Field Station 2: Anthropocene Drift

Iowa / Illinois / Wisconsin

© Ryan Griffis

The Midwestern United States is dominated by monoculture fields of corn and soy. This kind of agriculture currently produces more than one-fifth of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and is largely responsible for polluting the Mississippi River with chemicals. In spite of the near-total destruction of the prairie biome caused by monoculture soil use, the state of Illinois is still called the “Prairie State.”

Field Station 2 juxtaposes two landscapes that are differently shaped by climate, geology, and culture. While sustainable agricultural practices have been established in southwestern Wisconsin, endless monoculture fields extend further south on both sides of the Mississippi. The objective of the Field Station is to better understand the origin of today’s farming landscape. A series of experimental guidebooks, a public “way station” and a mobile symposium explore the history of industrial agriculture in the context of U.S. settlement and colonial history. This is the only way to create alliances for equitable and sustainable alternatives.

More about the work of Field Station 2