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Steven Siegel, Like a rock, from a tree?, 2008, Gong-ju, Korea paper, from Twylene Moyer and Glenn Harper, eds., The New Earthwork: Art, Action, Agency, 2012, International Sculpture Center Press
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by James Croak

“Dirt is not dirt, but only matter in the wrong place.” Variations of this quote have been attributed to William James, Sigmund Freud, Mary Douglas, John Ruskin and a host of others, but an 1883 issue of Longman’s Magazine confirms its author was Lord Palmerston. He aired his starched Sunday shirt on a gooseberry bush only to have it flitter into the mud, but he donned it anyway, uttering this now famous line.