Category Archives: food

The Joy of the Pomegranate

You know, pomegranates have always kind-of baffled me. I could just never figure out the seeds of pomegranates. They’re so big! It’s hard to know whether to swallow them, or spit them out. 75% seed, 25% delicious fruit juice. If you’re lazy, like me, you don’t take the time to scoop them out one my one into a strainer and then remove all the bits and pieces and then rinse them and then FINALLY get around to eating them. No, I’m the type who cuts the thing in half and starts gnawing. I can hardly see my computer screen because it’s COVERED in pomegranate juice.

But, you know what? It’s worth it. Because pomegranates are GOOD. Despite the seeds, despite the awkwardness, despite the spraying juice. Pomegranates remind me what fall’s all about: eating.


Image Links:

http://www.pomegranatehealthbenefitsblog.com/health-benefits-of-pomegranate-juice-and-pomegranate-seeds/pomegranate-seed-detail-3/ (Pomegranate juice)

http://www.wecanky.com/pomegrantates.html (Pomegranates: The Fruit Kids Can’t Resist)

http://thatssuperfood.com/pomegranate-magic/ (Pomegranate Magic)

http://www.noveleats.com/how-to/open-a-pomegranate/ (Open a Pomegranate)

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Art with Googly Eyes

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of googly eyes. Working on my thesis project for grad school, which will be a lo-fi horror film and live performance titled Red Blob Massacre, I’m all about giving my Red Blob character googly eyes. There’s something about googly eyes that adds a bit of humor to any situation. Googly eyes have a DIY feel to them, you can buy them for cheap at any local JoAnn Fabrics or other art store, and they turn anything into a character. What more could you want?!

Here are several examples I discovered of the creative use of googly eyes:

Baby Googly Eyes

Googly Eye Breakfast

Googly Fashion

Googly Veggies

Googly Framed

Street Art Googly

Googly Googly Monster

Googly Face

Blue Monster Googly

Googly Eyes on a Rock

And I can’t make this blog post featuring googly eyes without including some of the work by my amazing husband, who is a painter and artist:

I have to say that googly eyes in his artwork are my favorite out of all of them. And that’s not just because he’s my husband!! To check out more of his work, visit his website(s): http://swidyoa.com/home.html, http://www.impressionphotography.com/swa/index.html and Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Biantu.

On another note, in the creation of this blog post I realized that my amazing blog post ideas are far from original. There are several googly eye posters out there!! For more interesting googly eye sightings, visit here: http://googlyeyewatch.blogspot.com/.

 

Image Links:

http://www.googlieyes.net/2010/11/my-first-post/ (GoogliEyes)

http://hilobrow.com/2010/09/02/merit-badge-2/ (Hilo Brow)

http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2011/10/fashion-diy-louboutin-googly-eye-slingbacks/ (Dollar Store Crafts)

http://www.thebandfrom.com/indoor-gardening-tips/2009/03/ (Indoor Gardening Tips)

http://artsandcraftss.com/tag/craft-googly-eyes/ (Art Sand Craftss)

http://ny.racked.com/archives/2011/03/30/mr_googly_eyes_replaces_lady_gaga_in_nolita.php (Mr. Googly Eyes Replaces Lady Gaga in Nolita)

http://www.wijom.com/Monster_Paintings.php (Wijom!)

http://www.art.uiowa.edu/gradimages/gradarchive.php?artist=Krueger,%20Adam%20C. (School of Art & Art History, University of Iowa)

http://www.makingthingsmove.com/2011/09/the-blue-monster/ (Making Things Move)

http://googlyeyewatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/nina-katchadourian-loves-googly-eyes.html ( Nina Katchadourian loves googly eyes )

Die Tomato, Die!!!

Last night I performed a piece, Die Tomato, Die!!! at the Performance Laboratory, which is a bi-monthly performance event I co-curate at the Contemporary Art Institute Detroit. The theme for this month was Death.

I performed Die Tomato, Die!!! for the first time last April in a seminar in grad school, then titled Tomato Smashing. Here are some pictures from that performance:

It was a successful performance, and I made a lot of discoveries by doing it. One of them was that smashing tomatoes with a hammer was more difficult than I thought (they roll off the table, especially if they’re not ripe enough). Another, that the juice sprays everywhere, including on the audience, who in that particular space space (an empty studio space) was in close proximity. As they were sprayed with squirts of tomato juice, my peers grabbed a plastic sheet on the floor that just happened to be there, and used it to protect themselves from the bursts. There were plenty of  yelps and squeaks as I worked away with my hammer. It was hard to be serious even though I was trying to be- I really didn’t know what would happen, and everything was unfolding in the moment.

