a site-specific art work

Click for A Brief History of Saugerties on Amazon (Prologue, chapter 1, Epilogue, Index)

The Site of the Great Knot


Interactive graphic history 2008, Michael Sullivan Smith

Hudson Valley

2004/2005
these images link to a "wayback machine" capture of diary posts put up to show how this awareness developed during early construction years working on the Great Knot.

The significance statement for this land art's presence is formed by the two publications that create its provenance.

These works are made to trigger two thoughts. One is about the world that made The Great Knot. The other is the meaning of its form as a knot.

Art always occupies two environments: one actual and one virtual. The Great Knot land art sculpture is a place, and knots are things. Both are actual. But the graphics and writings about the significance of these places and things are virtual.

History is virtual without a place; a foundation. Where the Great Knot site is in that is what these works are about. They are both visitable forms of environments about understanding the same virtual thing: a chronology and historical provenance that spans hundreds of millions of years that makes the land art a surrogate for knot topology as a symbol of the eternal.

So there is a cryptological significance in the site specific character... about time and timelessness.

The Great Knot is about the ebb and flow of the tide water environment of the Hudson Valley that trades the depths of the Atlantic Ocean for what its foundation of the continental plateau at the Catskill escarpment has sculpted. That runs through the Great Knot. It is right in the middle of this complex intermingling of energies.

Man's changes in the environment of the Hudson Valley has marked the land with initiative and resolve. Not a stone is turned without uncovering forms of both the present and primordial past. This quarried-over region has incised its record into the earth's very bedrock.

The mists of time have rained down awareness upon every atom of this environment so its limitless quantity of creative material can pay homage to the concept of limitlessness.


The Great Knot, April 27, 2011


Michael Sullivan Smith, 2015
Click on animation to open parent web site greatknot.com in new browser window