SWAMP, 1969, a film by Nancy Holt & Robert Smithson, (6 minutes) color
This film is concerned with issues related to site/sight as well as process.
Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson made a collaborative film titled Swamp in
1969. Holt has said of Swamp that ......"it deals with limitations of
perception through the camera eye as Bob and I struggled through a muddy
New Jersey swamp. Verbal direction cannot easily be followed as the reeds crash
against the camera lens blocking vision and forming continuously shifting
patterns, confusion ensues." And Smithson said of the film..."it's about
deliberate obstructions or calculated aimlessness". (1) This was attained by
having Holt walk through the swamp while simultaneously filming, only seeing
where she was walking by looking through the lens of her Bolex camera as
Smithson gave her verbal instructions which he recorded as he spoke them.
(1) Robert Smithson, "The Earth, Subject to Cataclysms, is a Cruel Master,
interview with Gregoire Muller, The Writings of Robert Smithson, p. 179
(first appeared in Arts Magazine, 1971)