The phenomenon of large-scale public art projects has gone viral. From corn mazes in
agricultural lands and rice paddies planted in imitation and emulation of classical paintings to choreo-
graphed flocks of sheep, these projects often reveal a sophisticated degree of communal organization
and the expenditure of sometimes vast amounts of human energy and resources. The widespread
distribution of videos about these memetic projects on YouTube and other digital media networks means
that they are familiar to millions around the world and engender others. To what end? In this article, Dr.
Hipólito Rafael Chacón, Professor of Art History and Criticism at The University of Montana (USA),
analyzes the rich gamut of projects that are currently documented online. He describes how these
works resonate with traditions of land-based art known to art history and archeology, specifically how
they relate to the land art, pop, and mass culture movements of the last quarter of the 20th century.
Most importantly, he demonstrates how their diffusion via electronic media reveals a new and increasingly
global culture, while pointing to the insufficiency of these media.
|Keywords:||Public Art, Communal Projects, Land Art, Social Networks|
Professor of Art History and Criticism, School of Art, The University of Montana-Missoula, Missoula, Montana, USA
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