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Vegetare Project Statement

As an interdisciplinary artist, I use still and moving images; sound and objects in whimsical, non-traditional ways to provide multiple access points to ideas. I combine analog and digital sources and work in forms including photography, print, video, sound, sculpture, and installation. My process is to explore an idea then choose an appropriate medium. I consciously choose to make technology visible or transparent, and to develop an experience for the audience to enter into ideas and information.

My work explores issues of science, history, and culture. I believe that art can communicate new ideas, and call people to action. Information access and literacy are central to my work. Art making is a process of research and discovery. I am interested in combining forms and disciplines, and aim to make work that asks questions.

Last year I became unsure about what were the best choices in food. My body requires I eat gluten free, I choose to be a vegetarian, and cancer runs in my family (both soy and pesticides have been linked to cancer)- choosing what to eat became overwhelming. I also questioned the safety of foods grown with pesticides and if Genetically Engineered (GE) foods were safe for my family to eat. I began researching food, health, technology, and food systems.

In the late 1800’s, the development of margarine sparked the first debates about “unnatural” food. Today’s debates involve pervasive genetically engineered (GE) foods, including Roundup Ready soybeans, Bt corn, and other GE crops. Increasingly, many believe that since GE crops can be designed with built-in resistance to pests and diseases, thereby reducing the use of pesticides or fungicides, they can have a positive effect on the health of the soil, plants, animals, the farmer, and the consumer.
I have developed a series of works designed to motivate viewers to ask questions about food, health, and the environment.

I created a series of archival digital prints that reference classical botanical drawings and feature a detailed photograph of food combined with a short narrative. Additionally I produced large wall paintings made with soy resin paint that uses terracotta as pigment; an interactive see-saw that triggers video projections of vegetables in motion; and a video in which a cast margarine lamb melts into liquid and grows back, magically in a endless loop.

I believe that art is a form of research, and can frame current questions, issues, and experiences in provocative and thought provoking ways that open up the viewers mind to new possibilities. I feel nourished by my current work, and plan to continue developing projects that will help promote understanding and awareness of issues of food, health, and the environment.

View the Vegetare Project Statement .pdf file.

You can see some of the Vegetare series of projects in the portfolio section of this site.

About the Author

KbaumlierKristen Baumlier’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works.View all posts by Kbaumlier →