Variations on the Theme of Food
Performance + Community Art in collaboration with Halsey Burgund, 2006
Everyone eats. Eating is as basic a biological necessity as breathing. It is a common thread that holds all human beings – in fact all living creatures – together. Perhaps as a result of this requirement for survival, human beings universally seem to use the act of cooking and the act of eating in ritualistic and traditional ways. Certain foods also tend to conjure up strong emotional responses from many people based on various associations and past experiences. All people share this thread, but the variations from culture to culture, individual to individual, geography to geography are nearly infinite. We explore these “Variations on the Theme of Food” through the shared creation of music, meals, and environment.
Since our primary interest is the personal experience, we based our work on recorded voices which were gathered through casual interviews with people who directly touch our lives in one way or another. Some of these individuals are people we know well, others are more ancillary facets of our lives, but all of them have some sort of relationship with us, creating another common thread. We have taken the personal experiences of our participants and combined them with our own aesthetic and philosophical sensibilities to create this work. The music combines a distilled amalgamation of the spoken voices with a series of musical variations based upon a set of simple motives. Recipes are interpreted from our oral interviews and are cooked and shared with our visitors in the gallery space.