Industrial Harvest is an artistic gesture about nourishment, food systems, and the City of Chicago. It will start with the purchase of a 1000 bushel wheat futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange / Board of Trade, and the simultaneous delivery of 1000 bushels of actual commodity wheat. Most of the wheat will be milled into flour, some of it will be set aside in its original form. Then, I'll give it away, bit by bit, to people & organizations around Chicago & surrounding countryside:
- Large quantities of flour will be given to organizations that feed people as part of their mission (like food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and schools).
- Small quantities of flour will be given to individuals or groups of individuals as part of events such as art shows, dinners, lectures, classes, panel discussions, etc. (pretty much any excuse we can think of for people can get together, eat, learn and discuss issues related to food).
- A small amount of wheat will be preserved as seed and planted as a winter crop in collaboration with farmers, community gardens, or home food growers.
This project entwines art and research, activism and commerce and uses all of these tactics to shed light on our food systems via the exploration of a single, industrially produced commodity - wheat, the most basic of ingredients and the first agricultural crop. It will also actually feed people!
I'm trying to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter to cover the costs of buying the wheat. Any amount raised over $5,000 will be used for other project costs (around $15,000 including the wheat itself), to pay for my time and living expenses while I'm in Chicago, and to pay a stipend to others who have volunteered their time to support this project. So far, I've spent the past 1 1/2 years and countless hours doing research and preparation for this project, including two artist residencies in Chicago. I could spend another year applying for grants, but I'm ready to do this now! I've had so much support for this idea from folks in the Chicago area (and beyond), and have several art shows and speaking engagements about the project scheduled this summer already.
To learn more, visit the project website: http://www.industrialharvest.com - if you're in Chicago, check out the website for how to participate!
If you'd like to see a full project budget or make an in-kind donation, tax-deductible or corporate matched donation, email me: sarah "at" industrialharvest "dot" com.
- (89 days)