"Can of Corn" 2020
Wendell Berry, farmer, writer, and activist wrote of America’s expansion “As we felled and burned the forests, so too we burned, plowed, and overgrazed the prairies. We came with vision but not with sight. We did not see or understand where we were or what was there but destroyed what was there for the sake of what we deserved.” From the beginning we were looking at it the wrong way. Dan Barber notes in his book The Third Plate “Colonial agriculture took root in the philosophy of extraction- conquer and tame nature rather than work in concert with nature.”
Beyond this lack of understanding of the States’ bounty of resources, at some point farming moved away from a way to feed the community and, like everything else, became big business. Between 1950 and 1975 the number of farms was cut in half, as were the number of people working on them, however, during that same time the average acreage of the American farm doubled. Today 800 million acres go toward feeding cows and other livestock leaving only 77.3 million acres to be used to grow the food we eat. Just ask any vegan if you don’t believe me.
Not only do these farming methods put us at risk of going hungry during times of global crisis but these monocultures impoverish all the ecosystems of natural life while draining the soil of all its nutrients. Fortunately there is a grassroots recognition of these issues and there is a movement underfoot towards sustainable farming; moving away from monoculture crops and utilizing crop rotation. This keeps the soil healthy by minimizing water use and reducing pollution levels. It probably can’t, however, become a profitable business competing against subsidies given to megafarms.
“Can of Corn” is made from knitted pieces made from wool from the inside of found baseballs, It measures 40” x 30”. It is displayed hanging. The term can of corn in baseball refers to a fly ball right to a player (usually the outfielder) which is easily caught without moving.