Environmental Philosophy

Volume 4, Issue 1/2, Spring/Fall 2007

Special Double Issue: Environmental Aesthetics and Ecological Restoration

Nicolas de Warren
Pages 29-48

Off the Beaten Path
The Artworks of Andrew Goldsworthy

This essay explores Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Andrew Goldsworthy’s artworks. Both Heidegger and Goldsworthy can be seen as refashioning our ontological bearings towards nature through the work of art. After introducing a set of distinctions (e.g., world/earth) in the context of Heidegger’s conception of the artwork as the event of truth, I argue that Heidegger’s releasing of the work of art from metaphysical notions of “the thing” illuminates the ambiguous status of Goldsworthy’s artworks as things. Goldsworthy’s crafting of artworks from natural materials exemplifies Heidegger’s concept of technē as the bringing forth of a work in the midst of phūsis, or beings that arise of their own accord.