Walter de Maria: The New York Earth Room

Walter de Maria’s The New York Earth Room is located very close to the Broken Kilometer in SOHO. Visiting this installation made me think about how broad of a definition I should have for “materials” especially the use of “dirt” filling an entire room/apartment, on the second floor, and all the way up to the windowsill, provokes quite a variety of questions.

What is it suppose to mean?
It’s been here since 1977?! Who’s maintaining it? Do they have to weed it? What do the rats and mice of the neighborhood think?
The dirt looks loose, when the person maintains it, does s/he sink into the room?
Is there really that much dirt? or is it faked?

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