40 Rosebery Ave, St Werburghs, Bristol, BS2 9TN
Tel: 0117 9553780
Developing and realising visual arts project, Grant for artists:
Bristol is becoming a centre of biodiversity in comparison to its surrounding agri-business countryside. We intend to make a map of all the wild, domestic and feral free food sources within the city of Bristol. This map will be published on the Internet and as a printed paper calendar. A survey will be carried out by walking the streets of Bristol identifying and eating organisms then collating gathered data into homemade mapping software. Products will be made from the gathering of foods and distributed via markets, feasts and trade routes. We aim to mix service industry technologies with old country craft methods eg a system to dry fruit via a computers ventilation systems and jams labelled with national grid references. Like many natural world interactions the pursuit of 'wild food' is predominantly perceived as a rural pastime. The idea of looking for wild food in the grey - brown drabness of towns and cities may seem somewhat wretched. However, the city is still home to a diverse range of domesticated, feral and wild flora and fauna. The disobedience of plants is so remarkable that we find them infiltrating all manner of off limits places, carried via humans, animals and wind alike. The project acts as a report on the state of Bristol's surplus resources, which are not piped through any economic market. Parallel to the mapping of free food will also be the locating potential planting sites. Spaces of forgotten, abandoned or ambiguous ownership could be seen as the remaining cracks that reveal to body behind the city's concrete garment. We will also research the land management and planting policies of the main planting bodies within Bristol. Many of the wild foods around Bristol are the result of discarded organic material such as apple cores thrown from railway trains. We will contrast these chaotic methods with official planting methods. Questions to be answered are: which plants are encouraged or discouraged in public space ? Which plants can cope with urban stress ? A series of social and political investigations and interventions will be generated out of engagement with these issues. Such as the extension and contraction of boundaries and the blocking and unblocking of routes. Interviews, events and detailed information will be published within the calendar.
These investigations will be branching off from the main concerns and the duration of investigation be one day to one week.
The CalendarThe calendar will act as a practical guide and a visual document drawing our mish-mash of inter-relational materials together. Aesthetically the calendar will be a mixture between trash business calendar with situationist, country craft overtones. We intend to print 500 black and White calendars sell a portion at 4GBP each. Distributed locally via cultural organisations from the Arnolfini to the Create Centre this will cover to sectors of specialism that will benefit from such a work. We will also distribute a number of copies freely and internationally to institutions and artists. A launch of the calendar will take place at the Cube Cinema for all ages with a weekend of relevant activities.
Maps act as tools to identify and navigate ones surrounding. Every super-pedestrian and modern day explorer have their own mental maps shaped by personal priorities and frequented landmarks. We will create a map with edible organisms as landmarks. A survey of North Bristol will be carried out and the data entered into a database, thus generating a map, marking the food source to the nearest 5 metres. Heath Bunting is developing an open source map of Bristol. One possibility for the map is to use it as a platform for artists to represent various projects and views of Bristol overlaid upon each other. Food for free could be one of these layers. Irational.org is a significant Artist collective server with an international audience we receive ,,, hits a year, so the work will be viewed widely http://locate.irational.org/bristol_map/ All the free foods mapped will be within 'Public' space, this public includes any private plant which intrudes. A tree may be planted in private ground, but its branch may grow into a public arena. We intend to query this map on several levels, for example: What can we deduce about the health or wealth of areas of the city? How many other animals have mental maps of these food sources ? Will the publication of free food locations create competition and depletion or will it encourage more awareness and more planting ?
We lead a group of interested Londoners around Peckham, locating, lecturing and consuming (where pollution allowed) local free food. This walk was part of the Mark Dion show at the South London gallery.
Food Packs are a range of prepacked snacks, labelled with adventure suggestions. Food is often agency for individual or social adventure. Food Packs were intended to suggest and inspire personal adventures through consumption and sharing of food. Food Packs also provide practical sustenance and a moment of reflection consumption during adventures.
Botantical guide to borderxing is a pocket paper publication providing both a colour introduction to border ecology's plus encoded information to aid unauthorised international border crossings.
DIY DNA DAY was both a hands on and a theoretical biotech workshop run by artists for artists, held at The Cube in Bristol. Activities ranged from indoor scientific film screenings to dirty bio street interventions.
Natural Reality Superweed was an attempt to break the myth that you need a million dollar budget and a doctorate to do biotech. With 500 dollars raised by Internet appeal and no biology education I constructed a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) project in under 4 months. It was also an attempt to finally marry the concrete with the symbolic, which is where I believe lies the true excitement of biotechnology for artists.