The performance was aimed to be an exploration of the RED BLOB, which has been a theme I’ve been experimenting with in my work over the past year. I’ve done all kinds of experiments around the idea of what the red blob might represent, without wanting to define it too specifically as one particular thing. In the tomato smashing context, the tomato represents food and cooking (and a female doing it), there is something quite gorey about it as it is smashed, and it has an interesting context in a performance, especially with me, as the performer, smashing it. Usually it’s the audience members who throw the tomato at the performer…

So, with all these things in mind, I recreated this performance last night at the Performance Laboratory for The Death Show. And it went really well! In the context of death and horror (two other themes I’m working a lot with right now), I wanted to continue with the seriousness of the piece, choosing atmospheric ‘scary’ background music. I chose a costume that was a bit more ‘glamorous’ than the previous one, and was a red color just a bit deeper than the tomatoes, but would be partially hidden behind my white apron. I also added a timer, that I set to 10 minutes long, which is the duration limit for each piece at the Performance Lab. I added rubber gloves, which accentuated the horror effect and made a lot of people laugh in nervous anticipation. And lastly, I handed out plastic bags to the audience members in the first row, who were in close proximity to my table. Oh, the anticipation!!!! AND, I waited to enter for added suspense- just the audience staring at those shiny red tomatoes and a hammer with plastic bags on their laps, waiting for something to happen….

Here are pictures from the performance:

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I have to say, this is definitely one of the most satisfying performances I’ve ever done in my entire life. There is something so incredibly liberating about covering an audience in tomato juice. And even though it was a serious piece, there was a lot of laughter, a lot of participation, and a continuous dialogue between me and the audience. This is still a work-in-progress, and I plan on continuing to develop it for more future performances. I feel so thankful to have the Performance Laboratory as a continuous forum to try things out and experiment. I couldn’t have asked for a more willing and accepting audience, one willing to get covered in tomato juice for the sake of good and experimental art. I don’t know if this would happen everywhere… it would certainly have to depend on the context, and the space that I performed it in.

You can read a review of the Performance Laboratory’s Death Show on the Midwest Theater Review: http://midwesttheatre.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/detroits-performance-laboratory-journey-to-the-interdisciplinary-fringe-a-review-by-edmund-lingan/

For more info about the Performance Laboratory, please visit our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Performance-Laboratory/139602749441643. I co-curate this event with collaborator Carrie Morris. It takes place at the Contemporary Art Institute Detroit (CAID) every other month, featuring short works by artists and performers that explore what performance is, and what it can be.

On second thought, food IS art.

So after I wrote my blog post yesterday about how I was much more inclined to cook up some food than make some art, I realized that I had neglected the fact that food, indeed, is a bona fide ART FORM. In the context of yesterday, food was more about EATING for me than making anything artistic. However, I agree that food in itself can be an awesome outlet for artistic expression.

In lieu of that, today’s blog post is dedicated specifically to the amazing ART of FOOD. Included below are some impressive food art examples:

Artist Carmen Wong’s pizza in a pill, part of her artwork Tactile Dinner Car, an immersive interdisciplinary art and food experience:

For more information about Tactile Dinners, visit this website: http://www.banishedproductions.org/portfolio/tactile-dinner-long-view-gallery/, along with a review: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/14/AR2010051405170.html.

La Figa Visions of Food & Form by Chef Tiberio Simone with photography by Matt Freedman:

Tiberio is a friend of mine from Seattle and has been working on his La Figa book project for several years. Born in Southern Italy, Tiberio runs his own catering business La Figa Catering, wowing arts and public audiences alike with his amazingly delicious food creations and artistic sensual food visions. Find out more about his book here: http://www.lafigaproject.com/the-book, along with his catering company: http://lafigacatering.com/home.html.

Food Fight: An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict:

Not only is this video an excellent combination of food and stop motion animation, it also provides a breakdown of the actual battles portrayed in it. For the breakdown, visit the creator’s website: http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/index.htm (tourist pictures). AND, stay tuned for more stop motion and food amazement down below.

