Rock Balancing
September 13, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Rock Balancing Art by Peter Riedel. [Via]
posted by homunculus (23 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previous rock balancing post.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on September 13, 2010


Hey, this is my hobby, too.
posted by kenko at 10:56 AM on September 13, 2010


The last few times I've been down to Crissy Field, I haven't seen any evidence of Bill Dan (from the previously link). I hope he's okay, and is off somewhere else being Bill Dan the Rock Man. Cool to see what other people do with rocks.
posted by rtha at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2010


Andy Goldsworthy is a wonderful artist who balances a mean rock from time to time.
posted by prefpara at 11:03 AM on September 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was about to post this, but I see I already have done so.
posted by rusty at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2010


I like it when people balance rocks.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:42 AM on September 13, 2010


Nice. I like trying to balance rocks, but this is many levels above anything I can do.

Also, linking from the "Rock Balancing" link to the flickr source, I found the photographer also has covered the "House made of Lincoln Logs or Spools", which I stumbled across during my only (and brief) time in Toronto. I was always wondering about the existence of that house on the intarnets. Thanks for the serendipity!
posted by not_on_display at 11:42 AM on September 13, 2010


There's something beautiful and peaceful about looking at balancing rock art.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2010


One day, they will balance a rock so large it will destroy us all...
posted by Thoth at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2010


My hobby as well. The most relaxing passtime I have ever came across and have a small site with my photos on it at stonearth.ca
posted by edZio at 12:05 PM on September 13, 2010


The Society will be pleased.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:17 PM on September 13, 2010


This is pretty, and impermanent art is cool... but I can't shake that feeling of dread about what could happen if somebody is standing too close to one of those things when its time finally comes.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:58 PM on September 13, 2010


Art is wonderful until rocks fall and everyone dies.
posted by shinybaum at 1:01 PM on September 13, 2010


Very cool, loved it!
posted by biggles76 at 1:25 PM on September 13, 2010


The Canadian photographer spends much of his time balancing rocks alongside rivers, lakes and the sea and then taking pictures of them...

I want to be his assistant.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:28 PM on September 13, 2010


I like rock art. But I also encourage rock artist to be sensitive about where and when they are moved to perform their art. In particular, it would be nice if you adhered to some craftsman's rule of thumb like don't move rocks unless they've already moved in your lifetime. This is especially true in national parks - where it's probably best to not do rock art at all.

I saw a great book in a bookstore that compared photos of Yosemite taken from the exact same point of view in 1800s and 2000s. Amazing how none of the stones deposited by glaciers in these photos - large and small - had moved an inch in over a hundred years. Probably thousands...

Hiking in Yosemite two weeks later and there in the middle of it all you come across someone's work. It is sad to see that. Stacking rocks in environments that are otherwise untouched by human hands - where the rocks may be sitting a long time - is a bit like leaving trash in an otherwise pristine wilderness.

Peter's work seems to adhere to this principle (looks like he's on a lake's edge where the rocks like to roll). Please don't let your transience wipe out nature's rare small statements of permanence.
posted by astrobiophysican at 1:45 PM on September 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is sad to see that. Stacking rocks in environments that are otherwise untouched by human hands - where the rocks may be sitting a long time - is a bit like leaving trash in an otherwise pristine wilderness.

Art and trash are usually (usually) not the same thing. I don't fully understand the attitude that to touch with human hands is to defile.
posted by prefpara at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2010


I don't fully understand the attitude that to touch with human hands is to defile.

Moving a rock that was placed thousands of years ago by a glacier - to me at least - seems to be akin to carving your name in a tree.

While I accept that such a view might be deemed radical today - I suggest you'll find that - as the world becomes overrun with six, seven, eight billion artist - the wild will only become a more precious thing. I'd prefer to leave those rocks in place for some future scientist or photographer seeking to read the story of some long gone glacier.

To my point - I bet Mount Rushmore was plenty pretty enough to the Indians that thought it was sacred. But then, to your point, my parents wouldn't have taken me there had it not been carved up by an artist.

All I can say is that I hope never to see Bush (or Obama) carved into the face of El Capitan.
posted by astrobiophysican at 2:28 PM on September 13, 2010


Just because you've been allowed into a protected area to hike along a trail doesn't mean you have free run to start hacking limbs off of trees or moving around stones to do art. National parks are areas of preservation and appreciation of the place's natural beauty, aesthetic, and formation (to paraphrase the official definition). I *do* believe going into an area specifically set aside for the preservation of nature to as high a standard as reasonably possible and purposely making visible changes for the sake of visible change, or "art," is pretty much the definition of "defiling." (To sully, mar, or spoil)

Now if you were doing this in a city park, or by a lake, or in your backyard, then, well, it's kind of cool. Context matters.
posted by wending my way at 2:41 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clearly influenced by Yves Tanguy.
posted by newmoistness at 2:42 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hacking limbs off trees? Don't move rocks unless they've already moved in your lifetime? I am amazed that this is seen as destructive. I got involved with stone stacking several years ago because I discovered an incredibly sublime columnar stone placed on a boulder over a creek. This was a very obscure spot, far off the path. It was so exciting to me--this art that I was so lucky to have seen--it is an impermanent art form. It is like a spiritual message left anonymously. They remind me to look at everything as an altar.

But I will take consider your viewpoint when I make my little messages to no one. Perhaps more obscure areas, or less obvious constructions would be more appropriate?
posted by bitslayer at 3:15 PM on September 13, 2010


Bitslayer - no hostility here - I've shared your revelry in a well placed stone or two in my time.

Just be aware that - when you leave your mark - you take away from that place the freedom for others to discover that place as undiscovered. You imprint your self on the landscape. Many times and places - people go out in nature to look beyond precisely our human self.

Just remember and be mindful that nature has it's own hand and be sure you are not putting a mustache on a Mona Lisa.
posted by astrobiophysican at 8:29 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well.. okay, but "undiscovered" is pretty illusory.
It was precisely the fact that I saw an aesthetic hand at work in such a wild place that gave the stone I discovered its magic. It's not like it was a trash sculpture, or something contrasting with the natural flow; it blended in so well that I could have missed it. But it was also surprising, because it was balanced over the pool in a way that could not have been natural. That's what I try to recreate when I stack.
This conversation is interesting to me, because it touches issues I am already dealing with. I create these things for myself--it is the act of balancing and choosing the rocks that ask to be part of it that is my meditation. But I have been sensitive to what others might think, too. One solution I use is to place rocks in such delicate situations that if they are not seen in a day or so, they probably won't be seen, as wind or rain or the creek will erase them.
I have to admit that sometime my architectural enthusiasms push me towards overdoing it. While bigger and bigger "erections" are fun, I see the need to always remember the spiritual context.
posted by bitslayer at 6:52 PM on September 14, 2010


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