Circular fields of green on the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, watered by pivot irrigation (Photo: Corbis)

Landsat image of Southern Nebraska

Field in Wadi-el-Watan, Egypt, imaged by a SPOT satellite. The circular pattern shows where a centre-pivot irrigation system has been used to water crops. Source : Spot Image

Midwest from the air

Midwest from the air

Midwest via Landsat

Revisiting the Spiral Jetty in yesterday’s post has me thinking about land marking, especially during a snow storm as extensive as the one that blanketed all of New England today.

Less subtle than the Nasca Lines of Peru, center-fed irrigation creates its own kind of earth mark making. These circles are a common site when you travel over the Midwest on a cross country flight.

These images also bring to mind a few contemporary grid-based artists and many of the Australian aboriginal painters. They also suggest many of the works by artists who use repetition to create patterns to an almost obsessive extent—Tara Donovan, Mark Bradford, Leonardo Drew to name a few.

3 Replies to “Landsatting”

  1. Fabulous images. I especially like the third one and the last.

    I was looking today at some work by a Getty photographer today that was on Lens blog yesterday: astonishingly beautiful, eerie, and also menacing because the subject matter was the oil spill in the Gulf. I put up at post at our Oil and Water anthology blog with a link to Lens blog.

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