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apexart :: Peer2Pickle :: Justin Tyler Tate
apexart - NYC
Peer2Pickle
organized by Justin Tyler Tate

January 12 - March 9, 2019


Opening Reception:
Friday, January 11, 6-8 pm


Featuring work by:
Mo Chieh/莫捷
Andrew Gryf Paterson
Agnieszka Pokrywka
Justin Tyler Tate

Exhibition Website

An Open Call exhibition.

Justin Tyler Tate, Dialectics of Space, ver. 2, 2017

Resources:
brochure pdf
press release pdf
images
original proposal
RELATED EVENTS:

January 12, 2019, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Peer2Pickle Workshop Launch
Artists Andrew Gryf Paterson and Agnieszka Pokrywka will launch their week-long Peer2Pickle workshops at apexart. Join the discussion, listen to presentations and meet with the artists. RSVP Here.

January 15-18, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 pm daily
ReUse Yourself
Going beyond our conceptions of food and waste, Agnieszka Pokrywka will present tutorials that will instruct visitors on how to utilize hair, skin and bacteria in order to repurpose them into edibles and objects for daily use. RSVP Here.

January 15-19, 2019, 1:00 - 6:00 pm daily
Edible Paper Experiments
Come to the gallery and join artist, Andrew Gryf Paterson, in creating new forms from discarded scraps. You will have the chance to create your own edible paper from plants, vegetables and fruit. Drop-ins are welcome. RSVP Here.

January 16, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Peer2Pickle Dinner Event #1
The Peer2Pickle Dinner Event is a multi-course gastronomical happening at apexart. The core ingredients of the dinner have been altered through natural processes such as dehydration, fermentation, tincturing and brining in order to extend their lifespan. RSVP Here.

January 30, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Peer2Pickle Dinner Event #2
The Peer2Pickle Dinner Event is a multi-course gastronomical happening at apexart. The core ingredients of the dinner have been altered through natural processes such as dehydration, fermentation, tincturing and brining in order to extend their lifespan. RSVP Here.

February 9, 2019, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
culturesgroup Meetup: Koji Fest
At this meetup with culturesgroup's Ken Fornataro, learn about different kinds of koji to make misos (from gluten-free ingredients, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains), soy or amino sauces, and pickles - all with an eye on found, foraged or easy to get ingredients. RSVP Here.
EXHIBITION ESSAY:
Introduction:
Food waste is a growing problem with little governmental or corporate incentive to offer solutions. In the United States alone food waste constitutes about 30-40 percent of the food supply. This corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators. In an effort to confront this situation Peer2Pickle reformats and transforms apexart's space into a durational workshop, peer learning venue, and an ephemeral factory.

Peer2Pickle is not a conclusion, but rather the beginning of a collaborative process which uses creative problem solving to discover new methods to process food waste in an attempt to pass along those solutions and inspire alternative economies. To initiate this process, four artists working between Asia, Europe and North America have researched, collected, and repurposed disused organic matter from local sources near apexart as well as from other locations , transforming those materials into products with an extended shelf life and a revitalized economic value.

There is the cliché phrase American parents often tell their children, 'you need to eat everything on your plate because there are starving children in Africa,' but there are also plenty of starving children in America. Food left on plates gets wasted--which is mainly an issue of portion sizes-- but an even more problematic issue is that food is being thrown away at all stages of cultivation and distribution before it even has a chance to reach a plate. The problem is not just that useful things are being discarded, it is that needed food is being discarded, along with substantial amounts of labor, energy, and resources that are required to produce all of this food which is destined for the landfill.

Artists/artworks:
When someone imagines wasted food, they probably picture a dumpster filled with produce that is spoiled and rotting, but a lot of fruits and vegetables are thrown away before even leaving the farm. Mo Chieh/莫捷's documentary work titled Perfect Vegetables explores different levels at which waste food is being produced in her home country of Taiwan and profiles the farmers who can't sell all of their fresh vegetables to supermarkets unless these vegetables fit certain size, shape, and weight requirements. In this, Mo Chieh/莫捷's work highlights an overlooked problem in our contemporary food chain, and our ideals of what the perfect vegetable should look like.

