In late 2016 we were invited to take part in the NTU CCA’s Ideas Fest, where we worked out what turned out to be a good fit – the facilitated ‘ideas-marathon’ we’d been wanting to have, with the food experience of a lifetime – with 449 other guests at a dinner curated by Lucy Orta of Studio Orta. In a workshop bringing together 14 resource persons and many more participants, Lucy and us elicited a list of provocations for a night of conversations.
Part of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA)’s Ideas Fest, Incomplete Urbanism, Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice, 29 October 2016 — 29 January 2017
How do arts, food, and sustainability come together? As a lead-up to 70 x 7 The Meal, Act XL (40) by artists Lucy + Jorge Orta, this workshop with the artists and Foodscape Collective delved deep into four branches of this growing planetary concern by examining food production, distribution, identity and culture, giving and sharing. What conditions enable and perpetuate the status quo, and what unobserved limits do we and our social systems place on the creativity of our society to adapt to emerging circumstances, needs, and social forms? Consisting of sharing sessions and intensive workshopping with people active in the local foodscape, this workshop set up a collective platform to raise questions pertinent to food issues in both the local and global context.
Lucy + Jorge Orta (United Kingdom, Argentina/France), also known as Studio Orta, is a collaborative practice focused on social and ecological issues, employing a diversity of media to activate long-term bodies of work, structured in series: Refuge Wearand Body Architecture are portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; Nexus Architecture explores alternative modes of establishing the social link; Antarctica highlights the urgent need to consider the dignity of people effected by climate change; OrtaWater examines water scarcity and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control; HortiRecycling and 70 x 7 The Meal examines the local and global food chains and the ritual of community dining. Their work has been included in numerous biennales worldwide. Lucy Orta is also Professor and Chair of Art and Environment at the University of the Arts London, United Kingdom.
Titled CITIES FOR PEOPLE, the pilot edition of the NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17 extends what is presented spatially in the exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice and comprises a wide diversity of events. Artists, architects, designers, urban researchers and practitioners bring to life some of the ideas through collaborative experiences. Issues of sustainability, food, biodiversity, energy and water resources will be addressed in various parts of the Gillman Barracks arts precinct. A summit in January 2017 will take a broader look at spatial practices on the social, cultural, and political constructions of space.