BPLTC III: Food Control

14 January - 3 February 2016

  • Vernissage : 14 January 2016, 18:00
  • Workshop with Eco Art Tech : 16 January 2016, 11:00 - 18:00
  • Opening hours: Tue - Sun, 12:00 - 17:00
  • ARCANGEL CONSTANTINI & MARCELA ARMAS
  • LEILA NADIR & CARY PEPPERMINT
  • SIGNE LIDEN

Eastern Bloc presents the third and final segment of its 2015-2016 three-part cycle of exhibitions and activities, BPLTC, on the general theme of biopolitics.

This cycle is divided into three segments: Cellular Control, Identity Control and Food Control.


The development of computer and digital technologies enables important command of human activities, responding to major financial, corporate and political interests, sometimes for better. Advances in research and its technical applications raise complex issues that are central to communities, and are located at the heart of current political challenges. Many new media and digital contemporary artists are now incorporating theses questions into their work. 

The third and last part of the BPLTC exhibition cycle addresses issues of food control, namely the (non)sharing of food, ecological and natural resources worldwide. This exhibition aims to identify political and economic control mechanisms that have a direct impact on sensitive populations — those who, for instance, live in extreme northern or tropical areas. Through this exhibition, we wish to denounce the gap that exists between the perception we have, in the Western world, of digitally-connected world, and the reality of peoples, notably indigenous ones, that are restricted in their geo-biopolitical powers. Whether through a critique of the food industry, a collective exploration of rudimentary feeding practices, or even a crop of genetically-modified seeds, the works presented in the context of this third exhibition highlight community mobilization tactics deployed as a way of responding to these issues of human, territory and food controls. 


The concept of the artificial or "human-made" as a direct copy of the natural world is no longer viable in today’s society.

Corn, especially, while being a product of nature, has defined, over time, social and cutlural activity throughout many regions of the world. Domestic corn production, while occurring in a "natural" environment, is increasingly mechanized by the agricultural industry. Milpa Polimera (Arcangelo Constantini & Marcela Armas) presents, thus, a tractor-robot, rotating in an enclosed circular pattern, planting artificial seeds, as a reflection on biotechnology and the very transformation of a living organism. The sterile seeds, planted by the robot, become a cultural, economic artifact from which no plant will ever grow. The cycle of life and reproduction is thus interrupted, and there exists no other alternative other than resorting to industrial agricultural production, time and time again. What arises is a self-justifying closed system. As for the 3D printer - which prints the plastic seeds - enclosed within the tractor, it relies on open source technology generated and maintained by a community of practitioners that seeks to optimize the functionality of the technology by sharing code and the knowledge contained within. What is brought forth in this work is a confrontation of two opposing ideological currents and how the technology at play allows for both to co-exist.

Arcangelo Constantini (Mexico), active in the art scene, as operator, curator and artist, carries out extensive research on the relationship between cognitive processes and technology, constructing experimental artefacts, to develop hypotheses on electromagnetic phenomena and the spectrum of perception. Since 1997 is active producing net art, sound art and speculating about reality, In an artistic practice that aims to channel an analysis of the perception of the surroundings, which he calls Oneiric-concrete-digital. Marcela Armas (Mexico) works at the intersection between art, science and technology. Armas, had explored the poetic potential of materials and mechanisms as a starting point to reflect on issues that highlight the conflicting nature of social relations and human proceed from the utilitarian conception of life. She is interested in the observation of processes and material phenomena, its transformations, overflow or sound emissions as manifestations of thought. Her machines and devices are built from an inquiry into the nature of the materials they are made; the machine or device as meaning. 


OS Fermentation (Leila Nadir & Cary Peppermint - Eco Art Tech) is an interspecies installation, slow-cooking class, healing ritual, and spiritual revival of human-microbial collaborations.

It is part of EcoArtTech’s new series of social sculptures that work collaboratively with local communities (human, bacterial, and ecological) to resuscitate historic food practices and facilitate recovery from what we call “industrial amnesia.” OS Fermentation include : pictorial “selfies” created by microbes with the aid of custom electronics and software that capture the shifting pH levels, oxygen, and color values of the fermentation process; tastings of the artists’ home-made, non-industrial, non-conventional acclaimed fermented drinks, such as Coffee Banana Hard Cider, Strawberry Matcha Wine, and Blueberry Chocolate Kombucha. 

Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint (EcoArtTech, United States) have been working together for over a decade to investigate contemporary experiences of food, ecology, media, and memory. Working simultaneously as artists, teachers, and critics, and sometimes known as EcoArtTech, they create participatory situations and social sculptures that facilitate recovery from a cultural memory disorder that they call “industrial amnesia.” Through open-ended, experimental collaborations with the public, their projects bring endangered food and environmental practices into poetic visibility, feeling-perception, and the simple acts of everyday life and have taken form as architectural interventions and urban wilderness tours, net art and public performances, scholarly articles and poetic essays. Leila and Cary have earned support from Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Center for Land Use Interpretation, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, K2 Family Foundation, Culture Push, Franklin Furnace Fund, and numerous academic fellowships, and their work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Walker Art Center, Rhizome.org, Turbulence.org of New Radio & Performing Arts, and Cornell University Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art.


Evigaturen (Signe Liden) is a multi-facteed installation based on a long durational instrument made for The Global Seed Vault.

The seeds stored in the vault located halfway between the North Pole and Norway, are duplicate samples of those held in seed banks worldwide, meant to provide insurance against extinction in the case of large-scale regional or global catastrophes. Evigaturen creates the possibility for a sculptural, mechanical apparatus that can record the seed activity over time, such as seed delivery, technical maintenance, and number of visitors, in one of the three inner chambers where the seeds lay in hibernation. Based on ancient recording principles, the apparatus writes the sound of these activities onto a rotating record by a needle fixed to a cone. Three records have been released since 2012 and a fourth record will be launched during the exhibition at Eastern Bloc.

Signe Lidén (Norway) is an artist who explores, through her installations, instruments and performances, man-made landscapes and their resonance. She is interested in how places resonate; in memory and matter, through narratives and as ideological manifestations. Her work ranges from sound installations and performance to more documentary forms such as sound essays and archives. 

Free

14 January - 3 February 2016

  • Vernissage : 14 January 2016, 18:00
  • Workshop with Eco Art Tech : 16 January 2016, 11:00 - 18:00
  • Opening hours: Tue - Sun, 12:00 - 17:00