Robert Smithson – Site selection

   I’m interested in making a point in a designated area. That’s the focal point. You then have a dialectic between the point and the edge: within a single focus, a kind of Pascalian calculus between the edge and the middle or the fringe and the center operating within a designated area. And usually when you focus on it with a camera, it becomes a rectangle. The randomness to me is always very precise, a kind of zeroing in. But there is a random element: the choice is never abolished.

   I would say the designation is what I call an open limit as opposed to a closed limit which is a non-site usually in an interior space. The open limit is a designation that I walk through in a kind of network looking for a site. And then I select the site. There’s no criteria; just how the material hits my psyche when I’m scanning it. But it’s a kind of low level scanning, almost unconscious. When you select, it’s fixed so that randomness is then determined. It’s determined in uncertainty. At the same time, the fringes or boundaries of the designation are always open. They’re only closed on the map, and the map serves as the designation. The map is like a key to where the site is and then you can operate within that sector.

via Robert Smithson.