Posts Tagged ‘local’

The 2012 Whitney Biennial

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Whitney Biennial 2012

I just saw the 2012 Whitney Biennial. The fourth floor was closed to get ready for K8 Hardy’s Untitled Runway Show, so I didn’t see any performances during my visit. What I did see was a lot of art so unsure of itself that it hedged its bets with lots of references to other works or masqueraded as agents of social change.

We appear to be at a point where there are clear rules for what constitutes “high” art. And I’m not just talking locally. Just look at any of the large, regularly occurring exhibitions around the world and—even if the names are unfamiliar—the language the art employs is not. Unfortunately, it feels like terms more dictated by a marketplace than a set of shared aspirations.

The fact that artists and art viewers are aware of what art is supposed to look like doesn’t mean that compelling work is not being made within that set of expectations—I just didn’t see much at the Whitney.

As an artist, perhaps the best takeaway from this visit is the inspiration to make something that really matters.

Agriculture by Design

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
I just picked up my half-a-share from a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm in my hometown. It takes only a few minutes to get there, and inevitably I return much happier than when I left. The smells of the fresh produce get me thinking of the all the things I can cook with my bounty, including many dishes I’ve never made before. (Ever used kohlrabi in a recipe before?) But the really, really big thing for me is the taste—the objects found in the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket are another species than what is in my box.

It didn’t used to be that way, but “designing” vegetables for shipping and storage means that taste takes a back seat. Am I happy that I can eat fresh vegetables in the winter in the northeast? Sure, but it’s pact with the devil, since now even in the summer most vegetables in the summer still have the wrong texture and no taste when bought at the supermarket. (It’s not a surprise that lots of kids won’t eat their vegetables!)

There’s a way we can design the taste back in—support your local farms.