She and Smithson had bought a small piece of land in Utah, and in 1974 she bought more: 40 acres for $1,600 in the Great Basin Desert, where she set about building “Sun Tunnels.” As she wrote later, installing the culverts — each weighing 22 tons — and documenting the process, required the help of “2 engineers, 1 astrophysicist, 1 astronomer, 1 surveyor and his assistant, 1 road grader, 2 dump truck operators, 1 carpenter, 3 ditch diggers, 1 concrete mixing truck operator, 1 concrete foreman, 10 concrete pipe company workers, 2 core-drillers, 4 truck drivers, 1 crane operator, 1 rigger, 2 cameramen, 2 soundmen, 1 helicopter pilot, and 4 photography lab workers.”

“In making the arrangements and contracting out the work,” she wrote, “I became more extended into the world than I’ve ever been before.”

— “Nancy Holt, Outdoor Artist, Dies at 75,” the New York Times. Spooky that I’m reading this now, and I’m reading The Flamethrowers. I met Nancy once when she had dinner with my family one afternoon. She had been my mother’s roommate at a silent meditation retreat for six weeks. That dinner was the first conversation they had with each other.