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.
Artist as Family is a collective made up of family members who practice a unique form of performance art. Performances comprise how we live, get our food and move around. We invite you to contribute comments and share your own experiences and knowledges as we travel Australia by bicycle, skip on the greenwash and attempt to pioneer truly sustainable food and travel ways in an era of destabilising climate, economic contraction and energy descent.
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: