Oregon Cultural Trust - Annual Report

2008

A portion of the Oregon Arts Commission’s $120,889 returned to the community in the form of $3,000 grants to 13 artist fellows, this year in the visual arts. One of those artists,
Kate Ali from Dexter was commissioned to create her site-specific work, “Dining Dynamics” at the statewide Arts Summit that convened at the Oregon Convention Center on April 23. The piece was performed by summit participants who were encouraged to collaborate with their forks tied one to another beneath the table, creating a push me-pull you effect when one or the other diner tried to take a bite. Carrying through on the dining theme, the summit was titled “Setting the Table”and included keynote addresses from Frances Bronet, Dean, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon; and Katharine DeShaw, Executive Director of United States Artists, Los Angeles; break-out sessions and workshops; and a reception at the University of Oregon’s new Portland campus in the former White Stag building.

Portland Tribune / The arty side of food: All tied up with forks

April 9, 2008 by Barb Randall

I've always considered food to be a visual art medium . What could be more pleasing to the eye than a freshly baked, flaky slice of apple pie? Golden brown roast turkey, towering wedding cakes and rustic artisan cheeses and breads are all examples of foods created to look almost too pretty to eat. Month after month the covers of food magazines give us a fresh gallery of food related art to enjoy.

Not only do cooks use talent and technique to create visual masterpieces in the kitchen, they create performance art as well. From the orchestration of the menu to the gathering of the ingredients to the final presentation on the dinner table, each step of the preparation is a tile of the elaborate mosaic of the meal.

Yes, food is an effective art medium.

I got a kick out of learning that food will be at the center of performance art at the upcoming statewide Arts Summit at the Oregon Convention Center. The focus of the Arts Summit is 'Setting the Table: Collaborative Solutions for Arts Organiza-tions' and will involve artists, arts managers, supporters and advocates from all over Oregon. They will be treated to an interactive lunchtime performance by Kate Ali of Dexter titled 'Dining Dynamics.' Ali, a 2008 Oregon Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow will have 30 to 36 artists and art leaders attempt to eat lunch while their forks are tied to one another, creating a push- me-pull-you effect.

Seven pair of diners will be seated at each table and each diner's fork will be connected through a hole in the table to another diner down the table. The connection is only long enough for one person to eat at a time, engaging all 14 guests to communicate and cooperate in order to eat.

Just watch - I bet the exercise will trigger unique and memorable table conversations as well as provoke creative solutions to benefit artistic works around the state.

To read the full article visit the Portland Tribune site.