Meals provide a point of friction where global systems intersect with local bodies. Every detail, from how we harvest, grow, care for, and eventually collect the ingredients, to the way we prepare, serve, and attend to a dish as we eat it expresses our beliefs about the world and our relationship to it. What’s for dinner tells us as much, if not more, about a utopia than any other detail. As part of Utopia School Recipes for Utopias explored the everyday practicalities of radical realities through a performative dinner that prepared dishes from 13 utopias. With Lena Hawkins, Tim Nicholas, and Will OwenCookbook
Camp Little Hope spent six weeks working in and around Cullowhee, North Carolina on a sculptural intervention for the Western Carolina University campus trail system. Handmade Landscape (May 19 - August 26 2016) is an arts and research exhibition exploring the geography, botany and the impact of recent human land use on Gribble Gap. The research presented in the exhibit informed the creation of Dirtmaker, an environmental sculpture installed in the forest. As Dirtmaker disappears, it replenishes the depleted minerals in the forest’s soil.
Camp Little Hope was commissioned to create a public artwork for Elsewhere’s South Elm Projects. Much of the available historical material came from reports published by the Chamber of Commerce that focused on the neighborhood through the lenses of business interests and classic economic development.
We created alternative publications focused on the many resources that escape notice when viewed through a traditional economic perspective. Community, not as a collection of infrastructure and services, but as relationships and interdependence. Economy, not measured in total revenues but in the impact of meaningful work and fair compensation. Development, not in dollars invested but in connections created and problems solved. Culture that already thrives in our neighborhoods instead of something that needs to be introduced.
Perpetual Piñata Parlour, with Flux Factory, was a four-day carnival about bureaucracy, capitalism, and language barriers that was presented in St. Petersburg, Russia for Art Prospect Festival. Visitors to the festival were guided by miming facilitators through a series of lost-in-translation American and Russian folk games, accumulating points of unclear value before participating in a collective piñata-breaking ceremony. This project commissioned by CEC ArtsLink.
Kitchens & Capitalism examined the way different types of kitchens resist and/or replicate capitalism. The exhibit collected drawings of different kinds of kitchens: historical, home, collective, and industrial. Performances & conversations examined ways of performing the kitchen and how these shape our worldview. The exhibit opened with a time-traveling pancake potluck. Pancakes were made with einkorn, one of the earliest cultivated grains; Kernza, a perennial grain currently under development at The Land Institute in Kansas; and Corn flour, a contemporary staple grain. As part of our research I am mapping and remodelling Flux Factory’s collective kitchen.
This project funded by Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
A guided meditation inspired by the writing of Levinas, Habermas, and Anne Dufourmantelle. The meditation is a paired experience, two people staring into each others’ eyes, physically and philosophically confronting the other. For the gallery a small shelter with a bench places visitors knee to knee with their mediation partner. Live performances vary based on site.
A climate change and biosecurity garden that connects the town center with a new railway platform. Planted species are selected for their resistance to predicted conditions, and threatened features of the field are highlighted with landscaping and signage. When mature, the garden will consist of a wildflower meadow, a small orchard, a tree-lined path, and a raised flower bed. The garden design adopts local visual vernacular, so while it explicitly warns of local effects of global issues it is camouflaged within the expected view from a countryside train platform. This approach allows the project to co-opt the landscape surrounding Dol Corwenna through visual association: after visiting the field you might see the Welsh landscape itself as an evolving indicator of global conditions.
Camp Little Hope returned to Corwen to launch the Corwen Field Stwdio. The Corwen Field Stwdio explored how an arts-led awareness of the local environment - built, natural, and cultural - can shape community-conscious regeneration efforts. Events, workshops, and exhibitions took place at 15 Bridge Street (the Old Spar), The Field Beside the Car Park, and around Corwen. The Stwdio worked with local groups, residents, artists, and schoolchildren to explore roles art and The Field could play in Corwen. Corwen Field Stwdio investigated models for a future residency program and demonstrated how an art project can be a community collaboration that helps shape the development of Corwen. Corwen Field Stwdio Website
Camp Little Hope was commissioned by the Corwen Partnership, the Arts Council of Wales, and Addo, to imagine creative uses for a field that separates Corwen’s Town Square from the future platform of the Llangollen Railway. We developed three long term strategies for the field and town: Gardd Ceridwen (a platform for exploring biosecurity), the Toiledau Residency, and the Wayfinding project. We explored specific aspects of each strategy through art interventions.
The Bibotorium was an educational saloon and public think-tank. Camp Little Hope explored the future of water in Philadelphia through conversations with our visitors: tourists, neighbors, students, amateurs and experts. During the Hidden City Festival we worked on site, designing solutions to various issues affecting Philadelphia’s water and building boats to reference the implications of future water environments. By creating a space that is both social and scientific, we encouraged radical and imaginative conversations to address serious problems.
The One Minute Film Festival took place annually in a barn outside of a small town in upstate New York, on the first Saturday after the 4th of July, from 2003-2012. Organized and hosted by artists Jason Simon and Moyra Davey, the festival samples a decade through the participation of hundreds of makers: ten years spanning the extremes of George Bush and Barack Obama, of You Tube and the near ubiquity of video within cultural institutions.
A series of experiments investigating the role of automation and reproduction. Sculptural components were hand-manufactured, made in great enough multiples to pique curiosity as to their purpose. Video was also used to further extend the quantity of the hand-manufactured. Other videos used automation, like Photoshop CS5s content-aware fill, to generate entirely new work through the accretion of minor changes.
The Picket Wheel was a conversational catalyst and urban/rural intervention activating dialogues about private property, landscape, the gaze, and the commons. Rolling the Picket Wheel down the street opened conversations with pedestrians, cyclists, and almost as often drivers who would pull over to investigate
Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine occupies two levels of a former hotel in downtown Harrisonburg. An Ethiopian restaurant & bar upstairs with a bar & music venue in the basement. The original Blue Nile brought Ethiopian Cuisine to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Moving to a larger location and opening a music venue the Blue Nile played an important role in Harrisonburg’s downtown revitalization.
The Public Table, with spurse, was a provisional free restaurant traveling from New Haven, CT to Bellows Falls, VT and ending in Cambridge, MA. The materials, both for the installations and meals, were gleaned. The number of dishes, size of the dishes, number of ingredients, type of ingredients and amounts of each were determined by an algorithm driven by a walk taken earlier in the day. The interiors of each restaurant were driven by the available materials in the different location
A letterpress studio in historic Eastern Market, Detroit that produces custom design work and printed matter. Within the 3,000- sq. ft. space, farm-to-table food events, a pop-up cinema, exhibitions, dinner theatres, readings, design lectures, live music, and special curricular offerings are slated with a diversity of cultural and creative partners. Megan O'Connell and Leon Johnson direct this complex of events, production, and potentialities
Elsewhere is a living museum using the massive collection of its former thrift store to build futures from old things. We generate collaborative creativity in our downtown neighborhood and across the globe.
Mildred's Lane, a rustic, 96-acre site deep in the woods, a home, and an experiment in living, is an ongoing collaboration between J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion, their son Grey Rabbit Puett, and their friends and colleagues. Mildred’s Lane attempts to coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy, where a working-living-researching environment has been developed to foster engagement with every aspect of life.
Spurse is a research and design collaborative that catalyzes critical issues into collective action. Through a playful transformation of conceptual and material systems, spurse develops problems worth having and worlds worth making, engaging across scales and complexities of all things human and nonhuman, organic and non- organic. Spurse begin every endeavor by locating ourselves of the world, not merely in the world.