Exhibition participatory project

as part of the

Bushwick Open Studios (BOS) 2013

June 1st, 2013, 12 noon – 10pm

1416 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237

We eat, We are, BOS 2013  web


Keil Borrman, Mike Estabrook, Jamie Isenstein, Vandana Jain, Richard Jochum, Athena Kokoronis, Radka Kovacikova, Michael Merck, Kristyna and Marek Milde, Natalia Porter, Danielle Pottberg, Petra Valentova, Jan and Nicole Zahour

Curated by Kristyna and Marek Milde


Program: 12 noon – 10pm:  

view it as pdf 

WE EAT, WE ARE exhibition opens to public (12 noon -10pm) 

An edible and participatory exhibition project examining the concepts and the culture of eating, cooking and food production as a realm in which identity and relationships to the environment are established. If we are what we eat, who are we if we don’t know the origin and the context of the production of our food? While today convenient and easy access to an abundance of food seems a matter of course, the source and the mechanism of its production remain largely out of sight. The glossy and uniform food packages seem to provide necessary information, however the product data put together with stories written about authenticity; endorsed by seals and marks, seem to divert one’s attention from the context and process of its creation, therefore making the modern food industry fit into genres such as mystery, ideology, sci-fi or political thriller. “We Eat, We Are” presents a series of installations and events about or made with food. The makers of the project explore nourishment and engage awareness for the ways and methods of growing, cooking and sharing food, together with its social rituals inherently embodied in the community and culture.




MEXICAN FOOD by Natalia Porter (12:30 am- 1:00pm)

_DSC1476Artist and designer Natalia Porter will be preparing a traditional mexican food to start the project. In her work she investigates Mexican culture and its current position in the USA. In her latest project she build a 30 foot-long craft ship Trajinera, a pre-hispanic Mexican barge. It was traditionally used for shipping crops in and out of the fields and on the canals of Xochimilco.



SHIITAKE MUSHROOM DISH by Athena Kokoronis (1:00 – 1:30pm)

Athena Cocorone presentationDancer, choreographer Athena Kokoronis will be making a shiitake mushroom dish that involves rehydration and reduction, with some ingredients from the local garden. In her work she examines and attempts to find a ways to measure the value of eating, tasting, and gestures. athenakokoronis.blogspot.com



SEARCHING FOR A SAMI /COOKBOOK by Petra Valentova (1:30 – 2:00pm)

_DSC1494Petra Valentova will be making desert loosely based on a recipe from her “Searching for a Sami/Cookbook”, published in 2007 by Jitro Publishing House. Searching for a Sami was New York based performance in which Valentova’s ‘search’ for an ‘ideal’ man was juxtaposed with search for a man of Sami origin. While going on dates with several men, she asked them for their favorite recipes. In separate performance she cooked these recipes with her single girlfriends, photographed the process and later compiled into a cookbook together with the recipes. The book, which has 12 recipes, all of them tasty and cookable, will be exhibited and available during the performance. www.petravalentova.com


DISCUSSION ABOUT FOOD IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM by Danielle Pottberg (2:00 – 2:30pm)

Danielle Pottberg presentation 1Danielle Pottberg, textile designer, educator and food enthusiast, will be discussing her project at a Succeed Academy, a Charter School in Harlem, where she is working on introducing a healthier food and snack to the children.




 TASTE TEST by Nicole Zahour (2:30 – 3:00 pm)

Nicole Zahour presentationComparison between real wholesome food and packaged food – like products. Taste test between fresh homemade organic desert made with fruits from the local farm in Pennsylvania (all in season fruits – strawberries and rhubarb).  And a dessert at the local PA convenience store only a mile away from the farm. They are both for sale within a mile of each other and for similar prices. Why do people choose the later?  



 ESPRESSO DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING by Marek and Kristyna Milde (3:00 – 3:30pm)

Kristyna and Marek Milde presentationKristyna and Marek Milde, a collaborative artist tandem, and espresso enthusiasts, will be explaining the complex process of preparing the right shoot of espresso. They will be also talking about their project Dinner Garden, a community roof top garden at the Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side.  www.mildeart.com



ARTIST TALK by Richard Jochum (3:30 – 4:00pm)

Richard Jochum presentationRichard Jochum will be discussing his recent project called Dinner a Vingt (Dinner with Twenty). It is a series of public dinners in a an art space in SoHo, which Richard Jochum organize every few months. dinneravingt.wordpress.com/




 CULTURAL EXCHANGE by Mike Estabrook and Vandana Jain (4:00 – 4:30pm)

Maik and Vandana Jain presentationCollaborative tandem Mike Estabrook and Vandana Jain will be facilitating a CULTURAL EXCHANGE between the participants. In this project culture is seen in the broader sense as something which is cultivated, created and shared with others. Please bring living cultures, music, books, plants to share and exchange with others.     www.artcodex.org



 PICK YOUR PICK by Radka Kovacikova (4:30 – 5:00pm)

Pick your Pick, Radka KovacikovaRadka Kovacikova, an experimental jewelry designer, will be presenting her edible jewelry series made out of food, tooth pick and gold. Additionally following the classic rules hungry players can play the chess play Chesspick, with edible chess figures and feed themselves by removing the enemy. Together with the artist we will be also creating new characters for this scrumptious chess game. redkastuff.com



POTLUCK DINNER,  participation open to the public (7:00-7:30pm)

BOS 2013 2Special home brewed beer Pale Mild Ale by Jan Zahour ! Please note  bringing the food to this  event  is required and please  BYOB !

