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On value, material, and playing favorites with species.
I Did Not Have to Kill in Order to Survive
Agalinis Dreams is a series of works centered around the Agalinis Acuta, the only federally protected endangered plant species in New York State. This is a tiny weed that blooms into a pink flower one day a year; a species on the verge of extinction; it is also a parasite, a species that one may argue has persisted only thanks to human activity, and, a legal fiction: in 2008, genetic testing revealed that the species doesn’t exist at all (it’s discovery as a new species has turned out to be a taxonomic error), yet legal imperatives around species protection mean that even scientists continue the illusion.
Agalinis Dreams is at once a tribute to just one tiny and elusive species facing existential threat amidst global mass extinction, and at the same time an inquiry into what is nature, what is native, what it means to ‘protect’ species, and ultimately what is progress in the technosphere.
A three-channel video installation What Is Known Is Not Necessarily a Fact inside which takes place the ritual participatory performance The Farewell To All That One Has Used, Broken, Lost Must Be Ennobled By Ceremony and Life Support.
Thank You: Wednesday Kim, Dr. Maile Neel, Paul D’Andrea and the Long Island Nature Conservancy, Betsy Gulotta and the Friends of Hempstead Plains, Dr. Bryan Connolly, Dr. Marilyn Jordan, Dr. Bob Zaremba, Dr. Paul Sommers, Dr. Robert Raguso, Dr. Charles Davis, Dr. Nina Theis, David Stolarz, Wayne Chindall, Tim Simmons
Agalinis Dreams a commissioned by the Museum of Arts and Design for NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial. Additional support provided by the Creative Capital, International Flavors & Fragrances, Adirondack Distilling Company, Tarbaby Hair Design, Stream Gallery and the Andy Warhol Visual Arts Program at the Long Island Nature Conservancy.
GhostFood explores eating in a future of biodiversity loss brought on by climate change. The GhostFood mobile food trailer serves scent-food pairings that are consumed by the public using a wearable device that adapts human physiology to enable taste experiences of unavailable foods. Inspired by insect physiology (insects use their antennae to smell and thus navigate their world) and long-standing human traditions of technological extension of the senses, the device inserts direct olfactory stimulation into the eating experience. Scents of foods threatened by climate change are paired with foods made from climate change-resilient foodstuffs, to provide the taste illusions of foods that may soon no longer be available. GhostFood staff serve the public, guiding visitors through this pre-nostalgic experience, and engaging dialogue.
In collaboration with Miriam Songster.
Commissioned by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for the multi-site exhibition Marfa Dialogues/NY, with additional support provided by Takasago, NextFab Studios and Whole Foods. Marfa Dialogues/NY is a collaboration between the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation. GhostFood was presented by Gallery Aferro in Newark and by SteamWorkPhilly in Philadelphia. Thank you Holly Gressley, Corrie Van Sice, Monell Chemical Senses Center and Olivia Bransbourg.
One Green Planet
The Finch and Pea
Directo al Paladar
The Farewell To All That One Has Used, Broken, Lost Must Be Ennobled By Ceremony
Scent, Cocktail, Performer, Memory, Audience Sensations, duration variable
A sensorial experience that each audience member experiences, standing over a plinth, led by a performer “guide.” The guide performs a piece of text, assists the audience member to don the Adōrō, take a sip of cocktail, attend to their senses, try to catch her flavor, try again, answer any questions. Beside the guide sits a specialist at work, clearing, cleaning and reloading the Adōrō and trays. This is a choreographed series of motions.
Today is Not Yesterday
Part of the work Agalinis Dreams
Never-before-perceived scent, glass, rubber, 2.75” x 2.75”
The Agalinis Acuta is so small that its scent has never before been perceived by humans. Using living flower headspace technology to capture the chemical trace of this tiny flower as it grows, the scent of the Agalinis has been captured and recreated for the first time ever for human perception. This scent, Today is Not Yesterday, is the scent of the Agalinis Acuta minus one green note. Today is Not Yesterday has been created as a limited edition, packaged in a 2ml glass ampule and encapsulated in a spherical silicone case to make it suitable for freezing (to preserve scent for ultimate longevity).
Cemetery Safari Yoga
Part of the Cemetery Safari Project
Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, 2009
Saint Pauls Church Cemetery, New York City, NY, 2012
Philliapapos Grave, Athens, Greece, 2014
Live network TV Performance, video, 2011
Part of the Human Cheese Project
Human Farming from
Live TV interview with John Gromely for SUN NEWS
Miriam Simun, “human farmer” aka The Lady Cheese Shop Purveyor
April 12 2011
The Lady Cheese Shop est. 2011
Human Cheese is a socio-technical and economic system for sourcing, making and distributing human cheese, positioned as a real commodity. Sourcing human milk via the internet, making cheese in my kitchen, and adopting the storytelling practices of small-scale artisanal food brands, Human Cheese culminates in The Lady Cheese Shop: an installation that presents ethically sourced, locally made cheeses made from ‘the original natural food’ – human milk.
Three delicious human cheeses are served (made from the milk of three different women), accented with delectable food pairings inspired by the cultural and microbial terroir of each cheese. Two cheeses made from local New York milk (Chelsea and Midtown), one imported milk (Wisconsin). Milk was purchased and donated via internet/FedEx and in person. In the face of uncertain bodily, technological and food futures, Human Cheese aims to provoke a space for discourse around norms and practices with regards to human exceptionalism, food production, emerging bioavailabilities, and the commodification of bodies.
Making Human Cheese
Biological Clone, Start Up Business, Marketing Campaign, 2016-in progress
Harness the power of capital.
Rare Clone posits that in the age of the Anthropocene, marketing has become a force more powerful than wind in spreading endangered seed.
How to save an endangered species? Clone it, package it, market it, sell it.
Wielding the power of synthetic biology, Rare Clone makes use of techniques of somatic embryogenesis to copy/paste endangered plants back into abundance.
Germination will drive distribution, will drive profit, will drive germination, will ultimately save this species from extinction. Perhaps it is finally time, to once and for all, divorce “nature” from “earth.”
Only time will tell.
For now, we will save the beauty of the wild from the comfort of our homes.
In collaboration with Sebastian Cocioba