Robert Smithson
[Artist, b. 1938, Rutherford, New Jersey, d. 1973, Amarillo, Texas.]

 A camera is wild in just about anybody’s hands, therefore one must set limits. But cameras have a life of their own. Cameras care nothing about cults or isms. They are indifferent mechanical eyes, ready to devour anything in sight. They are lenses of the unlimited reproduction. 
 There is something abominable about cameras, because they possess the power to invent many worlds. As an artist who has been lost in this wilderness of mechanical reproduction for many years, I do not know which world to start with. I have seen fellow artists driven to the point of frenzy by photography. 
 As long as cameras are around no artist will be free of bewilderment. 
 Let’s face it, the “human” eye is clumsy, sloppy, and unintelligible when compared to the camera’s eye. 
 Noon-day sunshine cinema-ized the site, turning the bridge and the river into an over-exposed picture. Photographing it with my Instamatic 400 was like photographing a photograph. The sun became a monstrous light-bulb that projected a detached series of “stills” through my Instamatic into my eye. 
 Photographs are the results of a diminution of solar energy, and the camera is an entropic machine for recording gradual loss of light. 
 One day the photograph is going to become even more important than it is now.... But I am not particularly an advocate of the photograph.