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On a tight budget, documenting art that lives in a lake can be quite a challenge – especially when it’s composed of “6,000 tons of rock and soil” –

After considering nearly every possible way to document “Spiral Jetty” from above — Rent a weather satellite? An airplane? A helicopter? Use a kite? — the institute, which often works in countries where conservation projects are carried out on shoestring budgets, came up with a remarkably simple solution: a $50 disposable latex weather balloon, easily bought online.
Along with a little helium, some fishing line, a slightly hacked Canon PowerShot G9 point-and-shoot digital camera, an improvised plywood and metal cradle for the camera and some plastic zip ties (to keep the cradle attached and the neck of the balloon cinched), a floating land-art documentation machine was improvised, MacGyver-like.

Full Story over at NYTimes. [Thanks, Erica!]

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Students photograph Earth from space on the cheap