One of the tenets of the BLD Project is that it isn’t just a blog about eating (although that certainly happens a lot). It’s also about how we get there, the decisions, the factors that influence us, along the way.
So I loved stumbling across installations at the Under the Bridge Festival in DUMBO on Saturday — one of my favorite annual cultural events in the city — that directly and indirectly addressed the decisions we make on a daily basis about what to eat.
In the Gemini Corporation’s short film, “Barter,” which screened continuously inside The Cardboard Gallery, an alternative art space made of recycled cardboard, residents of a small Eastern European village bartered for artworks with food. “For this one I would give 40 kilos of potatoes,” says one man.
Elsewhere, Reina Kubota’s The Tree of Life installation transformed plastic take-away bags into bulbous, blooming sculptural works. I interpreted it as both an overt commentary on consumption (too much), and on New York’s unique food culture (fact: we eat out a lot).
Down the road, while festival-goers nursed pints and took the chill out of their bones, Ernest Concepcion & Mike Estabrook, who make up the collective called The Shining Mantis, worked diligently in the background at a local bar, tag-team drawing the stunning chalk-on-wall mural, Kangarok X: This Time, It’s Sorta Like Risk.
The bar wasn’t originally going to be the site for the mural, but it was such a perfect fit: Punchy, poppy, a social work to begin with — it feels right at home among the low clamor of festival-goers discussing the highlights of the day.