Earth work is understood in multiple ways. In one (agricultural) sense as the act of working the ground in effort to produce plant material. In the another (engineering) sense as human-made constructions that modify the land contour. Alternatively, we want to imagine an alternative, more speculative, sense as a form of land art whereby space is created using materials of the Earth including soil, rocks and derelict lumber. All modes are a consequence of manual labor performed by people.
A people refers to those who labor and toil with an inclination toward spiritual yearnings concerning the planet Earth as ephemeral residence to mankind. The relationship between material and the laborer’s hands is direct and sensual. By corporal means, we grope in the shadow of utility for a deeper understanding concerned with the nature of being.
Using various forms of dimensional, material and atmospheric survey, Peter P. Goché, in collaboration with Catie Newell, will speculate on a set of seven buildings within a 19-acre defunct seed drying industry in effort to expand our domain of knowledge and thereby the collective realm of experience through sincere engagement in local culture. By leveraging our individual works as provocations within the traditional stead of the family farm unit, we hope to cultivate a discourse that deals head-on with the complex phenomenon of atmospheric and human intersections. Iowa represents a particular spatialization of this phenomenon that has local as well as global ramifications. Its conceit, though particular to Iowa, can also be developed as an alternative approach to the analysis of places and their spatial manifestation elsewhere. The following map identifies the building set (1-10) and configuration.
Black Contemporary and Context
Defunct seed drying facility south of Ames, Iowa - 19 acres.
1. Seed Processing Elevator
Built in 1939; Clean, size, treat, bag 6 sizes of grain.
2. North Seed Dryer
Built in 1966; Replaced the first dryer. Seed picked to ear, dried down 2X, shelled. Slower cure = better quality. Max 105 degrees for seed so it doesn’t kill the germ. Max.180 degrees for grain. Fuel - oil.
3. North Sorting Shed
Built in 1939. Brought corn in from the field and took off the husk. People manually sorted - threw out the bad ears of corn.
Built 1939. North-half was dryer, South-half was storage after it was dried.
5. East Seed Dryer
Built 1945. Exterior conveyor belt.
6. West Seed Dryer
Built in 1965. Now Black Contemporary field station. Interior conveyor belt. Meant to be copy of East Dryer (5) but is not identical.
Built in 1966.
8. Furnace building
Built in 1965. Fan and blower.
9. Replacement Furnace Building
Built in 1966. Fan and blower.
10. South Sorting Shed
Built in 1948.
Tractor storage building.
12. Fertilizer Shed
Built early 1940’s. 100 lb bags. Now chemical shed.
13. Mechanic’s Shop
Built 1964. For farm equipment. As machinery grew larger in size, so did the shop, moving to 13a. and 13b. locations as noted.
14. Wood Shed
Building expanded as wood amount increased.
Processing parent seeds - 100 bags/hr.
16. Warehouse and Tower
Built in 1966. Burned in 1970.
16a. Tower 16b. Warehouse
Seen as larger rectangular slab existing East of the hoppers.
17. Corn and Bean Warehouse.
18a. East - 1000 volume. 18b. West - 3200 volume capacity. Historically, the corn would be stored from September to November and then in the winter it would be processed.
22. Parts Shed
23. CAT Storage Shed