Disassembling farm equipment and making it into art

I received a press release from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, regarding an upcoming exhibition featuring the work of David Brooks. The show is titled “Continuous Service Altered Daily,” and the artist has taken apart a 1976 John Deere 3300 series combine harvester and displays every part – electrical wiring, nuts, bolts, rubber hoses, tires, and so forth – throughout the Bemis Center’s first-floor galleries. You may be wondering: why? Scroll down for more …

Pictured below left: a John Deere 3300 Harvester at work in a cornfield; below right, one of the exhibition galleries at the Bemis Center.

John Deere 3300 Series Harvester

According to the artist’s website, the dismantled harvester machine parts are grouped into nine zones that represent nine continuously occurring ecosystem services upon which we rely daily, including: decomposition, water purification, erosion and flood control, air purification, pollination, habitat formation, primary production, disease regulation, and ornamental resources. Each part and every object on display has been given an interpretive individual label that supports this correlation. It’s a little hard to comprehend based on what I’m seeing in the press release as well as the artist’s site, but that’s what they’re telling me.

At any rate, I want to show you how some of the parts are displayed, how they look when isolated as individual machine parts and how they can be transformed into art objects. Here’s a few below, with a description under the photo:

David Brooks John Deere harvester parts

Clockwise, from top left: “Iconic Species (Ornamental Resources zone),” 2016 – brass-plated auger bearing; “Precipitation,” the complete set of elevator augers; the header unit.

I will say this – the more I’m researching the artist David Brooks, the more interesting things I’m finding, above and beyond this particular work and exhibition … I hope to have more on this artist soon.

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