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USC SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE ARCH 432: architecture in the public realm SPRING 2010



agriculture represented in urban art


agriculture as processed food

THE NEW HEARTLAND19 agriculture in the city




agriculture represented in urban art JENNIFER REGNIER



Animal Art parades such as the infamous Cow Parade and Pigs on Parade have transformed into a fast-growing, popularly embraced phenomena. This fiberglass phenomena has been referenced as the new international art movement to hit the urban landscape. These impressive international public art exhibitions are decorated by local artists and distributed all over the city center in the most utilized and popular public places. These fiberglass pieces of art tend to incorporate designs specific to the specific cities history, culture and other relevant themes of that city. They installations tend to feature on average about 300 art pieces and the installation typically lasts between 3 to 6 months.

At the end of the installation, the pieces are auctioned off and proceeds are then donated to charity. The following essay will discuss the history, methods, people involved as well as the implications that these public art parades have on the city. The trend of art parades began with Cow Parade in 1998. The original event was founded by Walter Knapp, a former president of the International Association of Window Dressers. The first cow parade took place in Knapp’s hometown of Zurich, Switzerland in 1998. The city of Chicago and American entrepreneur Jerome Elbaum, chairman of CowParade Holdings, first brought Cow Parade to America in 1999. Since then it has emerged and grown into a massive sensation.

These fiberglass pieces of art tend to incorporate designs specific to the specific cities history, culture and other relevant themes of that city.

The method behind this phenomena seems to be straightforward: to pick an interesting animal that represents the community. Businesses sponsor the costs of these exhibits and local artists are invited to design these pieces of fiberglass. By placing these pieces strategically among the city, the goal is to attract locals and visitors to interact and enjoy these items. In a way, it is a smart tactic to invite the community to approach this art parade like a visual treasure hunt through the city. Challenging the viewer to embark on a journey and embrace as many of these pieces as possible. The goal was to have art at the core of these cities and also have

these pieces of art act as a catalyst to bring these different communities together. Businesses, cities, organizations and local artists come together to start partnerships and alliances centering around art in their city. Each city starts with a blank canvas. With each cities, the parade continues to evolve, not only in size but also creativity. Even though the fiberglass sculptures remain the same each artist puts their own take on the cities cultural influences as well as being inspired by the cow itself as an interpretive art as well. The artists tend to be local 5


to each city event. Artists submit applications that are reviewed by a local committee. The artists are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that have to do with the individual cities culture and events in particular. As far as sponsors go, anyone can become a sponsor. Sponsors are important in adding to the success of an event. Four levels of sponsorship are available ranging from $7,500 to $500,000. Sponsoring is a wonderful marketing tool for businesses. CowParade not only adds color and fun to each city it visits, but it also raises a good deal of funds for charity.

Not only did these amazing pieces of artwork spark excitement in cities that were beginning to drop off the radar, but it also revitalized cultural tourism as well as redevelopment in some of the cities. For example, the Chicago Cow parade alone generated $500 million in economic impact. As well as bringing communities together, another added bonus was the money these art exhibitions were raising and donating to local health, art, educational, animal, environmental, and social organizations in need. These projects have given cities an identity that they were lacking and therefore has turned these cities into vi-

brant hotspots for tourism and visitation injecting a large amount of income into these local economies. Even more fascinating is that it has even seemed to desecrate the notion of public art as something that must be experienced in a gallery or museum. It has given the public eye something to interact with and is conceptually very imaginative. If this is not art, what is? The community and neighborhood can identify and recognize cultural examples in this display of public art. The city also gains identity with these pieces of artwork and for many cities begin a wave of tourism causing people to venture to a specific city just in hopes of being able to find these different animal

art nestled throughout the city. The agricultural industry also seems to be getting recognition of the importance of these agricultural elements not only in our individual daily lives but also in how they play a part in our public realm. Cow parade made history as one of the most successful art and civic spirit programs ever in the history of art events.Though in most senses this installation is quite successful, their has been some controversy over these animal art parades. People’s opinions run the gamut. Some people tend to think its all about advertising rather

As well as bringing communities together, another added bonus was the money these art exhibitions were raising and donating to local health, art, educational, animal, environmental, and social organizations in need. 7


than art and are acting out in a violent manner. At times, they have defaced the fiberglass pieces as well as stolen them. Fires have been set to factories that manufacture them. Others seem to be annoyed at placement of these art fixtures and question the appropriateness of some of the places chosen to display these fiberglass figures. Others enjoy the public art and find it invigorating and an attraction to their city. In short, these wonderfully temporary exhibitions leave the city with mostly positive memories, strengthened community bonds, invigorated economies and a staple for their city as well as donating proceeds of the exhibition to a good cause. This new and

fresh expression of art has united individuals in a very creative way and the element at the center of it all was art in the public realm. By sharing these animal public art installations in our catalog we hope to acknowledge the fact that agriculture is present in many forms and it is definitely seen through public art in the urban realm.

