Saturday, 19 June 2010

Exponential Learning

Rebbecca at "Exponential Growth" market stall. Loughborough, June 2010.

Last week I was lucky enough to be a part of Rebbecca Beinart's "Exponential Growth" project, giving away yeast at the Market stall in Loughborough. To quote from the website...
Exponential Growth is a newly commission for the Radar Arts Program at Loughborough Unversity. The project will create an exchange network to share locally found yeast cultures, in an experiment to see whether Loughborough’s ‘Culture’ can colonise the world, and what the limits are to growth. (taken form exponentialgrowth.org)
So, raw yeast grows, right? Not the stuff you buy at Tescos but the real original fungus. You keep it in your fridge, feed it up, use it for your bread and then share it with your friends when you get too much. It can last for generations if you look after it.

The idea of Exponential Growth is to have one source of yeast spread around the whole word. Before long, Rebbecca should have a map displaying how far the yeast has gone on her website exponentialgrowth.org. The best thing about this project is that in was directly involving ordinary people in a contemporary and conceptual art project. By "ordinary" I mean people who say they don't understand or aren't interested in art (which ironically in my opinion, is the only thing stopping them). People were incised by the offer of free yeast and were soon telling stories about their own bread-making experiences. It was a great thing to witness.

  
We tried to do something similar with the Vanilla Galleries "Ay Up Me Duck" event, but in trying to get others interested, I admit we compromised our own views of what good art is. Rebbecca didn't have to dilute or make here ideas any less complicated to make is a success. Good one!

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