[-empyre-] time is of the essence
info at marisatesauro.com
Fri Nov 10 05:08:33 AEDT 2017
A few quick things: Renate thanks for giving us more information on the Cayuga Lake, it is interesting that a remediation some years ago is now thought to be part of causing high phosphorus levels in the lake. Also to note the interesting residual contamination of the Ithaca Gun Company, which just starts my head spinning on all the tangents that this idea takes me on. Also it sounds like your mother was in tune with using what we have in the kitchen and the pleasures of taking care of a starter that then nourishes her family.
So last night I listed to the podcast with Anna Tsing and something grabbed my attention, she talked about intervention, which is a much better word than remediation. As Catherine stated a few posts back the word transformation would be a better way in to the issue. I think intervention and transformation can work together to bring awareness and think about what we can do to intervene. I also appreciated the concept of not scaring the readers off as Anna Tsing talked about the content of her latest book “Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet”. I slept on this notion some last night and I really think that is an important element when it comes to residual contamination, but I often wonder if things become lost in a theoretical vortex or an academic holding pattern? I often feel like there is not enough protest-not enough “You can’t do this to our food supply” or “you can’t take away a basic human right like health insurance”. Where is the real intervention and why are we just rolling over to this big chemical companies, lets make some noise and stand up for ourselves and our environment! This all comes back to Renate’s question asking us to talk about our work and how the food extends into our art production.
Many years ago I did work with food, not based on my research on residual contamination but rather on a sociology level, I baked large amounts of small cakes and passed them out on the street to pedestrians. I was interested in studying the communication that took place, both verbally and non-verbally. I was interested in the idea of nourishing strangers where there was no monetary exchange and how these strangers would react to the gesture. A more recent project that dealt with food was a site-specific installation that I did in the small town of Monasterace in Italy. I gathered discarded (left by the river) netting for collecting olives and I constructed a to-scale installation of one of the abandoned houses in the small village. I did the installation in the place where they used to press the olives into oil. People could go inside the structure and move around and it was a way to talk about conventional agriculture and tradition. So this is quite different than talking about residual contamination of our food supply, but I do feel that in the last 15 years I have focused my work on how we live in this modern environment with references to the built environment, making reference to architecture as well as objects that are symbolic in our daily life that are residual contaminants, such as the quintessential take-out cup and most recently my project where I make replicas of packing material and connect their structures with those of ruins and floor plans, relating back to the architecture. I am fascinated by the residual in fact and that is the base of my practice.
A few days before Catherine contacted me about this opportunity I had just said to a friend that I would like to combine my passion for the food supply with my work so it seems as if the light is on and that there is a possibility, but I do feel like it is something that I would like to evoke change with, meaning have an effect outside of the art realm. More on that later because I want to close with the sourdough.
We live in a fast-pace society, there are more and more services for people who don’t want to cook, there are healthy options but there is a lot of residual contamination in this too, think take out containers, carbon footprint of plated, fresh direct. etc…The lievito madre, which literally translates to mother yeast which is such a wonderful name can be our reminder to slow down and develop a rhythm of caring for it and using its simplicity to make all types of leaven products where we can choose the flour and the water we use as well as add our own individual bacteria to the mix. We can reacquaint ourselves with time, the lievito madre, somewhat like the record player, you have to be physically close to flip the record or else you only hear the needle. We can also share, share the lievito madre with others and it is a chain that in the end will make people less dependent on more processed options.
Catherine, I am not exactly sure about glyphosate testing but a place here in NYC that tests for these types of residuals in our bodies is Parsley Health: www. parsleyhealth.com
And if anyone is directly or indirectly involved with contamination in their practice or on the side of their practice it would be great for you to chime in!
Thanks and looking forward to where this goes,
> On Nov 8, 2017, at 11:28 PM, Catherine Grau <catherine.grau at googlemail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hi all,
> I can share more about my practice tomorrow, I only have time for a short post today (sorry).
> But I do want to answer your question! So far, food-making, food producing, and food in general has not been part of my art practice. There are really great projects out there in that realm and I am inspired by how they can link aesthetic practices with social / political / environmental activism, as well as to a microbial / bacterial / living culture level.
