A Toll on Earth

Wayne State University, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Detroit Michigan, 1998

Indianapolis Art Center, 1999

University Art Gallery, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, 2002

Materials: 2000 lbs. of cornmeal, steel carousel with bison skulls, motor, plywood

In the 19th century, the species—Bison bison—was decimated and thousands of pounds of bones were collected and shipped to Detroit for processing into fertilizer for farming. This wholesale slaughter of the bison was warranted by the federal government in its hope to rid the land of the Native Peoples who inhabited it. In the center of a square bed of 2000 pounds of cornmeal sat a steel carousel with four arms. A bison skull hung from each arm. The carousel rotated around and around, one rotation per minute, dragging the bison skulls, plowing circular paths in the cornmeal.