On the 12th September the Critical Mass exhibition opened at Testing Grounds, with the ‘Food 4 Thought’ pods dispersed in the outdoor area. It was a fantastic place to share the work and we are really grateful to the Testing Grounds team for the opportunity! The superstructure on site made it really easy to hang the pods and they worked well in the urban environment, under the art center’s spire.
With the data still to be collated the responses were interesting, as were the conversations. The work definitely provoked thought and allowed for sharing from urban and city dwelling people about things like rats being a problem in the city when trying to compost. This of course lead to other discussions such as the alternatives to composting such as worm farms, prompting the question; what does one do in an urban environment with the humus??? From the reports I have read on Melbourne’s food bowl by VEIL and the recent IPCC report we really need to be considering how to produce and dispose of our food in more efficient ways. The call for greener urban environments, roof top gardens and urban food production needs to get louder. Even Ben van Beurden head of Shell Oil says a massive tree planting operation the size of the Amazon is needed along with alternative energy to challenge the 1.5 degree Celsius rise (Vaughan, 10/10/2018, theguardian.com)
There are a myriad of questions and solutions to disposing of our urban organic waste. The problem becomes larger too when we begin to look at the city as a whole, and I believe we actually need infrastructure in place to assist city dwellers and particularly those in apartments to dispose of their organic waste thoughtfully.
Interestingly this line of thinking is just what is needed now after the latest IPCC report on the drastic measures required to negate the warming of the planet. Every possible method of reducing carbon emissions is needed now! As an artivist I believe that it is up to us to do what we can where we can to alter our own behaviour. By removing the 40% of household waste that is made up of organic matter, from land fill we instantly reduce a great deal of methane being put into the atmosphere. This one small act in every home could make a massive difference if everyone was able to do it. So what we need to look at are the barriers that stop people from recycling their waste thoughtfully.
To sum up the installation had yet another successful iteration, with further data collected and slightly upgraded pods, ready for their next foray into the world.