Jeanne-Claude: We don’t have a philosophy of art. We wish to create works of art, works of joy and of beauty. As with every true work of art, it has absolutely no purpose whatsoever: it is not a message, it is not a symbol, it is only a work of art.

Christo: The essential part of these projects is that they are decided by us. We have the inexplicable urge to do it.

Running Fence

Excerpt from the Press Release, 1976

Running Fence during construction and completed. Images reproduced from Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects.

Running Fence, 18 feet high and 24 1/2 miles long, extended east-west near Freeway 101, north of San Francisco, on the private properties of of 59 ranchers, following the rolling hills and dropping down to the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay. It crossed 14 roads and the town of Valley Ford, leaving passage for cars, cattle and wildlife. Running Fence was completed on September 10, 1976. 

The art project involved 42 months of collaborative efforts, the rancher's participation, 18 public hearings, 3 sessions at the superior court of California, the drafting of a 450 page Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of the hills, sky and the ocean. 

Conceived and financed by Christo, Running Fence was made of 165,000 yards of heavy woven nylon fabric, hung from a steel cable strung between 2,050 steel poles embedded 3 feet into the ground, using no concrete and braced laterally with guy wires (90 miles of steel cable) and 14,000 earth anchors. The removal of Running Fence started fourteen days after its completion and all materials were given to the ranchers.