Food Forest is a work that champions biodiversity and demonstrates that materially art can be generative; can be a resource, rather than just an extractor or exploiter of resources. In other words art can be generative contiguous with ecological functioning. Thus this work attempts to blur the line between art and nature. Food Forest is a biological system that is in part self-maintaining. It utilises a combination of applied ecology (mimicking a forest system) and what Artist as Family call 'social warming' (art that makes relationships). It’s a poetic space; a garden that supplies uncapitalised food for a soup kitchen and the nearby community; a physical poem set on publicly accessible church ground; a home to marginalised urban dwellers, wildlife and bourgeois organisms. It is a space to inhabit, to garden, to find solace. Its politic makes a clear departure from typical expressions of nihilistic contemporary art. The work is informed by permaculture utopianism, which has in turn been informed by how traditional communities function as non-polluting custodians of land. The food produced by the work forms part of a local gift economy.
This year Artist as Family invite you into our home on weekends to learn simple permaculture life skills. From April 2015 come, learn and work with us as we sow, tend, harvest, forage and store ecologically produced food, keep a low-waste household, shed a significant reliance on the monetary economy, live car-free in a town with little public transport and a myriad other things that will help you transition from a high consumption society to a fairer, less polluting one. You can camp in our backyard for free, stay elsewhere or just come for a day. Each day per adult will cost $100, which includes a locavore lunch. Email us to book a date.
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
We have been asked to supply some images and a statement concerning Food Forest for a forthcoming Thames and Hudson publication that surveys ecological art globally. Here's our new statement about the work and an early plan drawing we haven't shared before: