A Heap of Language is a handwritten pyramid of 152 words, with “Language” balancing at the apex of a pile of synonyms, near synonyms, metaphorical equivalents, and phrases that allude to what has been called “the condition of languageness.” Over the years, this work has been considered both an art object and a piece of writing, and, in fact, it functions as both. In 1967, Smithson wrote a now legendary press release for Language to Be Looked At and/or Things to Be Read, an exhibition at the Dwan Gallery in New York. In it, he described a new way to understand language’s function: as a material that may or may not refer to something outside of itself. “Here language is built, not written,” Smithson wrote. Although A Heap of Language was not included in the Dwan Gallery show, it has often been considered in relation to Smithson’s press release.