The One Hundred Circle Farm
by Emmet Gowin (Author), Lucas Bessire (Afterword)
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.