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My concept is to have visitors the gallery butcher chickens, grind meat, shape the ground meat into nuggets, bread and batter them, par-fry them and then vacuum seal them so the visitor can take them home.

process

Through this project I hope to address and accomplish the following:

  • Involve and expose viewers to the performance aspects of preparing and cooking
  • Demystify the complex process of creating a processed food and empower people with the confidence to experiment in the kitchen and be adventurous with ingredients
  • Provide an artifact of the experience in the form of a packaged frozen product that could be consumed or live in the viewer’s freezer.  It’s funny to suppose that someone might keep an art piece in their freezer but also could eat it and keep the packaging out on display.  The packaging must be considered as much as the process the participants will engage with.

Other thoughts:

  • The actual making of nuggets could be behind a curtain or wall such that the viewers only see a final product and then if they consent can step behind the curtain and participate.
  • There could be some hint as to what the final product is outside the gallery — for example, an overstated, or oversized example: a giant chicken mcnugget.
  • the “costume” and culture must be well established so that participants feel like they are part of a real, existing process and team.  Consider the factory experience.

Feedback (11.17):

  • separation between people participating and people watching
  • who gets to participate vs. who watches
  • do they participate in pairs? one person makes it, one person gets the product
  • can you just hear it? see suggestions of what’s going on? smell it?
  • how do you heighten the experience with artifacts or other additions? to draw out necessary thought and consideration – don’t want them to figure it out right away
  • customized, non-directly abstracted artifacts of process (custom coats, hairnets, protect
  • How disconnected can I make people feel from the final product? Just cogs in the system
  • Branding markets process (Intel) not item — stories — make fun of farm to table
  • Anonymity of people doing the process? Block out their faces or what they’re doing?
  • How to get ppl to focus on what I want them to focus on**
  • Do you need 6 ppl to participate

Evaluation:

This project was really about choosing and defining a direction for the next 14+ weeks of planning and building.  I feel like the central idea, allowing viewers to engage in a very controlled process to create chicken nuggets will definitely force them to think about what and how they cook and eat.  I’m happy with the success of this proposal and concept and I’m excited to move on to prototype what it might look like in a gallery setting, starting with actually just having the class make nuggets.  So, overall, a successful project and I’m really excited to move forward and start prototyping what the experience will look like.

I’m considering how best to portray performance in food as a gallery installation piece. I think the subject must be quite striking and also accessible to anyone.  We have all heard myths about how McNuggets are made but I think participating in making them would be a very different experience.  I’m considering building an installation in which participants actually make chicken nuggets and participate in various stages of the process.

And to figure out how they’re made, I found a few very interesting videos put up by McDonalds and Cargill that show the process:

It’s also interesting to note how style food for ads compared with how it looks when ordered in a restaurant. This could also be an interesting comparison and participatory installation.

So, using this recipe as a guide, I made some turkey nuggets to see how feasible it would be to have people make mcnuggets in a gallery setting.

nuggets-test1 nuggets-test2

“My name is Andy Warhol and I just finished eating uh, a hamburger.”

and on a related note….

Fluxus is a project organized by George Maciunas exploring and redefining the meaning of art in society.  A group of artists created a series of kits that are especially interesting to me.

What is art good for? This was a central question for Fluxus organizer George Maciunas, who devoted his life to analyzing the role of art throughout history and to proposing what it might be good for. For Maciunas, art at its best is part of the social process, as it was from prehistoric times to the Renaissance (no. 2). In modern times, it has become imbued with a unique aura and seen as something to be evaluated by specialists and collected by museums. Fluxus artists took up the task of re-embedding art within everyday life, picking up where Dada and Russian Constructivist artists left off after World War I. Maciunas and Fluxus colleagues George Brecht, Yoko Ono, and Robert Filliou observed:
Promote NON ART REALITY to be fully grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals. (George Maciunas, 1963)

The natural state of life and mind is complexity. At this point, what art can offer . . . is an absence of complexity, a vacuum through which you are led to a state of complete relaxation of mind. After that you may return to the complexity of life again, it may not be the same, or it may be, or you may never return, but that is your problem. (Yoko Ono, 1966)

Fluxus Resources:

Fluxus Digital Library @ U. Illinois

Antidiets of the Avant Garde

Fluxus Films

 Fluxus and The Essential Questions of Life

Modern Versions of Fluxus

This could be an interesting concept to play with

I LOVE THIS

making pajata on stage while djing! WHAT!

more here

This is an inspiring piece Tiravanija created and performed first in 1992, inviting others to cook and preparing thai food for visitors in a museum setting.

This project by Jennifer Rubell from Performa 2009 is very inspiring to me and an awesome example of how food can be incorporated into or convey a theme.