Bring your favorite HOME-MADE dish that serves up to 3 people, preferably vegetarian. Please do not bring industrially processed factory made food. Share the story of the dish and write down the recipe, its source, description of the ingredients, culture, traditions, rituals and secrets.  Please use handwriting on a US letter page and sign it, putting your email in the back. If desired you may include drawings. The piece will be presented close to the dish. Unless we hear from you otherwise by participating you  agree that we may use the menu for our future projects, that may include publishing.


Bushwick Open Studios in New York Times





view photos from the events 

Mike and Vandana Jain presentation 2radka Kovacikova sachy 3Athena Cocoronis presentation 2 








About the participants:

view it as pdf

Keil Borrman:

Keil Borrman is New York-based food performance artist. He received Master of Fine Arts from the Columbia University School of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts  rom the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL.



Mike Estabrook:

Born in Quincy, Illinois is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY.?Estabrook’s work spans the gap between the imaginative and the political, and makes use of a wide range of media including drawing, painting, animation and video. He also frequently collaborates with other artists, being one half of the drawing duo.The Shining Mantis, as well as a founding member of the multi faceted creative collective *artcodex*.His work has been exhibited at number of museums and galleries in New York and abroad, including PPOW Fine Arts, ABC No Rio, PS1/MOMA, The Queens Museum, The Bronx Museum, The Krannert Museum, Arario Gallery, Esso Gallery, and several other galleries and non-profit spaces in New York and abroad. He and his work have been cited in many blogs and publications, including G-train salon, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Brooklyn Rail, and L Magazine. In 2005-6, he participated in the Artists in the Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum, in 2007-8 was a resident in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program, in 2009 was a resident in the Rotating Studio Program at the Artist’s Alliance, in 2010 did a residency in NY Arts Beijing, and in summer 2010 was a resident in the inaugural season of LMCC’s swing space on Governors Island. He Received his MFA from Queens College in 2005.



Jamie Isenstein:

Jamie Isenstein was born in 1975 in Portland, Oregon, and lives in New York. She earned her BA from Reed College in Portland in 1998 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2004. Her performances, installations, drawings, and sculptures have been the subject of solo exhibitions at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York (2007); Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe and Berlin, Germany (2006); and Guild and Greyshkul, New York (2004). Group exhibitions include those at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna. Reviews of Isenstein’s work have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Contemporary, Art in America, and Modern Painters.



Richard Jochum:

Richard Jochum (photograph) is a studio member at the Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts and an adjunct professor at Teachers College Columbia University in the Department of Arts and Humanities and the Film and Education Research Academy FERA. He has worked as a media and video artist since the late 1990s and has had numerous international exhibitions and screenings. Richard received his PhD from the University of Vienna (1997). His MFA in sculpture and media art is from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (2001). Richard’s art practice is accompanied by publications and research in the field of cultural theory and contemporary art and he has been awarded several grants and prizes. His most recent public art installation is a flip book with 30 light boxes in a public railroad tunnel in Austria. Artist’s Statement: 1) I am a post-minimalist and post-conceptual sculptor and media artist drawing from a variety of media and artistic practices. (2) I think art continually has to create new images for the time we live in. For the conditions and issues we deal with: existentially, politically, physically, and globally. Searching such images is what I am aiming for. (3) My artistic work is often based on participation or embedded in local communities. I believe in an intriguing encounter between art producers and the public. Audiences can make us learn better and see things we would not have known yet. I understand both, intelligence and creativity to be profoundly social.



Vandana Jain:

Vandana Jain studied Art at New York University, and Textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Recent awards include the 2008 LMCC Workspace Residency, the 2007 Emerging Artists’ Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park and the 2003 Artists in the Marketplace program. She has shown at a variety of venues locally and internationally, including Toronto Free Gallery (Toronto, Canada); the Queens Museum(NY); ABC No Rio(NY); Momenta(NY); the Soap Factory(MN); Grey Noise Gallery (Lahore, Pakistan). She recently participated in the 798 Biennale in Beijing, China. “Since 2001, I have been primarily working with well-known corporate logos, sometimes also incorporating slogans, wrappers and packaging. I often place these elements into quasi-religious contexts, arranging logos into mandalas or creating ritualistic spaces based on ad campaigns. I am interested in examining the deep influence of corporate and consumer culture on modern life, through a contrast of hand and machine; individual and conglomerate. Since my work is based on the appropriation and recontextualization of corporate branding, I have been free to cultivate diverse styles and media, and strive for the perfect coupling of an idea and its embodiment. This calls for a wide-ranging studio practice that includes painting, embroidery, architectural models and installation. I often use labor-intensive and handmade art practices that will contrast with the mechanical aesthetic of the corporate logo, and that stand in for the laborer/producer. Recently, I have been exploring the ideas of the privatization of personal and public space through architectural models for fantastic structures. What if the AT&T logo was used as the starting point for a mammoth housing complex? Or if cave dwellings were juxtaposed onto the architecture of water bottles? What if highway overpasses were shaped into logos, channeling drivers through the GE loop on the way home? These irrational, implausible structures seem impossible to imagine, yet serve as routes of inquiry into the complexity of the human/corporate relationship.”



