Happy to announce that my proposal “Decomposing the Third International” was selected for exhibition at Berea College.
Abstract: Decomposing the Monument to the Third International is an interactive art project that considers how the practices of art, food, and education might be drawn together in order to plug some of the microflows of capital distribution. The hope is to encourage a rising-up of human essence that is based on creating networks of survival whereby the fulfillment of our most basic needs opens-up possibilities for new value systems that are not driven by profit and yield.
The project will manifest as a sculpture built out of logs from local forests. The form will be based on Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, the scale of which will be appropriate to the space in which it is to be exhibited. Along with the logs, dimensional lumber and/or saplings will most likely be used to construct the sculpture. Prior to the exhibition the logs will have been inoculated (using the plug method) with the mycelia of various edible fungi such as shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, etc. Workshops will be arranged during the culling and plugging of the logs. Although it may culminate as a a gallery show, its construction (and subsequent deconstruction) as well as the workshops are intended to provide points of access for the Berea community. After the work is deinstalled my hope is to find a home(s) so that the logs can continue to fruit and be enjoyed by people in the community.
Connecting Systems: During a recent visit I was introduced to the unique approach to education at Berea College. What I found so compelling as well as hopeful is how education at Berea is linked not only with class but also with labor, race, and ethics. In this way, it seems Berea College resists the current capitalist trend to instrumentalize education in favor of a form of pedagogy whereby learning is constitutive to social-becoming – suggesting a deep responsibility towards egalitarianism. How does this relate to constuctivism and growing mushrooms? As an art historical movement, constructivism was an attempt to functionalize art practice according to political ends. Growing mushrooms on one of the icons of twentieth century modernity, the exhibition Decomposing the Monument to the Third International is intended to rethink contemporary art practice according constructivist notions of utility. By asking how might art be utilized as a means to not only generate shifts in consciousness but also enact tangible change to our material surroundings – my hope is to encourage a conversation for new forms of solidarity economics based on self-reliance, mutualism and sustainability.