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The Relationship between Entropy and Dialectic : Sprial Jetty

Jaeeun Lee 1

1경원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This is a study on the relationship between entropy and dialectic of Robert Smithson’s earth art. Robert Smithson definitely was a pioneer of Earth art in the late 1960’s. His earth works was located in abandoned site away from civilization called ‘industrial ruin’ for himself. And Smithson had always hoped these works would be permanent. These characteristics make his earth works distinctive from other earth artists’ works. I consider that his attention to entropy and dialectic made him create such differences. His interest in entropy started from American political and social situations in the 1960’s. In late the 1960’s, America was in chaos from the ‘right of freedom’ of the black people and the strike for renunciation of Vietnam War by young people. The intellectual class seemed to believe that it was the destiny of society to run in the direction of entropy. Robert Smithson who was skeptical about American society thought ‘entropy’ is the proper diagnosis to describe the collapsing of traditional and industrial American society. Also he understood that ‘process’ step among the principal of dialectic’ would cause entropic situation to change. So we need to examine how two different concepts as such entropy and dialectic work in Smithson’ works without crash. In chapter 2, we are going to look at the background of the appearance of entropy, which is explaining the increase of chaos based on the second law of thermodynamics and the opinion about entropy of Robert Smithson. In chapter 3, we are going to compare Hegel’s principal of dialectic with Robert Smithson. In chapter 4, we are going to study the theoretical fundamental which makes entropy(stillness of material) and the principal of dialectic(improvement) revealed from his work at the same time. And we are going to see how Robert Smithson breathed the relation of ‘entropy’ and the ‘principal of dialectic’ into his works by through Spiral Jetty. By this study, we will be able to know Robert Smithson pursued the change of American industrial capitalism by the earth works based on entropy and dialectic and also he introduced the chaos which comes with the process of change as the main subject of his works.

Citation status

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