pivot irrigation drawing

Pivotal 1

Kendall McMinimy, 2014
Acrylic and toner on birch panel, 35″ x 35″
Image © 2014, courtesy of the artist

pivot irrigation drawing

Pivotal 2

Kendall McMinimy, 2014
Acrylic and toner on birch panel, 35″ x 35″
Image © 2014, courtesy of the artist

About the Artist

Kendall McMinimy refers to center-pivot irrigation systems in his engaging acrylic and toner compositions. He isolates the irrigation patterns from their context in the landscape by cropping them and removing any reference point for scale. Through this process of abstraction, McMinimy invites us to see an extensive agricultural footprint that has become disconnected from the realities of a diminishing water supply. He presents circular forms approaching the limits of their frame, evoking agricultural systems whose requirements may not be sustainable in the context of climate change.

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  • In the artist’s words:  

    “A mechanical marvel, Central Pivot Irrigation Systems deliver water to otherwise dry lands and food to an otherwise hungry planet.  With outstretched steel arms, these wheeled giants twirl slow-motion pirouettes of simulated rainfall pumping atomized sprays from groundwater reserves far below the surface.  As an outgrowth of the “Green Revolution,” center pivot irrigation is a system that encircles multiple conflicting truths—a worldwide revolution in food production is also complicit in the depletion of groundwater; humanitarian aid aligns with hegemonic order; global market forces allow and deny local economies; a system simultaneously produces and diminishes.  These structures, chasing their own tails, morph into lumbering memento mori and echo our own existence rotating through the repetitive rhythms and cycles of life.

    Minimal signifiers amplify ambiguities, create associations, and stretch the legibility of representation.  Vacillating between the familiar and the fictitious, the work reveals little of the subject’s true spatial immensity, nor the monumental investment represented.”

  • From Global Footprint Network:

    Center-pivot irrigation used in farming, referenced in this artwork, often creates a circulate pattern in crops when viewed from above, such as in an airplane. Cropland is of the five major components of the Ecological Footprint, and consequently, food consumption is one major factor that can be targeted for Footprint reduction.

  • Like Kendall McMinimy, photographer Edward Burtynsky captures the unique patterns of center-pivot irrigation.  His captivating aerial photographs will be featured in Part II of the exhibition.

    Pivot Irrigation / Suburb, South of Yuma Arizona USA, by Edward Burtynsky © 2011, courtesy of the artist and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

    pivot irrigation circle patterns

  • Featured Actions:

    * Participate in “meatless Mondays” and reduce the amount of meat and dairy products you consume. Double your impact by choosing another day in the week to skip meat and dairy products.

    * Pledge to not run the water when you brush your teeth

    * Pledge to only run dishwashers and washing machines when they are full

    I pledge to reduce the amount of meat and dairy products I consume!I pledge to not run the water when I brush my teeth!I pledge to only run dishwashers and washing machines when they are full!

    * Your pledge will be counted in Earth Day Network’s “A Billion Acts of Green” campaign.  Learn more about this campaign by clicking here.

  • Reserved for future conversations.