Julia Muney Moore: Public Art Responds to Food Sustainability Concerns

Download Julia Moore’s slides as .pdf document: Honors_College_presentation_03-26-2013.pdf (7.1MB)

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Shannon McMullen’s notes on Julia Moore’s talk:

Food and public art is nothing new.  For example, in medieval and renaissance period making art out of food (like marzipan figures).

However, looking at food in public is more recent.

Laura Baring-Gould (2007) Dorchester Voices/Dorchester History  (use the past to shape the present)

Martha Friedman (2008).  Waffle (formal qualities and textures)

Spencer Finch (2008).  Sunset, St. Louis, July 31 (quality of light; recreate colors that light creates at a particular time and location; project was a performance)  [SMc: Could we make soymilk ice cream?]  http://www.spencerfinch.com/

Food looked at as a way to bring people together:

Nina Karavasiles, (2001). Recipe for Friendship (cross cultural collaboration in Little Italy in SD.  Food traditions from immigrant populations who have lived in the neighborhood.) http://www.ninak.info/index.html   SMc:  One of my favorite shi shi restaurants now in that neighborhood is Extraordinary Desserts — yum!

Quotes that are part of the Karavasiles project:

“Food for thought is not substitute for the real thing.”  Walt Kelly

“The problem with Italian food is the five or six days later you’re hungry again.”

Food sharing with the public:

Les Levine, (1969). Levine’s Restaurant.

Rirkrit Tiranvanija (1992-95).  untitled (free).

Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski (2010-present). Conflict Kitchen. http://www.conflictkitchen.org/

Issues of Food Security and Food Deserts:

Emily Schiffer (2011-13).  See Potential. (Raise awareness of food desert issues in neighborhoods in Chicago.) http://www.emilyschiffer.com/

Matthew Moore (2009).  Lifecycles (cultural, economic and ecological sustainability of American farms). See: www.urbanplough.com/work  [SMc:  can we learn something from his video that we could consider for documenting the soybeans?]

Artists growing food in public (1970s early 1980s):

Agnes Denes (1982).  Wheatfield:  A Confrontation (‘Call attention to our misplaced priorities and ….values.  Are we about making money or feeding people’?) http://www.agnesdenesstudio.com/WORKS6.html

Haha/Flood (1992-95).  Flood.  (Therapeutic vegetables for people with HIV; visuals are secondary in this project.)

Young Architects (2008-present). Public Farm 1 at PS1 (semi-permanent installation — every summer.  Farm that works architecturally as a playground, shade structure, etc. Solar-powered and biodegradable. Yes, can grow food in the middle of a city.  Chickens are also part of the installation.)  http://www.publicfarm1.org/

Joanna Lepore (2012).  Alaskan Way Hanging Garden (demonstrates ability to grow food in even very small places in urban space — easily replicable)

Terrainsvagues (Architects — David Lage and Andrea Salvini).  Artfarms.  (Create farms in empty lots in Buffalo) See:  www.artfarms.org  They looked at an IBA project in northeastern Germany — IBA SEE.  Architect says:  I look at Buffalo and they have a “landscape issue.”  Grow structures above ground, to grow food away from the contamination in the ground soil.

Fritz Haeg, (2010).  Edible Estates (multiple edible gardens that challenge and replace lawnscaping). Local zoning codes often prevent the planting of vegetables in the front yard.  SMc:  Haeg also has two books about the edible estates projects.  Haeg also has a blog:  www.fritzhaeg.com

Matthew Mazzotta (2011).  Steeped in Exploration (finding and making your own food from the land). http://matthewmazzotta.com/home.html

Futurefarmers (2011).  Soil Kitchen (lab to diagnose soil samples — advice on how to amend soil in order to grow food).  See:  www.futurefarmers.com

Tattfoo Tan, Mobile Gardens (take anything on wheels and plant it with one species of plant; can grow food and take it with you; found gardens in the city with mobile gardens parked in different locations).   http://tattfoo.com/505MobileGarden.html

Sarah Kavage (2010).  Industrial Harvest  http://www.gogoweb.com/kavage/

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Public art curatorial projects that Julia Muney Moore is involved with:

Public Art at Indianapolis International Airport

New Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis

Industrial Engineering and NSG

As an aspiring engineer, I am a problem-solver through and through.  This makes me inclined to think that food security is one of the major problems whose solution I need to contribute to.  Industrial engineers in particular don’t have an immediate connection to food security, but their emphasis on systems, efficiency, and logistics makes me think that industrial engineers could contribute immensely to the fight against hunger.  Perhaps as an industrial engineer I could work on making food distribution more efficient in nations with high levels of food insecurity.  I could work on improving the processing of foods so that they reach more individuals in the United States.  Industrial engineers also have a broad knowledge of how to use workers, materials, and equipment most effectively, so that makes me believe that with my degree I would be able to design a system to allow people to have security gardens of their own at a low cost.

National Security Garden is not directly related to my major, but I believe it is important because it will get others thinking about the topic of food security.  We need to get the discussion started, and I believe National Security Garden will do just that.