In short, these wonderfully temporary exhibitions leave the city with mostly positive memories, strengthened community bonds, invigorated economies and a staple for their city as well as donating proceeds of the exhibition to a good cause



agriculture as processed food



I still like bologna on white bread now and then And the sound of a whippoorwill down a country road The grass between my toes and that sunset sinking low And a good woman’s love to hold me close -Alan Jackson, from I Still Like Bologna

The Bologna sandwich, made with a piece of bologna, a slice of American cheese, and two fluffy pieces of white bread (condiments optional), is an American sandwich classic with cultural power and resonance. For many, the famous Oscar Mayer advertising jingle sung by a curling-headed boy in 1973 has forever cemented B-O-L-O-G-N-A with Oscar Mayer, summer afternoons, and the simplicity of childhood. Whether you eat bologna sandwiches regularly or left them behind in elementary school, the smell and flavor has the power to conjure very specific memories and feelings. Recently, Alan Jackson played on the emotion bologna evokes in his hit country song “I Still Like Bologna,” recalling simpler times and a rural America that is

disappearing. Like the hot dog and the PB&J, the bologna sandwich is loaded with nostalgia. But of course the bologna sandwich has this kind of resonance, because after all “you are what you eat” and according to Oscar Mayer, American’s eat over 6 million bologna sandwiches daily. We are physically built out of the food we consume, and somewhere most of us are a little bit of bologna. However, the bologna sandwich like other convenience or fast foods is anything but simple. It is a complex food item that has been created by a huge industrial food complex, dependant more on

science and technology than on the American farmer. Michael Pollan states in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma that the food we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000. He goes on to describe how the same processes used to fix nitrogen for bombs during World War II, made nitrogen available for chemical fertilizers. The same industrial processes used to mass-produce war equipment were translated to increase food production and uniformity. These advances in combination with the emergent driving culture of the 1950’s, as well as changes to traditional domestic roles in the 1960’s and 70’s, created the perfect conditions for fast and convenience foods to become a major part of American life.

Whether you eat bologna sandwiches regularly or left them behind in elementary school, the smell and flavor has the power to conjure very specific memories and feelings.

While the changes in what we eat have happened rapidly, our ideas about where our food comes from and how it is produced have been slower to catch up. The notion that farming families are working the land, framed by a red-barn, silo, and picket fence is leftover from the 1930’s, but is still used to market numerous products in supermarkets today (Kenner, 2009). In 1935, there were approximately 7 million family-run farms dotting the American countryside. By the end of the 1990’s, there were only 1.9 million left (USDA, 2002). Large private and corporate farms bought up and consolidated farmland, or farmland changed use as suburbia expanded. The consolidation of small farms into large ones was made possible by the 13

new industrial system, where fewer workers were required to successfully run a farm. In 1890, it took one worker to farm 27.5 acres of land. A century later, it takes only one worker to farm 740 acres (US EPA, 2009). This increase in efficiency and mechanization makes it harder to earn a living wage farming, but it creates cost savings that benefit both company and consumer. Currently less than 1% of the US population makes a living farming (US EPA, 2009). This means that the vast majority of Americans no longer have any direct connection to the land, plants and animals we eat. Without this connection, it becomes easier to eat through a day without consciously knowing what is going into our bodies. And as food is shipped hun-

dreds of miles from source to consumer, it becomes necessary to add chemical preservatives and colors to create and maintain food’s freshness and appeal. So what does keep bologna looking pretty and pink after it is trucked around the nation? According to its package, Oscar Mayer Bologna contains mechanically separated chicken, pork, water, corn syrup, less than 2% of salt, sodium lactate, flavor, sodium phosphates, autolyzed yeast, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate, dextrose, extractives of paprika,

potassium phosphate, sugar, and potassium chloride. This list requires a second look to truly understand what all of these things are. The USDA defines mechanically separated meat as “a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue” (USDA, 2009). Pork pieces are added to the mechanically separated chicken and comminuted, ground into minute particles to make a meat paste (USDA, 2009). As for the other ingredients, salt refers to common table salt, sodium chloride; corn syrup, dextrose, and sugar are all different forms of glucose added as sweeteners (Wikipedia, 2009); autolyzed yeast,

