Culinary Cultures of the Kinder/Garden, Latitude 53, Visualeyez 2010, Edmonton, AB

Alison Loader and Kelly Andres

Growth & Movement
Installation of an integrated mobile workspace featuring suspended, live and growing non-animals (plant and bacterial) in addition to still and moving images – photography, microscopy, time-lapse

Plants are always moving in a circular direction, a spiraling from the moment the cotyledon emerges from the seed. Their physical movements, for the most part, exist in a different time-space, one that is difficult to witness during regular human observation- time. Yet in comparison, my growth seems less visible. Perhaps my hair is longer, or I trim my fingernails but I am not spiraling towards the sky a foot a week like the vines, or stretching my roots to the earth inches per day like the squash - or am I?
(Kelly Andres, Timepeices and Tropism's text, 2010)

Assisted Reproduction

Participatory performances of the (costumed) human and non-human demonstrate techniques for the breeding of greenhouse plants including the gender identification and pollination of squash flowers, and the growing and shaping of fruit into predetermined forms. Images and artifacts from Kinder/Garden (<>) feature fetal-shaped squash,grown then pickled for display (and perhaps consumption).

New technologies continue to augment the media(tiza)tion of procreation, with disciplinary techniques such as assisted reproduction, surveillance, and bioengineering that promote the growth and design of both our children and the beings (plants and animals) we eat. While reproductive potential is common to all living organisms, infertility is not exclusively human – plants often require inter-species participation to create offspring and the growing absence of pollinators (such as bees) obliges human intervention in (re)production for food. Flower-human sex and fairy-tales may culminate in garden-grown infants. De-naturalized breeding problematizes the question: Where do babies come from? (Alison Loader, Kinder/Garden text, 2010)


Culinary Cultures: the Lunchlab is a performative installation in the guise of a buffet-style dinner party– thereby mixing techniques, flavors, smells, sounds and forgotten culinary practices while referencing current materials that provide base samples for science experiments and education. If we consider these two groupings of words, first: wetware, mold, clones, bacteria, yeast culture, tissue cultures, living and recently-living organisms, dissection, preservation, temperature, humidity. This list will most likely bring to mind the image of an institutional laboratory. Where these; cheese, carrots, yoghurt, mixed greens, vinegar, wine, bread,
flay, chicken bouillon, pickles, 350 degrees, moisture - denote a much different image, that of the domestic - a kitchen, and the banal ingredients in a typical home. The two lists, although seemingly dualistically paired are actually interchangeable if one shifts the backdrop between the lab and the kitchen.

Review of the exhibition by Cindy Baker "Everything I need to grow I learned in Kinder/Garden", and "Only Here for the Food" by Sharon Yeo.

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