Here are a few more images of the ways that food has been artistically manipulated:

And lastly, I can’t go without including the work of one of my favorite artists of all time, Jan Svankmajer, who amazingly explores the themes of food and consumption in most of his work:

Jan Svankmajer: Food, Part 1 (1992)

Jan Svankmajer: Food, Part 2 (1992)

I LOVE Jan Svankmajer’s work. It’s absolutely amazing. I could watch his Food videos over and over again.

And that, my friends, is my blob post dedication to the ART of FOOD.

Image Links:

http://eyelevel.si.edu/2011/09/luce-center-pizza-in-a-pill.html (Luce Center: Pizza in a Pill?)

http://kate-campbell.blogspot.com/2011/08/food-as-form-decorating-human-body.html (Food As Form: Decorating the Human Body)

http://www.worldoffemale.com/food-as-art/ (Food as art)

http://weirdspy.com/food-art/ (Food Art)

http://www.digitalbusstop.com/greatfood-art/ (Great Food Art)

http://www.deepfun.com/2004/03/edible-art-and-aesthetics-of-fun.html (Edible Art and the Aesthetics of Fun)

When cooking seems more artistic than actually making artistic work.

Perhaps it’s the change of seasons. Or, perhaps it’s because I’m about to get my period. Or… perhaps it’s just that I’m tired of art this week. Either way, I’m much more inclined to throw a sheet of cookies in the oven, stir-fry up some black beans with onion and bell pepper and stuff them in a taco shell, and in general focus on food and cooking more than spending tedious time trying to figure out what the hell I’m trying to say with art. Because the fact is, I just want to eat. And I want to smell things cooking. And I want to see the finished product of those mouth-watering coconut cookies that offer instant gratification with a nice hot cup of chai and a lingering sweet taste in my mouth. Yum. Thank goodness for food when art-making feels laborious. Here are some good (and interesting) cooking instructional videos I found online, in case you want to do the same.

Great Depression Cooking with Clara: Baked Apples. YUM.

Cooking with Dog: Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Daifuku)

Cooking for Krishna: Vegetable Spring Rolls and Peanut Dipping Sauce

Mouth watering now. Must digest, and then cook again.

The Art of the TV Dinner

I don’t eat tv dinners a lot, but once in a while you just gotta give it up for a quick and easy meal. My favorite is Amy’s Kitchen- tamales, veggie loafs, mashed potatoes, Chana Masalah, enchiladas… Yummy nummy. At the supermarket, if you’re going to Meijer’s, for instance, the biggest section in the store is the frozen dinner section. How can you not spend hours there trying to decide on which tv dinner to buy? The choices are neverending. To be a successful tv dinner salesman, you’d probably make a lot of money coming up with the most creative tv dinner. If I were to create my own concoction, here are a few ingredients I might include.

Recipe for the Artistic TV Dinner

The Miraculous Sweet Potatoe.

Mother of the rooted vegetable, this curvy creature brings a healthy mix into the artistic mix. Peel her sexy skin and steam her up and you’re started with your tv dinner.

 

Carob.

In case you didn’t already know, Carob plants are planted by bats. They eat the Carob Tree Pods and spit out the seeds. And the Coyotes? Well, the coyotes are known to disperse the indigestible Carob Tree seeds in their feces. It is an essential part in the Artistic TV Dinner to ingest our animal instincts. Being one with our animal ancestors puts ferocious energy into our tv dinner bodies. Toss a few baked carob seeds into the mix.

 

A strand of hair from Mother Theresa’s Head.

One strand from the Blessed Mother’s head and you will have love-giving inspiration for life. Cut the strand up into centimeter-long pieces and sprinkle it into the mix.

 

A Pound of Salt.

Nothing tastes good without a mouthwatering pound of salt. Throw it on top of the mix.

 

And there you have it! The perfect microwaveable tv dinner. Sit back and relax, turn the tv on, and indulge in the plentifulness.

Links

http://www.health-fitness.com.au/sweet-potato/ (Health & Fitness)

http://www.batplants.co.uk/carobfinal.htm (Bats, Plants and People)

http://carolynpankallaministries.onlybusiness.com/About-Carolyn.aspx (Carolyn Broken Into Beautiful)

http://salteuropa.com/salt/en/produse/industriala/ (Salt Europa)