GLASSBORO, NJ.- In How Food Moves, artists explore how food transits through complex patterns of distribution in between the point of origin (the farm) and its point of consumption (the plate). Increasingly, contemporary artists are creatively grappling with the complexity of food's trajectory in this regard through research-based and participatory practices. Mr. Tucker, Graduate Program Director in Social and Studio Practices at Moore College of Art and Design, has brought together 10 multidisciplinary artists projects that grapple creatively with the complexity of foods trajectory using research-based and participatory practices, community actions, video and photo documentations, interactive objects, digital technologies, and newly-commissioned pieces by artists who focus their inquiry from the regional context of Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.
For many of the artists, this represents a long-term commitment to using their art to try to better understand and make change in the way the food system works. For the curator, this work will build on the event series, Moving Units: Where Food & Economy Converge, at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in 2015 and his work documenting activist farmers in Farm Together Now: A portrait of people, places and ideas for a new food movement with Amy Franceschini (Chronicle Books - December, 2010).
A booklet will be produced in collaboration with faculty for the School of Geography and Environment that will combine the artists project narratives with research and texts on the US food supply chain from production to consumption. Professor Megan Bucknum Ferrigno is lead researcher with contributions from Professors Jennifer Kitson and Charles McGlynn.
With Corner Store, Amber Art & Design a team of Philadelphia-based artists that work on public art within marginalized communities that have little or no access to art - explores the contemporary sociological and psychological intersection between pan-ethnic Black and Asian communities in Philadelphia and how relationships are shaped based on which side of the counter we stand.
Candice Smith runs Freedom Arts, an afterschool collaborative art program at Camdens Freedom Prep Middle School, which is creating a piece/installation responding to the idea that Camden is a food desert and examining the movement of food at their school and in their community.
Illinois-based artists Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross are represented by Between the Bottomlands and the World, a video (combining photographs, narrative writing, and moving images) exploring the rural Midwestern town of Beardstown, IL, a place of global exchange and international mobility, inscribed by post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) realities.
Brian Holmes, an art and cultural critic with a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and a long-standing interest in neoliberal globalization and a taste for on-the-ground intervention. His online atlas, Living Rivers, is devoted to the Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds and shows these fluid ecosystems as they are inhabited by a multitude of creatures and radically altered by human enterprise.
Otabenga Jones & Associates, a Houston-based educational art organization, documents a collaborative art project and public health program addressing the ongoing crisis of obesity and its related risks with The Peoples Plate. Inspired by the Black Panther Free Breakfast for School Children Program, this art project includes a public mural in Houston and programs to kick off a year-long commitment to health education.
Cynthia Main, a multidisciplinary artist from Missouri focused on relating to the land as part of an integral view of a more sustainable society, shares her hand-made buckets and barrels created using traditional techniques to readdress storage as one of the current dilemmas of localizing production.
Chicagos Claire Pentecost uses photography to show how industrial agriculture is only partly about supplying food and how it is structured to meet the problem of expense and excess capital accumulation when considering the cost of complex machinery, brand name chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and patented seeds.
Artist Theresa Rose documents the history and scope of Philly Stake, a locally-sourced, recurring dinner raising funds for creative and relevant community engaged projects that contribute to the well-being of Philadelphia's neighborhoods through community arts, urban agriculture, social services, and activist work.
Stephanie Rothenbergs Reversal of Fortune: The Garden of Virtual Kinship is a garden in the form of a global map that explores the question of what it means to be charitable through the click of a button and examines the cultural phenomena of online crowdfunded charity and how the flow of money impacts the project, positively and negatively.
Philadelphia-based Kristen Neville Taylors installation - a globe depicting routes of oranges and actual oranges outfitted with a QR code that links to music, articles, folk tales, and art - was inspired by a lyric from Leonard Cohens "Suzanne" (and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China") which she associated with the market place and the movement of food but also romance and exotic foreign cultures