Architectural amuse-bouche for the SECCA exhibit Paperless. Paper plates will support food along with a discussion on site-specificity
Performance artist Vicki Fowler has invited me to collaborate with local chef duo Beta Verde in response to Paperless, an exhibition at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) in Winston Salem, North Carolina as part of her continuing investigation "Whole Artist Series". The dinner series is a social practice of exchange and response in various layered collaborations, between chef, artist, response writer, and dinner guests, via a menu for an experiential meal.
My participation in the curated experimental dining works is to offer an insight through an "Artist Talk" into my core beliefs, processes and how they relate and challenge the issue of the world going paperless. This discussion will be presented at the Whole Artist, Site-Specific Cocktail Hour featuring Brandon Pass at SECCA on July 26th and at a formal Whole Artist Dinner, In Consideration of Eating the Tree. Beta Verde and I will be collaborating to produce an architectural & culinary amuse-bouche.
The french term amuse-bouche in its literal translation means "to please the mouth". However it's modern incarnation as it relates to fine dining, it can be simply understood as "a small morsel of food, tasty and pleasing to the eye". In actuality it is a singular bite prepared by the culinary artist as offering free from the constraints of the menu and providing insight into the chef's core philosophy and approach to food; an edible thesis. Could this offering apply to architecture? Is the plate not a site and the food a construction, an edifice? A dialogue between the two objects emerges as does a well-sited building grafted into the landscape. As a building engages, transforms and enhances the natural properties of a site, so does the siting of the food on a plate. Each requires more than the singular obvious sense in which to perceive it. The two come together as a greater whole and enhance that moment in time. A stain remains as a "ruin" of what once was and remains as a physical memory of that moment.
In brief, the intent is to create 50 "paper plates" to accompany my artist talk that reflect a deeper core, a thesis, recurrent in my work while also challenging one's conception and value of paper, or a paper plate as the case may be. Our collaborative amuse-bouche takes a step back in analyzing the notion of paperless in order to better understand the resource from which paper as well as food and architecture emerge, the tree. Each of us repurpose the resources of a tree into a variety of artifacts: the semi-permanence of wood in architecture for shelter, the temporality of the edible for sustenance provided from food, or the transport of each in the form of a document or a paper plate.
With the thinness, the two-dimensionality, the ephemerality of paper and its almost imperceptibility in our daily usage we do not perceive paper in its full and true form as an object until it is gathered into a mass, much like the surface of the earth or the thinness of the horizon line. Approaching this analogous paper mass as site, I've chosen to excavate from its geology contours that will define space and place for the presentation of the food. The reinterpretation of a paper plate is also intended to challenge the users perception of such a non-item. As with the culinary amuse-bouche, the plates are offerings to the guests to keep as a physical manifestation of my simple core belief, that architecture and objects gain in value with time and use and never remain what they once were. Architecture is the palette that enhances a moment and receives the patina of our passage.
As the paper plates are not treated and will soil with use, what is the worth to the user? Does it carry only the value of the typical non-item, our typical paper plates? Or does its construction and evident use elevate its worth and prevent it from being so unconsciously discarded? They will be confronted with weather to dispose or to preserve the vessel, to transport the memory of our shared moment.
Reason for going the Kickstarter route: As each "paper plate" is composed of 50 layers and there are 50 plates total and requiring eight hours each to fabricate, a more expeditious method of fabrication is required. This method would be laser cutting the individual pieces. The estimated time required to achieve the total completion of the 50 plates if fabricate by hand-cut/manual methods will be 400 - 450 hours (approximately 17-19 full 24-hour days) . With realistic workdays of 15 hours devoted to fabrication the actual amount of days to complete is more likely to be 27-30 days. With the event presentation and "artist talk" slated for July 26th and a formal diner utilizing the "paper plates" on the 28th, I have very little time to realistically complete this project if by manual hand-cut methods.
Proposed Project Budget
- Laser cutting service quoted price from Western NC Univ: $500
- 250 sheet of 180lb 13" x 19" heavyweight index stock: $250
- Adhesive (rubber cement) 4-32oz bottles: $50
- Clear lacquer finish: 12 cans $100
- Kickstarter/Amazon fee: +/- $50
- Material stipend issued from SECCA (-$200)
BARE MINIMUM AMOUNT TO COMPLETE PROJECT $750
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
An 8 1/2" x 11" photographic printEstimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
The residual from the 8 1/2" x 11" sheets form an inverse, or negative, of the plate (see 2nd photo). Although not used as "paper plates" they are very beautiful in their unplanned nature when assembled. For a donation of $50 to the cause, you will give what is typically waste a purpose, or at least a form, and receive one of these simple abstractions of the plate as a token of my gratitude.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
For the excessively, and unrealistic offering of $100, I will make you the plate of your choice....unused, of course. Each plate is approximately 6" x 9", comprised of 50 layers of paper.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)