food for thought

The panel discussion at Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota for thinking making living was pretty great! We panelists, Molly Balcom Raleigh, Laura Bigger & Artemis Ettsen of Crescent Collective, Sandra Teitge, and I, were ‘wrangled’ by Valentine Cadieux in a HUGE conversation about ‘troubling the recipe’ of food, art, and food-based art practices.

Only in the most roundabout way is my practice focused on food, but food/the production and culture of food is an apt metaphor for some of the ideas I examine with in my work. What has happened to food in the United States (and Canada, and to a certain extent the Caribbean) has happened to thought: both have been industrialized in systems that take direct contact and thus agency away from people – even though contact and agency are precisely the things we need to ensure that food and thought support our health and social well-being. In my art practice, I try to slow down the way we think about communication – particularly the way we communicate through community-based narratives about the ‘right’ ways (to appear, speak, and learn…), the ‘right’ bodies, the ‘right’ origins.

By the end of the conversation, I realized that (a.) I am ‘right’ to seek out elsewheres for my artwork to come into being and (b.) there needs to be regularity – like at least a monthly but ideally biweekly or weekly regularity – to those installations/appearances and/or interactions. There was a bit of that with the Central Library installation of Public Speaking ( ) when Azisa and I had ‘hours’ that we were available to library patrons to talk about Shh!, but that wasn’t as specific as I’d like to be in the near future, more like…

Some Sundays, when we lived together in Florida, I’d wake up, walk quietly to Amanda’s room, tap on the French doors, open them, walk through the wolf blanket blocking out the light from the panes of glass, sit at the end of her bed, and strain my eyes against the darkness to find her face. “Wanna go to Boheme Bistro for brunch?” “Yeah.” “Don’t worry to shower.” “Ok.” We’d drive the long way up A1A talking about nothing in particular. Bleary-eyed, we’d sit and eat and chat about nothing in particular…

Art can be like that, no? Uneventful, regular, foundational.