Bill is the Director of the Center for Art + Environment in Reno, NV

bill
Bill standing in a crevasse at the snout of the Worhtington Glacier, Alaska, 2008. Photo Matt Coolidge

“This collision of all these media and disciplines is exactly where the new continent lies.”

William L. Fox, who is variously called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer, has published ten books on cognition and landscape, numerous essays in art monographs, magazines and journals, and fifteen collections of poetry. He is also an artist who has exhibited in group and solo shows in seven countries. Fox is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Science Foundation, and has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Clark Art Institute, and the Australian National University. He is currently the director of the newly established Center for Art + Envronment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth interviewed Bill in New York City, November 2008.


         What was it like to moderate this first conference on Art + Environment?: (0:55)

         


         “Moderating this first conference was stunning for me because of the connections made between people.”




         Were there any surprises for you as moderator?: (1:08)

         


         “There was an arc of continuity that I never expected ….”



         What is your sense of what is made possible by the fact that this blurry, emerging field
         ("Art + Environment') seems to have remained unnamed or unnamable after the conference?):
(3:12)

         

         “The great joy in this is that it is not named, and it’s going to remain a struggle.”




         We feel there's a different sense among artists and the public of landscape, land art, and Art + Environment
         on the east coast vs. west coast/west.  Do you sense any such difference?:
(2:00, 0:39, 0:45)

         

         

         


         "…now I think you find that land art in fact is practiced as much in cities as in rural settings, as much east as west,
         and of course you’re increasingly seeing it around the world …”





         What do you think that collaborations today among artists and scientists is making possible,
         and why are these seeming to proliferate today? :
(2:33)

         

         “I think there’s a resurging interest among the rest of us.  I think artists have been doing these projects all along … “



         Are you involved in efforts to expand/extend the initiative begun with the Art + Environment Conference,
         if so, what are they?  What do you hope to include in the next Art + Environment conference or effort?:

         (2:42, 0:31, 1:30, 1:29)

         

         

         

         


         Bill announces plans for the new Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, which will open in January,
         
2009, and describes his role as its founding Director.

         “Small organizations, regional organizations, organizations that are hoping to do something larger in the world have to
         
depend on digital media to be doing this.”



         What is the current status of Burning Man as a reference point in you thinking about Art + Environment?: (2:14, 1:43)

         


         “To me what’s really interesting about it is it is the largest nonprofit in the field education about desert environments
         in the world … it’s a very traditional kind of desert event handled in a very very contemporary way.”

         


         “What’s going to happen in the future is a interesting tug of war … is burning man going to remain this kind of open venue
         … or is it going to become more politically involved in teaching people how to more positively affect environments…it’s so
         lucky the Nevada Museum of Art is only 90 miles from that event …”




         What are you working on now?: (1:45)

         


         "I’m finishing a book about lines in the landscape called “All Along the Line” … what I’m really doing is looking at where do
         you draw a line in the sand, where do you make your mark and why, and what does that mean?  How does a line both
         separate and connect things, how does it divide things by going through the middle of things, how does it bring them
         together, and how does a line itself become a vehicle for the transformation of everything from resources to information …”





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