Avondale Community Centre, Saturday morning. Making sauerkraut in community.
An extension of the Freedom Cabbage project, Make Your Own Culture is a demonstration/workshop/talk incorporating the making and meaning of salted cabbage.
Tree Support is a playful collaboration with the landscape, an inquiry into the ways humans attempt to converse with other living beings. I want to consider the comic possibility that we aren’t an entirely necessary part of nature, while at the same time remaining hopeful that we can learn to collaborate more usefully with our planet.
“Trees are primary life-givers and bring benefit to the planet in every cell of their bodies. Being rooted, they interconnect with life in a very different way from ourselves, holding atmosphere and weather patterns together, supporting soil, bringing rain, providing home and shelter for animals and insects. They are the planet’s great alchemists, converting direct sunlight and minerals into breath and food for all creatures.”
– Charlotte Du Cann, 52 Flowers That Shook My World: A Radical Return to Earth
To ferment your own food is to lodge a small but eloquent protest – on behalf of the senses and the microbes – against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe. It is also a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we remain passive consumers of its standardized commodities, rather than creators of idiosyncratic products expressive of ourselves and of the places where we live, because your pale ale or sourdough bread or kimchi is going to taste nothing like mine or anyone else’s.
– Michael Pollen, Cooked (p415)
I have become quite political about cabbage. Mostly salted cabbage, packed into a jar and left on the bench for a few weeks. The process is the beginning of the breakdown into rot, the vegetable’s return to humus, and this process is so creative. B vitamins are made, anti-nutrients made benign, bacterial communities thrive and are overtaken in cultural successions. Like an invisible forest, species establish themselves and lay the foundations for the next.
In my fractal universe, the war we have been waging in the microcosmos (antibiotics everywhere) is symptomatic of our inability to just get along. My political path has taken me from dancing in the streets to permaculture gardening to the consumption of cultures as an act of reintegration, rebellion against the industrial processes that want to dominate my life.
Everything is everywhere. So says Sister Noella, mistress maker of cheese. All the bacteria are available to us, it’s a matter of environment. Terroir. The sourdough starter I am making on top of my fridge is the sourdough starter of my home, and the particular bacterial ecology I create is my specific relationship to my environment. Acting local.
If we count the cells in our bodies, the vast majority of them are not human. We are hybrid creatures, in symbiotic relationship with microscopic organisms. These organisms have an intelligence and skill in managing our relationship with our living environment that we have been underestimating lately. It seems that biodiversity is the key to the health of any environment, at every scale.
one’s own trade at The Crate
23rd – 26th April 2015
Curated by Hannah Davis-Gray & Harriet Stockman
Bid on contemporary art with objects and services
“In nature, things that are dying off are really getting ready for the next phase of life. And that’s how I see it. I think that’s how spirituality helps you to see things.”
Sister Loyola, Gardening with Soul