I guess there's some...irony? justice? synchronicity? between Robert Smithson's non-site works--pieces of far-off locations displaced into a gallery--and twiddling your thumbs at a boring* Smithson symposium in a college auditorium while the last 36 hours of the artist's Floating Island tick by in gorgeous, sunny, autumnal splendor.
Net net: forget the next three sessions of the symposium (maybe they'll be podcast), and get your butt to the river to watch the barges go by.
[*although one potential bombshell was dropped, it went seemingly unnoticed. In answer to the moderator's question about ever rebuilding the Spiral Jetty by allowing new rocks to be piled onto it, the artist's widow and executor Nancy Holt didn't reject the idea.
There's precedent, she said, because Smithson sometimes instructed Holt or other friends go get rocks for his pieces. He didn't privilege the hand of the artist, she said. True, perhaps, but only partly relevant; more to the point is Smithson's own intentions for the effects of entropy on the Jetty, not whether he had to be present to dump the rocks. The other factor is how to deal with increasing touristification of the site, which now gets tour buses and up to 100 visitors/day.]