Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman

Collaborative Projects

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Fort Collins exhibit

Processed Views is an ongoing, multi-part project investigating the state of our food systems – from industrial food production to the fast food values that our nation has voraciously embraced.

PROCESSED VIEWS: SURVEYING THE INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE
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Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape interprets the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.

In our commentary on the landscape of processed foods, we reference the work of photographer, Carleton Watkins (1829-1916). His sublime views framed the American West as a land of endless possibilities and significantly influenced the creation of the first national parks.  However, many of Watkins' photographs were commissioned by the corporate interests of the day; the railroad, mining, lumber and milling companies. His commissions served as both documentation of and advertisement for the American West. Watkins' images upheld the popular 19th century notion of Manifest Destiny – America's bountiful land,  inevitably and justifiably utilized by its citizens.

We built these views to examine consumption, progress and the changing landscape.

Albion River   Watkins Albion river

at left: Fruit Loops Landscape, 2012 and at right: Carleton Watkins, Albion River, 1863, Visit BOOKS to purchase the Postcard set.


PROCESSED VIEWS: ENHANCED VARIETIES
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Enhanced Varieties is a suite of Jell-O®-toned silver gelatin prints reproducing Carleton Watkins’ 1889 photograph, Lake George Cling Peaches.

In a world of industrial foods devoid of season, colors and flavors are created, enhanced and presented as improvements on nature. Enhanced Varieties, prints of peaches toned in various flavors of Jell-O, mirror the human-made varieties that beckon us from our supermarket shelves. 

Land barons began advertising in the 1880s, encouraging easterners to invest and settle in southern California. Carleton Watkins, renowned for capturing the sublime in nature, was hired to depict the economic opportunities of the region. Despite a desert climate heavily dependent on irrigation, southern California was marketed as a land of inexhaustible agricultural potential. Watkins’ photograph of a crate of peaches illustrates lushness overshadowing the true costs of cultivation when labor is cheap and water is scarce.

Farmers flocked to this region and with the help of agricultural technology, grew a new reality – America’s fruit basket. Today we have come to expect year round availabilty, low prices, variety and ready supply. We offer this selection of Peaches as a study of technology improving on nature through engineering and marketing, supplanting the rhythms of ripeness and locality.

 Enhanced Varieties Grid

Jell-O® toned silver gelatin prints from the series Enhanced Varieties, 2015.


PROCESSED VIEWS: SUGAR GEOLOGIES
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Sugar Geologies are small sculptures composed of candy, expressing earth shaping forces such as compression, crustal deformation, deposition of sediment. These are the rocks that might be excavated in our reshaped landscapes of the future, devoted to processed food production.

Sugar Geologies sculpture

l to r: Metamorphic Sugar (dessicated cotton candy), Igneous Sugar (heat fused suckers), Sedimentary Sugar (layered and compressed chewing gum sticks)


PROCESSED VIEWS: TWITTER FEED
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Twitter FEED is a compilation of tweets excerpted from the Twitter account of a rogue White House Senior Advisor (@RogueSNRadvisor).  As reported by an alleged White House insider, these excerpts chronicle President Trump’s fast food binges in response to the stresses of the office and the maelstrom of controversy he has created. It is a reflection of the "junk in, junk out" nature of this president's tenure. The Tweets are reproduced on bright, bloated logos from the fast food giants of America.

Twitter, with its unverifiable authors and lack of substantive content, mirrors the highly addicting, quick fix, nutritionally empty, fast food that fuels our president and our country. This preposterous, insider send-up serves a purpose; as Katy Waldman of Slate.com states, “Properly understood, it’s not fake news, it’s fiction as [liberal] self-care.”

Twitter FEED

Feed zine along with Trump post card (see BOOKS to order)

 

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Projects
processed views
–Surveying the Industrial Landscape

–Enhanced Varieties

–Sugar Geologies

–Twitter Feed zine

natural history
ponder food as love
watch me grow
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©2011 Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman