Case Studios is a collective of: Josefin Vargö (Sweden), Sam Perry (UK), Will Owen (USA) and Louise Hobson (UK) in collaboration with local partners. Across November 2017 the group was in residence at Flux Factory as part of 7 Common, a project examining artistic strategies within food politics, societal culture and commuting along the route of the 7 Train, NYC.
Through practice-based research, 7 Common explores food pathways, taste memories and the development of our individual and collective palates; investigating and mapping the broad culinary cultures between Main Street, Flushing and Hudson Yards, Manhattan.
Beginning the project with an exploration of taste memories through a neighbourhood taste survey, 7 Common unfolded through various forms of research, gatherings and tastings in collaboration with Queens based partners: food artists, activists, vendors, importers, and enthusiasts together; collectively examining artistic and critical strategies within food, culture and commuting in the neighbourhoods along the 7 Train. Documentation of the events can be found below.
7 Common is generously supported by Konstnärsnämnden -The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and Wales Arts International.
On November 26th, Case Studios hosted a Tamal Workshop with Mujeres En Movimiento, in Spanish and English, in the Flux Kitchen.
On November 19th, Case Studios invited local practitioners working with food to use the Flux Gallery as a platform to share their work and their ideas. Collaborators:
Sarah Dahlinger is a multi-media artist, printmaker and cook and she’s currently in residence at Flux Factory. Sarah is interested in the complexities of social experiences, cultural idiosyncrasies and collective vices. Sarah shared meals cooked with recipes from her grandma's cookbooks - each cookbook pulling from two different yet similar cultural food and homemaking histories.
Zaid Islam is a Queens based artist working with exchange economies including snacks and beverages. He is also interested in the requirements around food safety, and what we do when asked to engage with an "unsafe" food, investigating ideas of trust and intimacy. Zaid shared his food table, which offers homemade food and drink, or items prepared in Bangladesh which the artist carried to New York, in exchange for a negotiated offer.
Jess Rolls is an independent public art curator and artist with a social practice. Jess shared her recent project Open Studio, which, commissioned by NYC Parks, created a one-day ceramics studio in Central Park, hosting clay-based collaborative making, round table discussion and live throwing on a kick-wheel. Jess shared pieces of table-ware created on the day, alongside a clay talking-making workshop.
Sanket Hendre is a Queens based practitioner exploring food and history in Jackson Heights, and how to get full off of less that $5 (which isn’t always possible). Sanket shared a curry making workshop and a talk exploring culinary palettes along the 7 line, investigating such questions as ‘What fundamental concepts of cooking can we learn by studying the similarities and differences of the food in North Queens?’
Gil Lopez is a Community Cultivator, Artist, Eco-Educator, Landscape Designer/Builder and Urban Farmer. Gil is one of the co-founders of Smiling Hogshead Ranch, an urban farm collective fostering healthy culture and community, and food and environmental justice in Long Island City. As part of the open studio event, Gill hosted a beer brewing workshop.
As an exploration of taste memories, Case Studios hosted a meal experience in the Flux Gallery on November 18th in response to a neighbourhood taste survey asking questions such as ‘How would you describe your neighbourhood using taste?’ and ‘What does your food heritage mean to you?’. An online version of the survey can be found here:
MEAL & TALK
Meal & Talk Event in the Flux Factory Gallery on November 16th, with presentations from: Michelle L. Johnson, Gil Lopez, Jeff Orlick and Ethan Frisch.
Dish 1: Collard Greens Salad
Michelle Johnson is a Research Ecologist at the NYC Urban Field Station - a physical place to conduct research, but also a network of scientists, practitioners, university partners, and facilities that focus on urban ecology and cities as social-ecological systems. Michelle’s recent research has focussed on understanding the role civic stewards play in caring for urban natural resources.
Dish 2: Borscht Soup
Gil Lopez is a Community Cultivator, Artist, Eco-Educator, Landscape Designer/Builder and Urban Farmer. Gil is one of the co-founders of Smiling Hogshead Ranch, an urban farm collective fostering healthy culture and community, and food and environmental justice in Long Island City.
Dish 3: Gang Chen Bod Kyi Momos
Jeff Orlick is a multi-disciplinary experience maker working with food & culture in Queens. Jeff is the founder of the Momo Crawl in Jackson Heights, a one-day momo food festival which began as a way for friends to try the neighborhood momo establishments and in 2017, welcomed over 1,200 participants.
Dish 4: Tamales
Ethan Frisch is an entrepreneur and activist around issues of intercultural communication and social justice. The founder of Burlap and Barrel, Ethan works directly with smallholder spice farmers and foragers to make international spice supply chains direct, transparent and traceable.
Dish 5: An assortment of sweets for reflection
In collaboration with QUAC, Case Studios hosted a Potluck meal & Discussion in the Flux Factory kitchen on November 9th, gathering together food and ingredients to share from stations along the 7 line between Flushing and Queensboro Plaza.
Case Studios is a collective of:
Louise Hobson is an independent curator and producer based in Cardiff, Wales. She is currently working as a researcher, a producer of public commissions and placemaking projects and the curator of Litmus, a 12-month programme of artist commissions at Oriel Davies in Newtown, Mid Wales. Louise’s curatorial practice focusses on supporting artists to explore emerging strands of research and develop new works for public exhibition.
Will Owen is an interdisciplinary artist and curator working primarily with design, interactive media, sound, and food. Originally from western North Carolina, Will is currently based in New York and Philadelphia. He is a member of the artist run gallery Little Berlin in Philadelphia and a long term artist in residence at Flux Factory in Long Island City, Queens NYC. In recent years Will has exhibited in both formal art settings and in more DIY type locations around the world.
Sam Perry is an independent curator and writer, working with an international community of emerging artists and collectives. Sam’s curatorial practice draws thematic influence from literature, focusing on ficto-critical approaches to arts presentation. This can involve written works and talk-based events, the latter utilising surplus curatorial research and thematic ‘detritus’ with often performative results. Lives and Works in Cardiff, Wales
Josefin Vargö is a curator, experience and food designer based in Stockholm, Sweden after having spent half of her life living in Japan, USA, UK, Poland and Libya. In 2013 she co-founded Underverk, a Stockholm based experience design platform and together with meal ecologist Ayhan Aydin, Josefin also runs Aydin & Vargö, a Stockholm-based gastronomic design studio. They create sensorial meal experiences and installations based on a holistic food system.