the sipper’s digest

2012

The function of our digestive system is to process and send nutrients to the rest of our bodies.  In a sense, digestion is about receiving, reflecting, and responding to the intricacies of interaction and exchange.  To highlight this process and create a place for exploring personal and social digestion, I have created a grandiose “stage” for participation in a linear set of activities from labor to leisure, with the option to “send nutrients” to another.  Made of pine wood, the material used to build houses for the rich and poor alike, the “stage” references the biomorphic shape of a human stomach.  With exposed screws and patchwork carpentry, the sculpture denotes a handmade do-it-yourself aesthetic relatable to common construction, which contrasts with the abstract quality of the form in order to create a relationship between the familiar and the unfamiliar; the physical and thespiritual; the local and the foreign.

Upon navigation of the sculpture, the audience findsa cavity they can enter to access the interior contents of the structure.  Contained within the “stomach” is a mint garden and a work surface with empty tea bags, envelopes, pens, and an electric tea kettle.  Participants can labor by harvesting the mint, making tea bags, and then can consume a cup of tea; a signifier for leisure.  Mint was chosen for its function as a diuretic, a characteristic that causes the herb to aid in digestion by encouraging the flow of fluids through the body.  As a diuretic action, participants have the option of placing a tea bag in an envelope to send to someone else,serving them through the gesture of a gift, the gift of leisure.  The project is intended to provide a place for contemplation that results in serving others.