Superweed is currently being weaponised in preparation for missile delivery by n55: http://www.n55.dk/
Biotech Hobbyist Magazine was an attempt at an on-line magazine for domestic enthusiasts providing news, views and most importantly practical projects. It was modelled on the hobby electronics magazines through which I educated myself to such a degree that I build myself a computer from scratch at the age of 13 in 1980.
Growing Things was a conference held at The Banff Centre, Canada co-organised by myself and the director of the New Media Institute, Sara Diamond. It was attended by a full spectrum of practitioners ranging from scientists to art students. My role was to mainly source non-institutional projects and people.
The Cube Cinema has agreed to host our launch events for the Food For Free Calender the cost of venue and programme publicity will be support in kind. The launch events are scheduled to take place in March 2007. Artist Kate Rich has agreed to distribute and publish any free food products including the calender via her Feral Trade project.
All accessible public or semi-public spaces in North Bristol will be explored and surveyed for existing edible organisms and potential planting sites.
Seeds and plant cuttings from wild, feral and cultivars will be collected and replanted around North Bristol in safe zones.
An administrative interface and database will be constructed for reference and ordering of data collected throughout the project.
A monthly map will be produced detailing the locations of foods currently available for harvesting.
Each month, using our harvest calendar, we will collect the in season free foods.
Product recipes making use of the available harvest will be researched or devised to create free urban food products.
The best of the free urban food products will be distributed both locally and worldwide by the Feral Trade Courier. http://sparror.cubecinema.com/feraltrade/courier/
A calendar will be produced containing 12 monthly food maps along with research results and methods.
|Online map development (programming fee)||500.00 gbp|
|Materials spade, fork, storage, production, maps||200.00 gbp|
|Printed calendar 500 black and white||700.00 gbp|
|Publicity (posters, leaflets)||200.00 gbp|
Income from other sources - sales
|Sale of calendar (200 copies @ 2 GBP||400.00 gbp|
Income from other sources - Support in kind
|Irational.org hosting server space||150.00 gbp|
|Materials GPS, digital camera||350.00 gbp|
|Marketing and Distribution (Feral trade courier)||500.00 gbp|
|Launch event venue Cube Cinema hire, and publicty||250.00 gbp|
Total income from other sources
Total requested from arts council
Audience We view creating participatory events integral to our practise; we like to engage with an audience on a level were there is opportunity for direct experience. We make this happen by making events. Throughout the Food For Free project we intend to make a series of local events inviting others to join us on excursions, with the ethos that Doing It Yourself. During the launch of the calender we plan to host a series of large scale events including an event specifically tailored for children. We want the project to impact on the local community immediately: Throughout the project, we will be talking and working with others to gain knowledge on the subject and local area. This will be a public interaction on a very daily level. The published work on the Internet will have an international audience from the unsuspecting web wanderer to the viewer who will hear about the works via mail outs, publications and word of mouth. Irational.org is a well respected art server with an ever increasing audience. We currently irational.org receive over 100,000 visitors a month. Reaching the Audience The printed Calendar will be available on sale in a number of venues around Bristol which represent a cross section of society, culture and specialist disciplines: kebele cafe in Easton (activist centre); The Arnolfini (art institution); The Create Centre (environmental centre); The Here Shop (sells independent media); and The Cube Cinema (cultural centre). Food For Free will be promoted in a range of cultural communities from street to the office. This can only contribute to open diversity. Food For Free will be a medley of paradigm and style. We envisage a wide variety of audience for this project as it can be sited in various contexts from arts to science. Relevence of the project The context for our work is often sited within the public realm. Food For Free is a public art work designed to probe, question and enhance social networks. We will be interacting with arts organisations and individuals throughout, building upon the shared network. Work that engages in cross culture and cross discipline is of contemporary importance. This project will be of interested to the arts community proposing contemporary questions such as: What is the role of the Artist in public sectors? Where is the artist in relation to everyday experience? In 2005 we were invited to give talks about our practise at: - The Arts and Ecology Symposium held at the RSA in London to an Audience of 300. - The Arts and Ecology Symposium at Dartington School of Arts. There is evidence of interest in projects of this kind locally and internationally. We continue to have positive feedback and interest in how we work and the concerns we try to push in the projects.
5. Meeting our ambitions for the artsSupporting the artist Food for Free will provide us with future work via lectures and exhibitions, both locally and internationally. It will increase ours and others understanding of the city and challenge perceptions on the way in which we view the city. Support from the Arts Council will enable us to produce the work to a high standard, we are are in no doubt about the importance of this project. This project will nourish both concurrent and future projects of ours. We are already inspired to further action and art by this project concept.
We intend to document both the project sections and the resulting overall context generated. We will be taking part in local and national free food events and discussions to gain feedback and development. We will also be soliciting post project responses from participants in the form of reports and ideas for future projects and collaborations. These will be published on the event website.