Located in the Nevada desert, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative is 6.4 miles away from Moapa Valley. Double Negative is 50ft deep trench that is taken out from the corner of the mesa. This land art has unique features that can be experienced by entering, and can be viewed from above. In this project mesa is seen as a blank sheet of canvas where double negative represents an unfinished drawing. This sophisticated machine/building is designed to complete this drawing by digging a continuous trench across the mesa controlled by its autonomous navigational system. Powered by Nuclear Reactor, this efficient vehicle can travel for years without any maintenance or refueling. Although one can never see the end of this ongoing land art, Negative Digger will continue updating the exhibition for upcoming visitors.
This project argues the possibility of “moving architecture” in 3 types of movements. The Global movement, human-circulation movements, and the local movement. The visitor center is always on the move and it is meant to be chased. It is programmed to move in a linear direction and only change paths when facing obstacles, such as the edge of the mesa. Visitors are to locate and chase the digger which travels with a speed of 0.2 MPH. Upon approaching the machine, moving platforms welcome the visitors on board. These platforms raise autonomously providing visitors a better view of the previous trenches. This sophisticated machine has many moving components, most notably: Excavating bucket rings, Tank threads, Rotary Fan system, and elevating platforms.