowledge comes with strings attached: it substitutes the opacity of not seeing with the transparency of seeing through. The Black Forest of myth has been replaced by a crystal garden of holographic distortions. We are now blinded by our ability to see through everything. The man who stands on top of Spiral Jetty can’t see it any better than the man who gazes at it in a book.
My work attempts to define these mediations as if they were a landscape.
Like a nineteenth century easel painter, and much like an impressionist would insist happens, I try to render the scenery of signs and depict things as I see them. The landscape has changed, but the role of the artist remains the same – to shed light on the complexities in the relationship between mind and phenomena.
Documentation and dissemination have become fused with the ideas of the events and things themselves.
Vik Muniz 2002
Vik Muniz has the following primary representatives: