add event
  • Home
  • Sewing Machine Disassembly | Futurefarmers

Sewing Machine Disassembly | Futurefarmers

May 17, 2018
5:00 pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

First Floor Galleries
Thu, May 17, 5PM
See more at

A giant, rusty Singer 5-9 sewing machine, a key element of Futurefarmers: Out of Place, In Place, will be disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled with working parts over the course of the exhibition, to become fully functional once again, and used in the creation of the fog-harvesting machine.

This evening is the disassembly, led by Michael Swaine of Futurefarmers; David Cole, an artist, metalsmith, and senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts; and Kevin Binkert, machinist and president of Standard Metal Products. Cole will explain the historic use of the Singer 5-9 to make safety straps for the workers building the original Niagara Falls scaffolding and its key role in a moment of massive human industry and production. As the machine is taken apart, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in cleaning its various pieces. Part of Futurefarmers’ continued live creation of the fog-harvesting Speculative Machine (2018), this program calls attention to how an object as banal as a sewing machine, when disassembled and studied, brings life to the everyday and instills a sense of public imagination. Cash bar begins at 4PM.


About the exhibition:

Founded in 1995 in San Francisco, the internationally renowned Futurefarmers group takes a collective, playful, inquiry-based approach to art making that spans multiple disciplines and ways of inhabiting the world, from sailing and farming to environmental design and DIY scientific experimentation.

Their imaginative, environmentally conscious projects provoke audiences to question the many ways that humans try to control nature, or imagine themselves as separate from it. Their work can be described as social sculpture, a type of making that activates art’s potential to change society. Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place surveys their practice to date, and includes what they call a new “speculative fog-harvesting machine,” a live project to be constructed and activated over the course of the exhibition. This exhibition is part of YBCA’s ongoing Changing the Ratio initiative. Over 70% of YBCA’s exhibitions from 2017 through 2019 are dedicated to monographic exhibitions of female artists or female-led collaborations.

More Public Programs:

Fri, Apr 20: Opening Night Party | Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place
Sat, May 5: See Level | Futurefarmers
Thu, Jun 21: Speculative Machine | Futurefarmers
Thu, Jul 19: Electromagic Fog | Futurefarmers
Sat, Aug 4: Sea to Sutro | Futurefarmers

See all of our current & upcoming exhibitions at

For more info, call 415.978.2787 or visit

Open Hours:
Tue, Wed, Fri–Sun: 11 am–6 pm
Thu: 11 am–8 pm
Closed Monday

YBCA galleries are FREE to the public on the first Tuesday of every month. FREE First Tuesday is made possible in part by YBCA's Directors Forum Members

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
powered by Pointslocal. Questions? Email us at