Friday, May 30, 2014

Iowa Insect Series: Attention to Detail

Cicada © David Versluis and Roy R. Behrens
Above In the late 1980s, driving a U-Haul from the Deep South to Cincinnati, as we neared our destination, we began to hear a deafening buzz—and soon we ran into a boundless cloud of the seventeen-year locust, the cicada. They were everywhere—everywhere. What an indelible welcome.

Another batch of the seventeen-year cicada will soon arrive in Iowa (in another week or so, I think). Be not alarmed or overwhelmed. They're actually quite wonderful. Enjoy them while you can—they may soon go the way of the monarch, the hummingbird, the garter snake.

Long live corn and ethanol in the land of hulk and money.

And guns.

In the meantime, my good friend David Versluis has anticipated the emergence of the cicada by installing an exhibition of his and my collaborative digital montages (collages made on computer), called Insects of Iowa: Attention to Detail. See exhibit installation below.


David Plowden, from "Conversation with David Plowden" in Christopher R. Rossi, ed., David Plowden's Iowa. Iowa City IA: Humanities Iowa, 2012—

When you get to Iowa, the land may be gentle and the land may be very subtle, but the sky isn't. You live out here under the weather and at your own risk, for god's sake. You may have all of the most up-to-date equipment, all the pesticides and chemicals you need—everything. But you have no control over the weather. And I think that's one of the most important things about living in this part of the world—that you could be wiped out by the weather, or you could be blessed by the weather, but you live by the weather.…