A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo

A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo

Compelled by its utilitarian structure and its run in with a tornado, well-known photographer Tim Hursley came across a damaged grain silo while spending 16 years in Hale County, Alabama documenting the work of Mississippi architect Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio project. The structure quickly became more than just another object to see and photograph, so he eventually bought the silo after documenting it periodically over a span of three years. Hursley is currently thinking about moving it around - from one place to another - through means of digital media and technology. As he puts it, he simply, 'encountered and saw it,' and by moving it from one place to the next, he leaves discovery up to the observer. More images and a video after the break.

© Tim Hursley
© Tim Hursley

"The thought of physically moving it from Hale County to other faraway landscapes raises interesting questions about the nature of art, landscape, representation, and even sustainability. If the silo is place near the U.S. Capitol, it could be seen as a statement about the failures of federal farm policies. Is it fine art or forgotten ductwork if placed in the former turbine hall of London's Tate Modern? In China, people might see it as a symbol of American's industrial decline. The possibilities could be endless.

© Tim Hursley
© Tim Hursley

Given the rising preoccupation of 'sustainability,' perhaps here is a way to reuse and rearrange oddments that already exist in provocative ways. Making do with what's at hand may become more than another form of bricolage, which is what Hursley is considering, and potentially a new way to see and discover what in the landscape is truly relevant."

Text Courtesy of Kevin Sloan, ASLA, Landscape Architecture Magazine

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "A Moving Question: The Beauty of a Broken Silo" 23 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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