Athena Kokoronis:

Dancer, choreographer  and a long time Digestion choreographer at the Mildred’s Lane. Her performances combine cooking, eating  and dance movement.



Radka Kovacikova:

Radka Kovacikova is a jewelry designer currently living and working in New York. Her work has a broad view of jewelry. She likes to combine “high and low” materials and processes, creating is as important to her as the result.  Radka proclaims that jewelry is an adrenaline sport. Often parodying, yet celebrating classical forms of jewelry is her juicy steak. She doesn’t usually make visually matching sets, but creates pieces-individuals, their ideologies cooperate and form a unified whole. Under the brand name REDkaSTUFF she creates jewelry of all sizes, but it’s always pure 1000/1000. Radka graduated from the School of Arts in Turnov, where she mastered a wide variety of traditional goldsmith techniques, followed by the University of Fine Arts in Bratislava: The Metal and Jewelry Studio. During her university studies she completed educational stays in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and USA, where she focused on jewelry’s overlap into other media. During her stay in America she completed an internship at New York City’s Aaron Faber Gallery. Radka actively participates in, and co-organizes exhibitions, symposiums and non-credit courses. “I perceive jewelry as a way of life, investment and passionate love. ”



Michael Merck:

Michael Merck was born in Cedar Rapids, I A in 1974 is an artist  and curator living and working in Brooklyn, New York.  Through diverse media and techniques his’s work investigates speculative states of consciousness and the transubstantiation of language and form. In 1998 he received a BA with honors in Liberal Arts from the University of Iowa focusing on literature and philosophy. He began making visual art in 1997 after a long drawn-out disagreement with academia that resulted in him breaking his arm and burying a family heirloom in Naxos, Greece. Following his graduation from U of I he embarked upon twelve years of traveling and making art living in Spain, Poland, San Diego, Chicago, Austin, and finally arriving in New York in the fall of 2010. He is one of four founding members of Knockdown Center in Queens, NY and the Chicago art collective Terry Plumming and is currently serving as Curator and Program Director for Triangle Arts Association in Brooklyn, which is a is a not-for-profit arts organization whose mission is to support emerging and mid-career international and national visual artists, encouraging dialogue and experimentation through. workshops, residencies and exhibition opportunities.



Kristyna and Marek Milde:

Kristyna and Marek Milde born in Prague, Czech Republic are collaborative tandem living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Their work investigates states of identity connected to environment and cultural alienation towards nature. They widely exhibited in the USA, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany and Switzerland among others in the MoMA, New York, USA; NURTURE art, Brooklyn, USA; Anna Wallace Gallery, New York, USA, Queens College Art Center, NY, USA; Futura Center for Contemporary Art in Prague Czech Republic; Karlin Studios, Prague Czech Republic; Meet Factory -International Center of Contemporary Arts, Czech Republic. Their work was reviewed in the New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, WG News and BQE Media. They both received MFA at the Queens College, New York.They are working at the Czech Center NYC, a cultural institute of the Czech Republic.



Natalia Porter:

Natalia Porter artist and designer, born in Mexico City, currently lives and works in New York. In her work she investigates Mexican culture and its current position in the USA. In her latest project she build a 30 foot-long craft ship Trajinera, a pre-hispanic Mexican barge. It was traditionally used for shipping crops in and out of the fields and on the canals of Xochimilco.  Equipped with a dining table and chairs it serves not only as a place of cultural exchange, but as a tool and platform for the discussion of different issues, including Mexican Immigration in and around New York City, in partnership. Her work was shown at the Queens Museum in New York, Flux Factory and many other places. She studied the Parson School of Sesign and she received a MFA at the Queens College in New York.


Danielle Pottberg:

Danielle Pottberg textile designer and educator currently creates in a studio in Brooklyn, New York.  Influenced by an anthropological sense, she obsessively explores the relation of her subjects to their environment, and consequently, her influence on that environment through her work. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT)



Jan and Nicole Zahour:

Jan and Nicole Zahour are a creative couple living  in Rye, New York. Jan Zahour is a beekeeper and home made beer brewer. Nicole Zahour is a jewelry designer as well as art educator. Her techniques include wax casting, forging, precious stone setting and enameling. She lived, worked and studied art in Pittsburgh, PA; London, England; Leipzig, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic and Oporto, Portugal.

www.zahourjewelry.com www.etsy.com/shop/zahour