Obama birth certificate as seed art at the Minnesota State Fair


President Obama’s birth certificate (or purported lack thereof) has been a central piece of rightwing agit-prop, but at the Minnesota State Fair’s crop art exhibit, it’s now a piece of agri-prop.

Artist Mark Dahlager glued thousands of seeds to a board to create a facsimile of the famous document, adding the tagline “Move on #&%?! Birthers.” (See full sized view at bottom of post.)

The toothpicks at upper right are tools of the crop art trade. Photo: Mark Dahlager
The toothpicks at upper right are tools of the crop art trade. Photo: Mark Dahlager

Political themes have become a staple at the Fair’s crop art exhibit over the years, but Dahlager’s piece may break new ground by reproducing an actual government document.

Why did he do it? “I actually had another piece planned, but was increasingly irritated by the birther nut jobs and I guess that’s what inspired me,” Dahlager wrote in an email to the Minnesota Independent.

“It took me about 10 hours over 2 weeks — it’s not a technically very good piece (as evidenced by the lack of [an award] ribbon) — but I like it and I got to do a little spleen venting (which is good therapy).”

What does he think his crop art contributes to the debate over Obama’s birth certificate?

I would have to answer your debate question much like Barney Frank did during his recent town meeting. There really is nothing to debate and I have no interest in debating with the equivalent of a dining room table(s). It’s just an expression of my wonderment at a depth of ignorance that is unfathomable.

Photo: Molly Priesmeyer

Photo: Molly Priesmeyer

The card visible at lower right in the photo is a required element of the fair’s crop art competition: a key listing each seed used in the artwork, along with a sample seed. Most categories of the contest require seeds to be from crops grown in Minnesota.

Dahlager (and indeed his family) is an inveterate crop artist, as evidenced by this bumper sticker:




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