Bingham Copper Mining Pit—Utah / Reclamation Project

Robert Smithson
Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, Utah, USA
Photostat, clear plastic overlay, grease pencil, and tape
18 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (47 x 34.3 cm)
Collection: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pat and John Rosenwald Gift

Part of a proposal for the reclamation of the world’s largest man-made excavation, this sketch outlines the design for a rotating disk at the base of Bingham Canyon Mine in Bingham, Utah. The disk serves as a platform from which viewers could observe the gradual reversal of industry back to nature. In the instance of a heavy rain, the crescent rises would jetty out of the pool of collected water. The existing spiral structure of the mine was in perfect alignment with Smithson’s aesthetic interests, and would remain unaltered. Initially proposed two years before his death, Bingham Canyon Reclamation would have been Smithson’s largest earth work to date.

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