Food for Art. Art for Thought.
a Special CINY 2010 Exhibition of Works
4 chocolate drippers hang from the ceiling dripping chocolate onto plates on the floor. Each of the 4 drippers drip at different increments. One drip per second, one drip per minute, one drip per hour, and one drip per day. A solenoid valve at the tip of each funnel is set to open at a given increment, dropping a single drop of chocolate. The drip hits the large stainless plate on the floor, creating a distinct sound of chocolate dropping. Over time, each of the 4 plates accumulate different puddles of chocolate.
A modular LED matrix that visualizes the wind. It transforms wind into a sparkling force that embeds the environment with a sense of magic.
An exploration into the possibilities of 3-dimensional electro-luminescent LED structures. The concept of LED Weaving, is a new and uncharted territory.
This installation will be a twist on a luxury chocolate shop. I will be making gold leafed chocolate bullets.
When approaching the subject of chocolate, one of the most delectable and cherished luxury good on the planet, it is interesting to consider its origins. Chocolate’s main ingredient is the seed of the cacao tree, discovered 2,000 years ago in the tropical rainforest of Americas.
Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry, the largest producer in the world accounting for 40% of world production and selling to Mars, Kraft and Nestle among others, is highly controversial. The extremely profitable cocoa fields in the region have been a major source of funding both for the rebel armies in the north and the government in the south.
An investigation by anti-corruption organization Global Witness found that in the most recent conflict, the civil war of 2002, $112m was illegally diverted towards war materiel by both sides from cocoa sales. Thousands died. Global Witness further allege that the two sides in the civil war, which recently signed a peace accord and are said to be disarming, are continuing to draw profit from the sector through embezzlement and corruption.
The war has undermined cocoa prices for farmers who until recently had been able to sell their beans direct to companies for a reasonable profit, but who are now reliant on buyers thanks to the destruction of he transport network, who are gouging them over prices. As a result, despite growing demand for cocoa and rising prices on world markets, farmers have been receiving less.
The $1.2bn industry has also come in for fierce criticism for its child labor practices, with a recent expose by a major newspaper tracking child slaves across the continent and finding that the number of enslaved could be as high as 12,000. Food for thought.
I need you to need me
I want to arise the awareness of the fact that everyone needs to feel they’ve been needed, and it’s ok to admit we’re needy sometimes.
To do that, I made two “needy objects”, they need the owner’s attentions to make them work. One is an alarm clock, to stop the alarm, the owner needs to hug it. The other one is a speaker, the volume will go crazy when the owner is not around. The owner needs to pet it to make it calm down.
Try Me is a wearable that measures the time a hug lasts and posts it to twitter. Hugs are a very popular gesture of affection. We hug to say ‘hi!’, to say ’see you later’, to say ‘i’d love to see you again’ or ‘i really missed you’ and we give those different meanings by holding the hug longer.
Try Me measures that time, figures out what the meaning of the hug can possibly be and posts it to my account in twitter.
Peek Poke Talk
This project is inspired by how strangers sit on benches in public spaces in New York City. We noticed that most strangers sit far from one another, and avoid looking at each other, let along having conversations. So we created a video sculpture: an intervention around the bench, using shadows which randomly playback from a video database of strangers’ interactions, to surprise people, and to make them think.
When two people sit on this bench, with a space between them, one shadow interaction video is triggered in which the sitters’ shadows seem to come alive, proceeding to flirt, poke, and interact with each other, for example, doing strange things like faux-attack with a drill.
If they sit closer to each other, then nothing will happen. The shadows will not act on their own, because if the sitters already feel comfortable sitting close, they don’t need this “ice breaker”. The interaction is not between the human and the shadow, but between the two participants.
Here is how others talk about Peek Poke Talk:
“a delightful bench that encourages interaction between strangers”
by Sarah Nelson, a founding member of Electronic Social Club [ ESC ]
“peek, poke, talk is a simple conversation aid for shy strangers.”
by Alexis Madriga, from Wired Magazine.
For this year’s CINY, Ema will prepare a mixed media mural installation that will take you into a delicious visual exploration of her imaginary characters’ relationship to chocolate and other hedonistic practices.
Freddie Got Smallpox
Material: Candy Dots on Paper
Description: 108″ x 79″ – Freddie from Scooby Doo stands wrapped in a Redskins Blanket
Material: Candy Dots on Paper
Description: 108″ x 79″ – A monkey girl lets her kitten eat her spilled ice cream
Materials: Candy Dots on Paper
Description: 60″ x 60″ – A road recedes into the distance across an open landscape
T. Charnan Lewis’ pointillist paintings use unusual materials to trace the changing landscape and material culture of the West. Large canvases covered in countless candy dots imagine distorted variations of pop imagery. For example, a blond character from Scooby-Doo, wrapped in a Washington Redskins blanket and suffering from smallpox, surveys the landscape in a scene that recalls classic American representations of Indians as noble savages. In such work, viewers confront the ambiguities of U.S. history, and, at the same time, experience such imagery in the unusual medium of candy, an invitation to literally consume the work. In more recent work, Styrofoam dots affixed to contact paper are colored to create landscapes. Here, the tension between the natural and the unnatural further complicate our experience of the paintings. Styrofoam is at once extremely unnatural—it is a strange, almost otherworldly, petrochemical-derived material, a trademark of the Dow chemical company—and extremely natural—we encounter it every day, and it could be considered a symbol of the mundane. The “natural” landscapes Lewis paints in Styrofoam are themselves impossible to imagine outside of our history of representing such landscapes. That is, by using pointillism, Lewis recalls the whole tradition of painters who have sought to reimagine the natural world within a frame. But by using Styrofoam, she suggests the extent to which any such representation is a product of history and culture. Ultimately, her progression from sugar to petrochemicals recalls the shifting economies of global capitalism over the past several hundred years and the resulting cultural production they have engendered.