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Friday, June 1, 2012

SCULPTURES, SATELLITES AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN



Sculptures, satellites and what it means to be human
Artist Andrew Rogers wants to shrink the world and get us all to work together

By Elizabeth Fortescue. Web only
Published online: 21 May 2012

The Australian artist Andrew Rogers is due to travel to Namibia in south-west Africa in August to work alongside nomadic Himba tribespeople on a stone geoglyph or earth sculpture. The “earth drawing”, as Rogers calls it, will measure hundreds of metres across and will be photographed by satellite on completion. The Namibia project will be the next phase of Rogers’s seven-continent “Rhythms of Life” series. The series inspired Google to make a video tour of the globe in which Rogers’s geoglyphs can be seen in satellite imagery.

Rogers says he will arrive in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, on 14 August and travel to a rural, riverside location where he will “sit down and talk to [the Himba people] about what they would like to see recreated on the ground”.

“These structures will relate to [the Himba’s] history and heritage,” Rogers says.

Three structures will be created in the Namibian desert from the local stones. Rogers will offer to make one of his signature “Rhythms of Life” geoglyphs of which he has made versions on all seven continents, beginning in 1998.

It is part of his usual practice to involve local people in the creation of the works. So far he has created 48 geoglyphs in 13 countries with a total of 6,700 people, including 1,000 Chinese soldiers in the Gobi desert and 1,270 Masai tribespeople in Kenya. Other countries with Rogers’s geoglyphs include Chile, Nepal, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, India and Australia.

Nearly all Rogers’s geoglyphs are left standing in the landscape where they will eventually disintegrate and be reclaimed by nature.

“Even though it may take a couple of hundred years to be reabsorbed into the landscape, they [eventually] will be,” Rogers says.


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