*The son of the farm’s owners ask that I remind you not to trek on his parents’ private property. The field art is no longer visible or even there, since its lifespan was only for the Netflix promotion. Please do nothing to disturb the lives of these good Hoosiers who donated the use of their land for this brief but beautiful memorial.
A week ago, Netflix revealed its perfectly-Midwest memorial to beloved Stranger Things character Eddie Munson: a one-acre circle painstakingly tattooed into an Indiana cornfield by Kansas post-folk artist Stan Herd. It took his skeleton crew and a few volunteers ten days to create the unique tribute. Ten days of slogging over a dry Indiana cornfield under the relentless Indiana sun in boiling Indiana summer. I’ve been there.
But the results…are pretty extraordinary.
Seven days and almost 3 million YouTube views later, the field art has become a cultural tsunami in the larger cultural earthquake that is Stranger Things, largely because of the character’s popularity. Many Hoosiers think Stranger Things is the “best” thing to happen to Indiana. It’s pretty good, but the “best” goes to Kurt Vonnegut and David Lee Roth, jointly.
Problem is, no one knows where this field art is located. At least, not until now. I’m not getting into too many details. I am too damn tired. It’s 10:30 AM right now. My kids are stomping around the living room behind me, and I feel like the crusty bottom of a burnt coffee pot.
My eyes feel like sandy raisins. That happens when you spend nine of the last 12 hours combing over the open field of St. Joseph County on Google Maps. People joke that Indiana’s all cornfields. As a native Hoosier that stereotype bothered me. Now I completely agree. So. Much. Corn. Also soybeans.
I know none of you want to hear HOW I found it. Tough. I found the location with these markers below, all plucked from the Netflix drone video:
1.) The oddly-shaped barn nearest the field art (a boxy-U).
2.) The sun either rising or setting in the video, showing a two-lane highway running north-south.
3.) A distant string of power lines, smaller to the north and larger to the south, strung at a descending diagonal to the field art.
4.) No major roads intersecting the two-lane highway, only a long, gravel drive crawling to the east and a shallow irrigation ditch to the west.
5.) The foliage to the east sits in two large clumps, with a single march of second-growth trees connecting them.
These were all enough to confirm a location, but did little in aiding discovery. The work had to be eyes-on.
Outlet after outlet stated the location was top secret. The volunteers said nothing and the artist permitted only a single reporter to visit the site. Even Netflix was as vague as vague could be: “Somewhere in Indiana…“
Finding a cornfield in Indiana, even knowing it’s in St. Joseph County (outlined in red below), is like finding a needle in a stack of needles at the bottom of a sea of needles. Do you know how many farms are in that county? Pole barns? Cornfields?