> For now, as my starting point, what I am interested in is whether the sourdough can be a tool for working through residual contamination (maybe in the form of a pro-biotic warrior or ancient knowledge portal), and for making a living link between environment and the body by way of digestion, and also a way to engage with a dimension of agents, chemicals, lifeforms that are not visible to the naked eye.
> To be honest, I am still entirely at the beginning of this research, so I do not know what the outcomes will be...
> Marisa and me have been talking about the idea of starting a working group - so more in the direction of political action and organizing. Maybe the sourdough bread will just be the reason to come together while we talk about the potential of boycott. (For example).
> I would like to know more about how I can get the residual contamination in my body tested... So far all I've seen is expensive tests that only measure one chemical.
> Also, if anyone out there following is working with contamination in a creative practice or as part of activism, it would be great to hear from you!!
> More tomorrow!
> Catherine Grau
> EPA - environmentalperformanceagency.com <http://environmentalperformanceagency.com/>
> chancecologies.com <http://chancecologies.com/>
> On Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 9:59 PM, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rferro at cornell.edu>> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks you Catherine and Marissa,
> I am fascinated so much by the sour dough DIY bread baking and somewhat nostalgic in fact. My mother was a sour dough enthusiast and made bread a few times per week. She also tended a large garden, made jams, jellies, pickles and canned and froze many of the vegetables that she harvested in her huge garden. This all sounds so nostalgic now to me but she worked at home all day incredibly hard from morning to night time. The frost over the last few days prompted me to go out to my own garden to pick the very last batch of late lettuce I planted in August. I barely had the time to make it to the garden before dark because today was a long teaching day for me. “Rhythms,” “cycles”, are at the heart of this presence as you wrote as does “nurturing” and “attention.” For me time is of the essence.
> Catherine and Marisa I’d love to hear about your art practices and how food extends from your research through to your art production. Some month’s ago Amanda McDonald Crowley hosted an entire month of guest artists and researchers whose practice revolved around food, nurturance, and the environment. -empyre- subscribers Leila Christine Nadir and Cary Peppermint have been doing fermenting and fermenting workshops for the last few years. Leila might be lurking in perhaps and could share a bit about their work.
> Looking forward to both of you sharing some recent work. And empyre subscribers anyone else doing food as it might relate to contamination?
> Also please feel free to post photos on our FB and twitter pages.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rferro at cornell.edu>
> On 11/8/17, 12:23 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Catherine Grau" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of catherine.grau at googlemail.com <mailto:catherine.grau at googlemail.com>> wrote:
> >----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------Just a quick response to Marisa and questioning feasibility of
> >Maybe rather than remediation, we can think about transformation.
> >Cultivating transformation.
> >On a small scale (for now), recovering traditional / ancient cultures of
> >food-making, such as making bread with sourdough or lievito madre, are a
> >path for disrupting the dominant commercial food paradigms of highly
> >processed foods that cater to global markets and economic viability. Rather
> >than having GMO seed monopolies and a long shelf life of flour, we opt for
> >the nutrition and longer shelf life of a handmade sourdough bread, which
> >maybe requires returning to local and small scale grain farming.
> >Besides the glyphosate tangent, what I struggled with most in making bread
> >with natural leaven were the rhythms, cycles, the time commitment, the
> >process of nurturing and attention... The form of presence it entices.
> >Working with an obviously living agent, a living process. But the fact that
> >it is difficult to balance DIY bread baking with precarious contemporary
> >urban lifestyle is also what is actually so exiting and promising about it.
> >What would it look like to restructure my lifestyle around symbiotic
> >I listened to this interview with Anna Tsing today where she speaks about
> >her book "Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet":
> >http://edgeeffects.net/anna-tsing/ <http://edgeeffects.net/anna-tsing/>
> >And, although I struggle, I would love to find the enthusiasm with which
> >she engages the subject of contamination.
> >What I love about her is this radical openness to the concept of change
> >rooted in the celebration of life that is surviving and emerging from the
> >I'm just beginning to nurture that narrative. Hope it rises!
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu <http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/>
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> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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