Digging Dugway

Whoa. The Dugway Proving Ground is in Skull Valley, an hour and a half west of Salt Lake City. It’s where the US Army tests chemical and biological weapons and defense systems. It’s the site of an incineration program for the US’s stockpiles of bio/chem weapons. And it’s probably the greatest piece of Earth Art since the Nazca Lines.
The DoD’s alterations of the landscape–seen here in Terraserver photographs–rival the Spiral Jetty, Double Negative, Roden Crater, even, in both aesthetic power and content. Flash forward a few hundred years and ask yourself, which desert markmaking will have the most to say about the mid-20th century?
Dugway’s been dealt out of the Earth Art discussion because it’s a) functional, and b) institutional, not individual, but those seem like quaint technicalities. What if the only reason they’re not considered art–or considered alongside art, at least–is that no one’s really had access to them?
Dugway Proving Ground [pruned, via tropolism]
previously: earth art via satellite