COOP ~ Banquet X: Climate Change and Speculative Gastronomy from Month to Month
Seminar 5: 10 - 14 March 2019
In our fifth week of Banquet X coop we will continue exploring how to lead a communal ingestion of material we develop and prepare. We will organize a mini-banquet that can, like last week, function as a sketch, a preliminary and unfinished experiment that will help us gain more awareness of potential imaginaries, capacities, mediative possibilities as well as concerns and things to avoid. This time food will not feature. This will allow us to work more intensely with the possibilities involved in hosting a feast with non-food items, and move some of our existing thematic, conceptual, visual and auditory directions a bit further.
The foodless banquet will be our main course in Dessau. We will also make time for face to face meetings in parallel with the banquet preparations. We will also delve into our banquet in Sardinia, to delineate and if possible narrow down some of the decisions we have to make together in April. As a brief introductory journey we will read a chapter from Ian Cheng’s book Emissaries titled The Unnatural Art of Worlding. Here worlding is presented as an approach to a multi-subjective plotting of a world that eventually outgrows its makers, and takes on a life and existence on its own.
Through our guests and visits we will be presented with different ways of constructing time, strategically, artistically and technologically. Barbara Heinzen will skype in from New Baltimore, north of New York on Monday afternoon. She will guide us through her experience of how scenario planning evolved, the relationships between competent strategic work and corporate failures and how working with large scales and long durations has affected her current practice. She look forward to your interruptions and questions and her skype will take the form of a long conversation, more than a presentation.
On Wednesday we will travel to Berlin and participate in/view Coming Society by Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg at Volksbühne. I am not comfortable pre-ambling a performance, but will say that their idea to work with the future as a community seems like a good connecting point for us. The day after we will have a morning coffee with Jenna Sutela and visit and have a brief talk with Kei Kreutler who is chief strategist at Gnosis. Kei will most likely talk to us about the operational spaces that Gnosis are currently building, the organisational capacities and challenges she is seeing emerge from the part of the blockchain space she is engaged in, and the long term direction she is interested in traversing, when in comes to questions of making infrastructures for collective intelligences and ecologies. If time permits, we will end our time together at Gemäldegalerie and look into the dramaturgy of hunting, food and collective dining from the 15th century and a few centuries onwards.
Ian Cheng - 2018 - The Unnatural Art of Worlding
As a small pivot back towards food and the art world, here is also a short text by Clare Butcher titled The Proof is in the Process - On the Art Worlds Renewed Interest in Cooking
Seminar 4: 10-13 February 2019
In this fourth week of our Banquet X coop we will be building on the previous week’s collective directionality by continuing with the group writing process as an exercise. Scaling down to focus on what we can achieve at present, we will be working together to organize a mini-banquet for the Banquet X group in Epen, this is meant to function as a sketch, a preliminary and unfinished experiment that will help us gain more awareness of potential imaginaries, capacities, mediative possibilities as well as concerns and things to avoid.
Bassam will lead a reading session around David Wallace-Wells’ forthcoming book “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming” by way of a collective reading of a kind of precis/summary of the book recently published in the New York Magazine. What might we pick up from Wallace-Wells’ reading of climate change that can help us plot our Banquet X?
Bjarke will lead a session exploring the curatorial history and present of the culinary in artistic and curatorial practices, and think through the different tropes that appear along this trajectory. There will be some time for face to face meetings but the focus will be on further crystallizing our thoughts and ambitions for the eventual banquet by way of: a close reading on climate change, an analysis of the curatorial aspects of the culinary in artistic practices, and working together on the collective writing exercises and the mini banquet for the group; all the while continuing with our individual experiments using video editing, fermentation, and opera as media.
Link to David Wallace-Wells’ text:
Seminar 3: 13-16 January 2019
In this third week of our Banquet X coop we will be working into fields of fermentation, earth work and the literal aesthetics of extreme representational precision.
Bassam El Baroni will attempt to articulate a way of looking at the complex relationships between industrial food production, site, infrastructure through the concept of simulation. Taking some works by the artist John Gerrard as an example and entry point, the idea is to unfold how “there is no continuity of simulation.[…] There is instead a simulation of continuity insofar as meaning is embedded in material operations that thought continuously has to abstract, anticipate, deduce, hypothesize.” (Luciana Parisi, Simulations) The session dedicated to Gerrard’s work will use Robin Mackay’s text "Speculative Liter[e]alism" and its reading of historical precedents (American Precisionism led by Charles Sheeler) to Gerrard’s hyperrealist simulations and how they captured the economical and political infrastructural spirit of their times. How can works such as Gerrard’s Grow Finish Unit (near Elkhart, Kansas), 2008 help us better articulate the simulative processes that are shaping new production, consumption, and culinary patterns?
In continuation to previous Banquet X meetings, we will collectively organize another kitchen session to work with fermentation and DNA extraction and contemplate models for carrying out a long term earthwork project on site in Sardinia. We will also continue to expand our collaborative investigation of banquet-related practices by starting the week with a sharing session of brought materials: we will each share (a) prepared item(s) for a common banquet, later a film will be screened (TBA) and we will read and discuss the following text:
Keller Easterling, Medium Design (2018)
And further reading material that will be drawn on during our teaching sessions is:
Eugene Thacker, “Spiritual Meat: Resurrection and Religious Horror in Bataille,” Collapse VII (2011).
Seminar 2: 9-12 December 2018
In this second week of our Banquet X coop we will be working through the scales and generative unfoldings of single celled organisms and spices.
We will be visited by artist Jenna Sutela who works with words, sounds, and other living materials. Her installations and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments. Our conversations might span from cognitive and spatial dispositions of organisms such as the many headed slime mold Physarum Polycephalum, to hygienic practices involved in preparing space colonization in accordance with the astrobiological ethics of planetary protection. We will also continue to expand our collaborative investigation of banquet-related practice. Dai student Risa Horn is offering a session on spices and spice mixing based in Ayurveda. We will speculate (and perhaps experiment) with its influence on the gastronomy of the DAI. To start the days together we will each share (a) prepared item(s) for a common banquet, later a film will be screened and we will read and discuss the following two texts:
Elvia Wilk with Jenna Sutela (2017) Slime Intelligence
Benjamin Bratton (2015) The Orchid Mantis of Sanzhi
Seminar 1: 12-15 November 2018
In this first week of our Banquet: X coop we will open up a broad focus on temporality and climate change. Diakron will present our ongoing project Primer as well as our upcoming exhibition on imaginaries related to climate change. From there we will dig a bit more into the recent genealogy of international climate change response, theory of contemporary objects and speculatively discuss the field of geo-engineering. In a workshop format we will work together on establishing foundational layers of interests across climate change, organizational change and culinary research, that will guide our collective research process. We will also set up our collaborative research platform(s) for working throughout the year.
Each member of the coop will present a short version of their interests and practice, as well as the particular areas of interests or practical traction they bring to Banquet X.
We will read and discuss two texts, that have been helpful in our conceptualization and formulation of the Banquet: X coop:
Anne-Francoise Schmid (2012) On Contemporary Objects
Augustin Fragniére & Stephen M. Gardiner (2016) Why Geoengineering is not “Plan B”