Check Out This 1.5-Mile-Long Art Project in the Nevada Desert

Artist Michael Heizer's "City" Is Finally Complete After 52 Years

Image: Ben Blackwell

We're familiar with procrastination.

And we're not above turning in work late.

But taking 52 years to finish a project seems excessive... until you see the result.

City, a massive sculpture installation by artist Michael Heizer, is finally ready for its public debut, opening in the Nevada desert on September 2.

Heizer began construction in 1970, building concrete pyramids, earthen mounds and other geometric structures. All in, City measures one and a half miles long and about a half mile wide, so this thing's big. Its scope rivals the centuries-old historic complexes you might find in Egypt or Latin America, and it's bound to have some future generation claim it was "probably aliens."

According to the Triple Aught Foundation, a local nonprofit that will operate and look after the project: "City is intentionally reminiscent of many ancient ceremonial constructions through its complexity and size, but its form is suggestive of the central hub or nucleus of a modern city." It's been described as the largest work of contemporary art in the world.

Many of the materials needed for the project were taken from the site itself, including clay, sand and rocks that were given shape in the remote desert expanse. Imagine the temporary structures at Burning Man, but meant to last multiple lifetimes.

Go see City for yourself—you'll need a ticket, and visits are limited—or just take a look at these images. The former is a much better way to experience the size and scope of this work, but the latter includes a lot less sand in your shoes.

the city by michael heizer
Triple Aught Foundation / Photo by Mary Converse
Triple Aught Foundation / Photo by Joe Rome
the city by michael heizer
Triple Aught Foundation / Photo by Mary Converse

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