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Statement (1969)
Hans Haacke

A blanket of snow may be used like paper or canvas on which marks and traces can be made. Snow also lends itself as inexpensive, although ephemeral, construction material for shape-oriented sculpture. Neither approach goes essentially beyond what is traditionally conceived of as painting or sculpture.

Another attitude, however, would be to consider snow as part of a large meteorological system determined by humidity, temperature, air pressure, velocity, and direction of winds as well as topographical characteristics of the earth. All of these factors are interrelated and affect each other. Taking such an attitude would lead to working strategies that could expose the functioning and the consequences of these interdependent processes.

For a formalist the resulting situations might appear as just another black-and-white drawing or three-dimensional composition to be judged according to standard rules of formal accomplishment. However, formal criteria bypass the systems concept and are therefore irrelevant.

New York City, February, 1969