A lot of waste happens before food arrives at the market, but it becomes most visible after it leaves the store shelves. Both Andrew Gryf Paterson and Justin Tyler Tate have made work for the exhibition which utilizes and resuscitates food after it has been thrown away, with the goal of transforming it into an aestheticized version of its previous form. In Paterson's work, he breaks down the organic matter of discarded fibrous vegetables into an unrecognizable macerated pulp, then he dries and reconstitutes that matter into sheets of paper. Homemade fermented food spreads can then be applied to the paper to create edible paintings, diagrams, notes or love letters. In the exhibition this process is presented as both an installation as well as a public workshop exploring a do-it-with-others approach to the different ways in which it may be possible to make and use edible paper. Using the same essential ingredients as Paterson, Tate uses a chemical and biological approach in the manipulation and revival of waste food for the exhibition. Tate's installation is comprised of waste foods which are rejuvenated through interventions using bacteria, dehydration, salt, vinegar or ethanol, then aestheticized, and made available for reproduction. He looks to find useful ways in which New York City's waste food can be transformed, and how information about that process can be distributed.

Going beyond our conceptions of food as well as waste, Agnieszka Pokrywka's work in the exhibition is a series of tutorials that instructs viewers on how they can utilize those constantly growing parts of the body such as hair, skin and bacteria, and repurpose them into edibles and objects for daily use. Through this work, Pokrywka compares contemporary trends of upcycling the materials that we don't find a use for anymore with saving those which we don't actually need, all the while examining our collective narcissistic obsessions that have been mediated and amplified through 21st century technology.

Methods and processes:
Throughout the exhibition, the artists apply their unique perspectives, personal histories, technical skills and methods of problem solving to create something from what most would consider to be nothing. They analyze the processes of the food production chain, see what results, and then conceptualize alternative outcomes. It is not enough to understand that a problem exists in order to find a solution. Food waste is of course a dilemma that must be recognized, but it must also be analyzed as Mo Chieh/莫捷 does in her documentary. Food waste must also be reduced and restrategized, as Andrew Gryf Paterson and Justin Tyler Tate do in their works, and the cultural norms which govern disposability and reusability must be called into question, as Agnieszka Pokrywka does in her tutorials.

Online resources and alternative economies:
Peer2Pickle isn't just an exhibition. The methods involved within the exhibition will be disseminated on the project's website as open source recipes, tutorials, and guides. The stages of each process involved in the transformation of waste food will be documented, and the labor costs that accumulate during this transformation will be broken down and appraised in relation to the local economy. Through this process of reanimating and revaluing these discarded materials, waste food is not only given new purpose, but also it incentivises its rescue from the landfill. The exhibition attempts not just to divert a portion of New York's food waste but presents a case study for the purpose of developing solutions that can give rise to alternative economies and can be adopted anywhere that food waste is abundant. Peer2Pickle does not only highlight the issue of waste food, it creates a format where it can be diminished through collective problem solving and open-source solutions.

Conclusion:
Peer2Pickle plays with and manipulates the gallery format in a site-specific manner while looking to address global issues of food production, food shortages and the environmental problems that arise from these issues, such as increased greenhouse gasses caused by decomposition, diminishing food security, a lack of equal access to healthy food, as well as wasted resources and labor. Through the works in the exhibition and the ways in which they are presented, Peer2Pickle creates and disseminates formulas for transforming food waste into products with an extended life and economic value, which can be adjusted by motivated actors to suit the needs of any given location.

Boundaries are blurred as the gallery turns from a white cube into a grey area between art and activism, commons and capital, in addition to environment and society. Entering the space then becomes an experiential event with four artists' works producing an array of colors, sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures. As visitors to apexart meander through the gallery, they are invited to participate, to partake, and to take home.


Justin Tyler Tate was born in Canada, grew up in the United States and now works internationally. Receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University and a Master of Fine Arts from Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts, his work combines elements of sculpture, installation, media, performance and social art. Tate's work is concerned with ideas of space, function, interactivity and environment. In combining traditional methods of making, do-it-yourself approaches, research, experimentation as well as explorations of pedagogy, Tate is able to alter how space is perceived, interpreted and experienced. Tate teaches workshops on the methodology of available materials, tools, and site specificity.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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