We exist within a set of rules about the value of knowledge – a hierarchy of knowledge that places quantified data at the top and the ‘lower’ senses at the bottom. The neglect of other forms of knowledge – aesthetic, embodied, cultural and more – has created a void in our socio-political and environmental relations that has been filled by emotive, populist rhetoric that undermines the validity of the knowledge we have. Post-truth practices are answering a gap that arises from our reliance on cognitive knowledge as the main valid form of knowledge – including datafication of everything – particularly in politics.
Vital | Flows is an answer to the question of post-truth. It is an exploration of transdisciplinary practice as a route to more integrated relationships between the self and other.
The theme of this exploration is food – as an embodiment of our diffuse boundaries, of the transmutation of matter, of changing aesthetics, of social interaction, of power, accessibility, equality, agency.
The Vital website describes all protocols and practices for participants and facilitators, and ongoing documentation.
Vital is a performative socio-political intervention. It is the open sourcing of artistic practice as a transformative process. It is an answer to the question of post-truth, an exploration of transdisciplinary practice as a route to more integrated relationships between the self and other.
The theme of this exploration is food. Food is a great unifier. It is the embodiment of our diffuse boundaries. To share food is to create closeness between people. To explore the agency of food is to understand non-human subjectivity. To practice DIY chemical analysis on food is to realise your own agency as a knowledge maker, and to understand the flow and transmutation of matter. To interrogate food access is to understand sociopolitics and commerce. And to design around the problems of food and nutrition is to test your own agency within these systems.
In early 2017, these methods were delivered and iterated upon as an undergraduate course at UCL Arts and Sciences BASc. We worked with a community in London in a series of exploration and co-design workshops, culminating in a group exhibition of the designs.
In creating Vital, I have experimented with processes and consequently have undergone transformations in myself. The product of these transformations are expressed through artworks in Flows. They arise as an expression, a synthesis, an outpouring.