Currently less than 1% of the US population makes a living farming (US EPA, 2009). This means that the vast majority of Americans no longer have any direct connection to the land, plants and animals we eat.

flavor, and extractives of paprika are added for taste, although “flavor” is some proprietary additive that only Oscar Mayer knows about. Sodium lactate, sodium diacetate, potassium chloride, sodium phosphates and potassium phosphate are salts that work as preservatives, with the last two also serving as emulsifiers, which prevent separation of fat from solids (Katz, 1998). Sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrate are adding to speed curing time of the meat, and help it maintain its pink color (Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2009). Interestingly enough, looking so good comes at a price. Due to associated health risks, the Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends cutting back from consuming corn syrup, dextrose, sugar, and


salt, while trying to avoid eating sodium nitrate altogether. A growing amount of research is showing that diets that include high amounts of processed or red meats, dairy, and low-fiber carbohydrates have been linked to various types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, which is currently the nation’s number one cause of preventable death (Adams, 2005; Brunner, 2008; Krenner, 2009; & Schulze, 2003). This sickening of the population on processed and fast food is also being reflected in the overall health of our environment. The consolidation of farmland,

the use of large petroleum-powered equipment, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, has allowed for greater efficiency and cost savings for companies and consumers, but the consolidation of agricultural wastes and fertilizer run-off in massive quantities is causing major pollution problems (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2008 & Pew Comission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, 2008). An example is the agricultural run-off from Midwestern farms that drain into the Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, which cause algal blooms so extreme that as they die and decompose, all of the oxygen in the water column below is used, creating a hypoxic or dead-zone where very little marine life can exist (Turner, 2008).

This sickening of the population on processed and fast food is also being reflected in the overall health of our environment.

When all of this is laid on the table, it makes it harder to swallow that bite of bologna. To regain control of our health and environment, it is necessary for people to fight for the knowledge of what is in their food and how it is made. This is especially true in the urban environment, where it is easy to allow food production to stay out-of-sight and out-of-mind. It is time to move beyond singing nostalgic songs and jingles about our processed meats, and demand better.


THE NEW HEARTLAND agriculture in the city ADRIAN SUZUKI



The term agriculture traditionally characterizes open fields and grazing animals, fields of grain and plowing tractors; which once characterized America’s heartland. At a time when 193,000,000 people are living in America’s urban areas, agriculture is presumed to have a distant relationship to many urban dwellers. Surprisingly enough, however, agriculture has a well-defined presence within the urban setting. Farmer’s markets, Urban Farms, a new found green-awareness and a steep increase in urban population have each helped redefine America’s heartland; and the urban dweller’s perception of the qualities and benefits of their food.

Amidst the humming of automobiles, air-conditioned spaces of buildings and sterilized concrete sidewalks urban dwellers seek food in the most fundamental of ways: the quickest of options. Fast-food consumption and convenience stores are commodities within the urban setting, and are commercialized as simply being part of the urban lifestyle. The average American has been known to purchase fast food 16 days of the month, according to QuickTrackÂŽ research conducted by the consumer tracking group Sandelman & Associates. And as tomatoes are turned into ketchup, potatoes turned into French fries and chicken turned into chicken fingers, urban dwellers consume such goods without acknowledgement or question of the form and processes their foods transpire.

Today there are approximately 4,800 farmers markets operating throughout the nation, a 13% increase from 1994, with a consistent continued growth expected to occur. In Chicago there are 19 farmers markets within a 300-mile radius, each showcasing local vendors that produce and promote locally grown and minimally processed alternative foods. These farmers markets blanket the city - from the front of museums in neighborhoods to the courtyards of downtown federal plazas. Illinois is a state that produces enough corn each year to fill a train of boxcars stretching from Chicago to Hong Kong, and increasingly, a portion of that corn is delivered directly to it’s urban dwellers.



In Seattle, alternative foods are uniquely produced and promoted by a local urban farm agent called Seattle Urban Farm Company. As a catalyst for urban farming in Seattle’s urban setting, Seattle Urban Farm Co. provides knowledge and services to local, urban residents in order to facilitate the establishment of productive organic vegetable and livestock farms directly in their backyards. Through garden consultation, revitalization of ignored garden space and installation and maintenance of ready-to-go vegetable gardens, Seattle Farm Co. has effectively created an urban agricultural spirit. In addition to assisting a property owner with establishing their own vegetable garden, Seattle Farm Co. serves as a link between a network of urban farmers, providing a variety of vegetables

weekly throughout the growing season. Organic tomatoes, peppers, beans, and salad greens, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, celery and leeks are a few of the many vegetables shared among the Seattle urban farming community. Seattle Farm Co. also highly encourages the maintenance of livestock and flowers as a way to make an urban yard a desirable place to be. These efforts are all in the belief that an urban farm can help foster a connection to food, environment and community. With organizations such as the Seattle Urban Farm Company and the farmer’s markets of Chicago agricultural

produce is more often represented in its natural form within the urban realm, encouraging the adapted sense of agriculture to urban constraints. Along with a variety of encouraging factors, urban farming also faces particular urban opponents such as land-use and property right regulation. The South Central Farm of Los Angeles illustrates this quite dramatically, and also reinforces the passion urban dwellers have for a connection to their food source. The following is a historical overview of the tormented urban farm:



