The One Hundred Circle Farm (Hardcover)

The One Hundred Circle Farm By Emmet Gowin, Lucas Bessire (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Emmet Gowin, Lucas Bessire (Afterword by)
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A powerful photographic survey of the impact of irrigation systems on the landscape of the United States

In The One Hundred Circle Farm, renowned photographer Emmet Gowin (b. 1941) presents stunning aerial images of center-pivot irrigation systems in the western and midwestern United States. This type of farming involves a method of watering crops in which equipment rotates around a centrally drilled well, creating enormous, distinct circles of irrigated land, often in the midst of dry terrain. Anyone who has taken a cross-country flight has likely seen countless acres of these iconic symbols of industrial agriculture. Through a faithful yet personal photographic survey, Gowin's powerful images not only bear witness to the ambitions humans wield in shaping the landscape, but also attest to how such primal elements--circles, pivots, and lines--symbolize water depletion and the fragile environment.

The stark photographic compositions, more than one hundred in all, were created over eight years. Fields resemble lost civilizations; crops gape like strange new suns. Hauntingly beautiful, the images highlight Earth's nourishing geology, visual evidence of our labors. Inscribed onto the earth, these lines are reminders of the technology extracting unimaginable amounts of water that cannot be replaced, and raise questions about what large-scale irrigation must answer for when the water runs out.

With an afterword by anthropologist Lucas Bessire discussing the history and impact of pivot irrigation on American farming, The One Hundred Circle Farm stands as a poetic visual record, evidence of the tenuous connections between human enterprise and our planet's most precious resource.

About the Author

Emmet Gowin is emeritus professor of photography at Princeton University. His many books include The Nevada Test Site and Mariposas Nocturnas (both Princeton). His photographs are in collections around the world, including at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tokyo Museum of Art. Lucas Bessire is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. His books include Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains (Princeton).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780691235417
ISBN-10: 0691235414
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: April 19th, 2022
Pages: 128
Language: English