« Confession | Main | Lame-o »

Blog Prompt #1


Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy (and our discussions today), document and investigate, through text and image - this idea of energy, flow, and transformation through the city.

While watching the "Rivers and Tides" documentary on Scottish artist/sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, I am sure most people couldn't help but think that dear Andy was a bit....creepy. From his talk of art "given to the sea as a gift" to his fanatical obsessions with black holes, meandering curves, and the "violent and shocking" color red, each scene depicted him to have an odd and very peculiar sort of character. Some might have even concluded that Goldsworthy was a few bricks short of a load (if you know what I mean..) and slightly off his rocker.

I would agree that Goldsworthy did come across as being a bit eccentric. The film and music was gauged even to present him in this way. But the only thing I believe that separates us from Andy Goldsworthy is an extreme awareness of nature. In the film, his behavior came off as bizarre when really it was just a deep demonstration of the great appreciation he has for nature and the flowing energy it exudes. He is so incredibly in tune with the natural environment that he is able to channel this understanding into creating works of art that are more of an extension of nature than anything else.


Yes, Andy Goldsworthy was fascinated by the processes of nature. In his enthrallment and captivation in it, he cleverly noted that the real work behind it all is change. The sea and the rivers ebb and run, undulating in energy and constantly flowing and transforming. In class, Professor Saloojee also gave us a quote that stated “the real work of nature is change – a creative agent, force, or principle in the universe, acting as a creative guiding intelligence.? Keeping along this line, I feel it is important to discuss how I think it differs from place to place – specifically, from the pureness of nature to city bustle.

Coming from a small town, I feel like I have a pretty good sense of nature and the change that rocks its world. I live on 40 acres of land, miles outside of any town, and all my life I’ve been aware of the changing seasons and environment that time has brought. I’ve seen firsthand the subtle work brought about by flowing water, sunlight, and gentle breeze. I’ve seen gardens grow, apple trees blossom, and observed nature die only to be reborn again in spring. There is certain energy about nature. It is calm and steady, constantly there. It flares in violent blizzards and thunderstorms, but dies down to an ever-present hum of life. These are the things I have come to realize since the beginning. They are very much a part of who I am.

Now that I am here in Minneapolis, living life in the city, I feel a kind of energy, flow, and transformation that I have never encountered. In a single day in Dinkytown, I have heard more blaring car horns, roaring buses, and screeching brakes than in my whole existence. And this howl of energy has a much different connotation that I am used to – car horns in my hometown mean a friendly greeting or that someone has just gotten married. They are not a sign anger and frustration.

Nature has its own way of getting things done and affecting change. It is gradual for the most part, slowly and steadily doing its tasks. The city has an urge to speed this process through human control. In the city, this energy and driving change similar is to nature, but incredibly different. It’s accelerated a million and a half times, harried, anxious, and suppressing – adrenalin-ridden. Everyone here is going somewhere, doing something, needing, wanting, and searching. The basic change and energy of nature is still there, silently working, but the concrete and steel force of the city flow masks it, surging powerfully forward, never stopping and never ending. Sometimes, I find myself just longing to be in a forest or field, smelling rain and damp earth instead of car exhaust and garbage.

I wonder if Andy Goldsworthy feels as out of place in city life as I do.

Excerpts from "Rivers and Tides" - Music well chosen.

Change in nature.

Hectic city life of Tokyo.