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In 1968, Michael Heizer created the Land Art piece "Dissipate" on the Black Rock Desert near the 12-mile entrance.


  • Dissipate Center For Land Use Interpretation
  • Landscape Architecture Magazine, "Gardens and the Death of Art," 7/98, p. 90-94 (archive.org index listing)
  • Suzaan Boettger, "Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties." University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0520241169, 9780520241169 315 pages. p. 114
    • ""Hiezer would recall that Heiner Freidrich was the first to give him money, in 1968, "but the guy who really helped me was Bob Scull" Heizer collectively title the works commissioned by Scull Nine Nevada Depressions. Made between August and September 1968, Heizer's 520-mile lie of loops, faults troughs and intersections linked nine sites on dry lakes located on government-owned land in Nevada, along the Nevada-California border."
    • "For another of these Depressions, number eight, Heizer determined the placement of the five rectangular trenches of Dissipate by the compositional device of dropping five matchsticks. Their arrangement according to the laws of chance because his plan."
  • Erika Suderburg, "Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art," University of Minnesota Press, 2000, ISBN 081663159X, 9780816631599 370 pages.
    • p. 133: "In the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, Michael Heizer digs a series of rectangles, which he then lines with wood. Dissipate(Nine Nevada Depressions 8) (1968) is based on the arbitrary droppings of a series of matchsticks - Duchampian stoppages made incendiary."
    • p. 143 footnote: "6. The work's compositional structure was based on a chance operation: "The matchsticks were employed as a dispersing device. They were dropped from two feet above a sheet of paper and taped down. The photograph of this dispersal became the drawing for Dissipate. (Matches are always applied to disintegrative tasks; the original drop-drawing would catch fire at any time)"; Michael Heizer, "The Art of Michael Heizer," Artforum, December 1969, as quoted in Gilles A. Tiberhien, Land Art (Princeton, N.J.: Architectural Press, 1995), 23. This action is related to Marcel Duchamp's Three Standard Stoppages (1913-14), which a series of "rulers" who shapes was determined by dropping pieces of string. The "stoppages" were then used as arbitrary units of measurement and shape for Duchamp's painting Network of Stoppages(1914)."

Photo sources

There are not many photos of Dissipate. The primary sources section has links to known images. There are two other images in the web sources that are bolded.

Primary sources

(In rough chronological order)

  • Photo by Yale Joel from 1968 Life Magazine of three men and an airplane at Dissipate.
  • "Nine Nevada Depressions, Dissipate #8," (MIT). Dissipate after 365 days. Probably the same as the Art Forum(1969) article.
  • "The art of Michael Heizer," Art Forum, December, 1969. The captions for the photos were written by Heizer.
    • Photo of Dissipate with the forms rising from the desert. Probably the same as the image at MIT.
    • Photo of matchsticks. See rolu.terapad.com below for a slightly different image that has text at the bottom.
    • Photo of Dissipate looking south towards the Selenites. Two tire tracks are in the background. Probably the same as Crone(1982) below.
  • "Prime Objects of Art: Scale, Shape, Time", Rainer Crone, Perspecta, Vol. 19 (1982), pp. 14-35 (22 pages).
    • "Dissipate: No. 8 of Nine Nevada Depressions. 1968 Wood Each Liner 12' x 1' x 1'; area 45' x 50' Black Rock Desert, Nevada"
      • Photo of Dissipate looking south towards the Selenites. Two tire tracks are in the background. The same as Art Forum (1969) and others.
  • The Marzona Collection likely has some resources
    • "Based on Paper : The Marzona Collection / Die Sammlung Marzona." Show held in 2007 that mentions Heizer. Programs for this show seem to for sale on the web.
      • However, "Based on Paper" has no images of Dissipate. It has a black and white photo of Displaced/Replaced Mass with a person on the left looking at one of the boulders. There are also two drawings, one for "Levitated Mass", the other for "Windows"
    • "A-Z. The Marzona Collection." 2014-2016 show that mentions Heizer.

Web sources

  • www.izinsizgosteri.net (2005)
    • "(Nine Nevada Depression- Dokuz Nevada Çöküntüsü, No.8)"
      • Color photo looking back towards the high road to Soldier Meadow. Two tire tracks are visible in the foreground, perhaps this photo was taken at the same time as the photo with the two tracks in the background? (Original source unknown)
  • Art and Nature (portlandart.net, 2009)
    • "Michael Heizer, Dissipate, Part of Nine Nevada Depressions, 1968, Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Destroyed."
      • "The layout of the wooden forms was determined by chance. Heizer had dropped wooden matchsticks on a New York street and photographed the arrangement. The arrangement was enlarged to become Dissipate in teh Black Rock Dissipate. Both the forms and the arrangement were generated by simple rules. In this case, the boundaries of the dry lake bed become the boundaries of the work."
      • Color photo looking back towards the high road to Soldier Meadow, same as above. (Original source unknown)
  • Dissipate. No.8 of Nine Nevada Depressions (University of Stuttgart) (archive.org)
    • "Dissipate. No.8 of Nine Nevada Depressions, NEVADA, BLACK ROCK DESERT, 1968 ( zerstört )" (archive.org)
    • "Für diese Arbeit, ließ Michael Heizer Zündhölzer auf Papier fallen und fixierte sie, wie sie lagen, mit Klebstoff. Diese Vorlage wurde anschließend zur Übertragung der Struktur in die Landschaft verwendet, wobei rund drei Meter lange Holzobjekte in den Boden eingelassen wurden. "
    • Translation: "For this work, let Michael Heizer matches fall on paper and fixed them as they lay, with adhesive. This template was then used to transfer the structure into the landscape, with around three-meter-long wooden objects were embedded in the ground."
    • Photo of Dissipate looking south towards the Selenites. Two tire tracks are in the background. Probably the same as Crone(1982) below and Art Forum (1969) above.
  • Heizer was exposed to numerous influences during his youth that would later shape his art... (rolu.terapad.com, dead link) (archive.org) Image of match stick drawing that defined the layout. Includes three images:
    • The lower legs of a man standing on wet pavement with matches in the foreground, titled "windows" (Original source unknown)
    • A painting titled "windows matchdrop dispersal 1968"
      • Includes text at the bottom not visible in the image from Art Forum (1969).
    • A black and white photograph of Dissipate titled "dissipate 1968". Photo of Dissipate looking south towards the Selenites. Two tire tracks are in the background. Probably the same as Crone(1982) below and Art Forum (1969) above.
    • The images might be from "Die Sammlung Marzona": Arte Povera, Minimal Art, Concept Art, Land Art : Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien im Palais Liechtenstein, 14. Juni 1995-17. September 1995. The UC Berkeley Library has a copy
  • Dissipate was recreated in corten steel at for the Menil in Houston
    • Outdoor Sculpture at the Menil
      • "Dissipate, given to the museum by historic collector and gallerist Virginia Dwan in 1994, is based on the chance composition of dropped matches, and Rift, acquired by the Menil in 1999, is a line that sharply turns along its course. These latter sculptures were installed alongside Isolated Mass/Circumflex (#2) in 2008. In 2018, Dissipate and Rift were re-sited in a gravel courtyard designed by the artist, located east of the Menil Drawing Institute."
    • Menil Heizer Sculpture images.