The land on which the South Central Farm sat was a failed development site that was unused until July 1994 when the Harbor Department granted a revocable permit to the L.A. Regional Food Bank to occupy and use the site as a community garden. Through the 1990s the farm grew, with few but pungent stints with the political and fiscal powers of the city. In April 2002, as development alongside the South Central Farm fostered an increase in real estate value, the site gained potential for commercial or industrial use; setting a face-off between the environmental and social value of the community garden against the profit potential of commercial or industrial use.

In 2003, the City of L.A. sold the land for just over $5 million, but guaranteed to donate 2.6 acres of the site for a public soccer field. The City Council approved the agreement as Councilmember Jan Perry, who represents the 9th Council District, in which the farm is located, sought alternate sites for the South Central Farms. Documents detailing the negotiations that led up to the signed settlement agreement have never been exposed. Shortly after the settlement the Food Bank received written notice to that their revocable permit to occupy the

land would “terminate as of February 29, 2004.� The farmers filed a lawsuit arguing that the city violated their rights in not making deal negotiations public, and were granted an injunction allowing them to remain on the land until the case was resolved. When an appellate court ruled against them in June 2005, they appealed to the California Supreme Court, which in October 2005 refused to hear their case. Currently, the lands legal owner is currently in negotiations with the Trust for Public Land, which hopes to buy the land for the reinstatement of public community-garden use.

It is in the case of the South Central Farm that we see how green-awareness has changed the urban setting. It is the relentless advocating for a valued community farm that stands as proof that urban dwellers understand the importance of ecology within the city for the better interest of the community, local culture and urban life. It is without the awareness of how to cultivate fruits and vegetables that urban dwellers fail to become so passionate about what they eat. Exposure to alternative food products and resources has contributed to the popularity of alternative food produc-

tion methods and values. Green-awareness and an interest in communal wellbeing have become national headlines, and urban dwellers continue to facilitate the transport and cultivation of locally-grown, organic produce directly in front of their museums and downtown federal plazas. The fabricated fields of the urban setting made up of farmers markets, urban farms and green-awareness have proven to be embraced by urban dwellers, along with the ideas of where their food comes from and in what form they consume it.



American Cheese is any of the group of U.S. cheeses made with emulsifiers to increase smoothness and pasteurized milk to increase storage life; 51% of the final weight must be cheese ( Bologna is a large American sausage derived from and somewhat similar to the Italian mortadella, and is usually made with beef and/or pork pieces. Hypoxic zone is an area of coastal ocean defined by its low oxygen content due to the death and decomposition of large algael blooms Oscar Mayer is a well-known American meat and cold cut production company, currently owned by Kraft Foods. Sodium Nitrate is the sodium salt of nitric acid, NaNO3; used as a food preservative, and as an oxidizing agent in explosives. White bread is bread made from wheat flour from which the bran and germ have been removed.

Warren Knapp-founded the first original event of the Cow Parade which orginated in his homeland of Zurich, Switzerland. He was also the former president of the International Association of Window Dressers. Jerome Elbaum-An American entrepeneur and chairman of Cow Parade Holdings brought Cow Parade to America in 1999. animal art parade-Public art exhibitions that feature a specific fiberglass animal that is replicated and painted by local artists and then distrubuted throughout that city. cow parade holdings- Cow parade corporation that was founded in 1997. community partnerships-these art parades tend to facilitate a community bond and allows for local artists, business owner and charities to all work

together to better their community and strive towards a common goal. Agriculture: the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products. Urban dweller: urbanite: a person who lives in a city. Urban Farms: the growing, processing, and distribution of food and other products through intensive plant cultivation and animal husbandry in and around cities. green-awareness: awarness of any imbalance or disparity among inhabitants of the same living environment deemed inappropriate, unjust or detrimental to that environment’s integrity.


