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Machine on the Field: We have the bells, you bring the mower

Have you every wanted more out of your lawn mower?  Have you ever felt your mowing ability called for a special stage? Do you want to be a part of a large-scale-choreographed-sound-centric-mowing of the Walker Art Center’s Open Field?  Do your own or have access to a “reel” old-school-analog mower?  If so…we want you and […]

Have you every wanted more out of your lawn mower?  Have you ever felt your mowing ability called for a special stage? Do you want to be a part of a large-scale-choreographed-sound-centric-mowing of the Walker Art Center’s Open Field?  Do your own or have access to a “reel” old-school-analog mower?  If so…we want you and your grass cutting talents.

Chris Kallmyer and Machine Project are asking community members to bring their reel mowers down to the Walker Art Center to perform a composition celebrating the American lawn.  You will participate in a large-scale, mobile-mower-orchestra with 50 other mowers covered in bells.  The piece will be loosely choreographed and will be a lot of fun!  If you are interested in participating you have to provide your own reel mower, but we will bring the bells (and the beer).

Here is how you can be part of our community mowing chorus!

1. Email scott.stulen@walkerart.org to let us know you are interested, available and committed.

1. Drop your reel mower off at the base of the Open Field hill (Vineland by the Sculpture Garden) on Thursday, July 28th between 5 and 6pm.  The Walker Art Center’s Mower Valet will have staff and signage indicating the drop off zone.  

2. Park in the Walker’s garage.  We will give you a ticket for free parking before you leave.

3. Meet with Chris Kallmyer and receive instructions for the piece at 6pm.

4. Outfit your mower with bells for the performance.

5. Mow the Walker’s Lawn from 7:15 to 7:30.

6. Have a beer, on us. Seriously, you have earned it.

about the piece

the american lawn, and ways to cut it

A three-part exploration of the American lawn, and ways to cut it.  The song-cycle will begin with an amplified sheep cutting the grass of the Walker’s Open Field.  The piece will continue with a duo of gasoline-powered ride-on-mowers with mounted oscillators tuned to the drone of their engines.  Finally, community members with ‘acoustic’ push mowers will encircle listeners in a feat of amateur choreography and blissed-out-sonic-grass-cutting.  The piece will serve to examine the sonic nature of the Walker’s Open Field, while giving the lawn a much needed trim.