Cargill Grain Animator

In collaboration with Billy Erhard.

Acquainting yourself with a defunct grain elevator may rouse your curiosity about its surreal architecture, the distinct sense of material, a place of eerie noises and a relic of industrial history. Or it may not! Although many are aware of the omnipresent grain elevators, we hope this animation will instill a heightened awareness of their history and potential - ultimately, reintegrating their presence in our daily lives more constructively.

The Cargill Superior Grain Elevator located at 874 Ohio Street, Buffalo, New York, consists of three grain elevators, constructed in 1915, 1923, and1925 respectively. Joined together in a massive complex nearly 1,000 feet in cumulative length, with a maximum storage capacity of over 3,700,000 bushels, the elevator looms over the adjacent river. In creating stop-frame animations of the Cargill Superior Grain Elevator this film interprets several modalities of historical records, digital reproductions and material reuse. By moving the body rather than the object, as is common in stop-frame animation, we created an original interpretation of a precarious exploration into this heavily reinforced monolithic machine.