All photos are listed as they appear on each page; from top to bottom

Cover, pags i. ii, iii, 1-3, 10-11, 18-19, 26-29: NASA Satellite Image of Agriculture Patterns found around the world (May 30, 2006). 1) Cheap land has lead to huge farm size in the Cerrado, wooded savannah of Southern Brazil 2) Radial farming in planned development in rainforest, Santa Cruz, Bolivia 3) Regular grid reflecting 19th century surveying, Minnesota, USA 4) Small random pattern reflects medieval development, Northwest Germany 5) Center-pivot irrigation pattern, Kansas, USA 6) Rice paddies fed by canals, Bangkok, Thailand Page 4: 1)Strawberry Milk Cow 2) Flower Cow-er shenews/07/Flower%20Cow-er.jpg 3) Starry Night Cow. 4) Patchwork Cow. http://store. 5) Blue Belle Cow. Page 5: Melting Cow.

Page 6: 1) Tropical Striped Pig. 2) Retro Flower Pig. imgres?imgurl= 3) Art Pig 4) Puzzle Pig 5) Aztec Pig Page 7: Sky Blue Pig Page 8: 1) Farmer John pig mural part1. 2) California Agriculture. 3) Farmer John’s farm pic part 3 wp-content/uploads/470656314_789cb9d67d.jpg 4) Farmer John pig mural part 2. farmer-john-pig-mural.jpg 5) Los Angeles agricultural mural.

Page 9: supermarket farm, koreatown mural Page 12: 1) Loaves of Wonder bread. 2) Loaves of bread along an assembly line.,,_1584571,00.html 3)White Flour. 4)Flour Mill Equipment. 5) Cleaned whole wheat kernels. http://www.qatarflourmills. com/Images/Factory/Foodco/Bakery/full_size/cleaned_wheat_max.jpg 6) Agricultural Wheat Harvest agriculture-wheat-harvest.jpg Page 13: Sliced White Bread. Page 14: 1) Cheese in Wegman’s Supermarket aisle. 2)Tillamook Cheese Factory.

27 3) Milk Pasteurizing equipment. photo-g/food-production-line-instant-milk-and-whey-powder-358757.jpg 4)Cows being mechanically milked. 5) Dairy cows in an industrial feedlot . 6)Grass-fed dairy in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Page 15: Sliced American Cheese. Pg 16: 1)Supermarket shelves of Oscar Mayer Bolgna. 2)Ground pork. http://www.csumeats. com/images/Ground%20Pork.jpg 3) Hanging slaughtered pigs. 4)Pig Sluaghterhouse. http:// 5) Factory farmed hogs. 6)Beebe Creek Farm, Pike County, Illinois. Page 17: Sliced Bologna. Page 20: Candied peacans, peanuts and seeds packaged to sell; Eighteen farmers markets within 150 sq. miles; Local black grapes; Local grape tomatoes on vine. Page 21: Potatoes, onions and peppers.; Eighteen farmers markets within 150 sq. miles continued.; Local flowers for color; Local raspberries for sale.

Page 22: Seattle Urban Farm Co. employee managing crops; Vegetable blossoms in the outdoor sun; Dense Seattle skyline,; Moist soil through vegetable sprouts; Page 23: Seattle Urban Farm Co. employees plan in storage warehouse; Fresh basil; Dense Seattle skyline continued,; Moist soil through vegetable sprouts continued. Page 24: Los Angeles city skyline; Farmer looks over cared-for crop; Advocates are arrested shortly after farm is closed for demolition. Page 25: South Central Farm observed within the context of the surrounding urban environment; Farmer is joyful to cultivate fruits and vegetables; Sign of protest translates to ‘we’re here and we’re not leaving’.

Backcover: Google Earth Images (March 25, 2010). 1)Arapoti, Brazil 2) San Ignacio, Bolivia 3) St. Paul, Minnesota, USA 4) Oldenburg, Germany 5) Wichita, Kansas, USA 6) Bangkok, Thailand


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Kenner, R. (producer/director), Pearlstein, E. (producer), & Schlosser, E. (co-producer). (2009). FOOD, Inc. [Motion picture]. United States: Magnolia Pictures. Kraft Foods. (2010). Oscar Mayer Brand website. Retrieved March 9, 2010, from aspx?s=product&m=product/product_display&Site=1&Product=4470000857 Krebs, J.R. (2005, June 29). The Croonian Lecture 2004: Risk: Food, Fact and Fantasy. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, vol. 360, no. 1458. pp. 1133- 1144. Retrieved March 11, 2010, from Pentecost, C. (2002, Autumn). What did you eat and when did you know it? Art Journal, vol. 61, no. 3, pp.47-62. Retrieved March 9, 2010, from http://;e/778212


Fabricated Fields  

Agriculture in the City