Setting the Interconnected Table

Networks of people, things, and places don’t emerge from thin air. They are choreographed, staged, plotted, and planned. This workshop, within the context of The Autonomous Fabric research at the Willem de Kooning Academy, explored the table as a scene. It looked at the ritual of eating together as a catalyst for exchange. Working with concepts such as conviviality, hospitality, guest, host, parasite, and play, it explored the table as an interface. From a collectively made salad initiated by Alison Knowles to The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book recounting specific dishes for her special guests to more contemporary examples like The Conflict Kitchen, the group looked at different art and design practices that engage with the preparing, sharing, and staging of meals to generate substance, sustenance, and sociality.

Strings tied and bound to each other, in negotiation, we inevitably create a push and pull. Through the tension of going with and against each other, it feels like ties might stretch too far and break. But by paying attention to my body and that of others, carefully listening to what is being said, and tuning into the subtle collective movements, eventually, our minds and bellies are fed.

This workshop was a part of the Autonomous Fabric Symposium (2018) at the Willem de Kooning Academy