Desert Coil

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Photo by Scott Haefner: Desert Coil

Spiral Jetty reaching into the northern arm of the Great Salt Lake. Created by Robert Smithson in 1970, it is made of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water, and has become emblematic of the earthworks movement.

Earthworks (also called Land Art, Earth Art or Environmental Art) are sculptural pieces that integrate physical or conceptual elements of the landscape into the finished art work. They are often defined by their ephemeral nature in the sense that the artist does not typically maintain them, instead letting nature and the elements take their course.

The pinkish hue is caused by salt-loving bacteria that thrive in the extremely salty water, which is up to 8 times greater than the salinity of seawater.

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