In a 2017 interview, Stephen Hawking said that humanity faces a survival crisis… that it is so severe that in the next hundred years, either humanity will be extinct or we will have to escape from the earth and colonize other planets.


          Indian scholar, environmental activist, food soverignty advocate, eco-feminist, and anti-globalization author, Vandana Shiva states “More than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared; some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been pushed to extinction by the monocultures of the mechanical mind. We are living in the age of the sixth extinction; this is the moment where we need to rejuvenate biodiversity on our farms and in our fields, in our kitchens and on our plates, to address the climate crisis, the health crisis, the crisis of corporate control over our food.”


          Having lived in Canada and the United States for most of my life, residing in the Italian countryside has exposed me to new and simple pleasures: freshly harvested brown and oyster mushrooms, stems still coated in dirt; tangy lemons plucked from the tree, the air wafting with a zesty fragrance released by the lightest touch; red beans couched in magenta-spotted pods. Stepping away from urban centers—where markets are perennially flush with greenhouse produce or international imports—I remember the terrestrial cycles that govern animals and plants that were familiar to my ancestors who farmed the Italian countryside.


          For millennia, artistic representations of food have exposed a dialectic between abundance and waste, mimetic preservation and mnemonics of decay. As recounted by the Roman historian Pliny the elder, in a painting contest circa 464 BCE, Zeuxis of Heraclea so skillfully captured the likeness of a cluster of grapes that birds flew at the composition in an attempt to devour the illustrated morsels. Caravaggio also depicted grapes in his 1593 Bacchino Malato; but, like the waxen and jaundiced Bacchus that holds them, these fruits fester, discolored and puckering on the vine. Other genres explicitly use flora as a symbol for the passage of time. The flowers of the four seasons motif in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese art of the 16th and 17th centuries suggest a whimsical and fantastical scene in which blossoms of spring, summer, fall, and winter are united in a single bouquet. By contrast, the vanitas paintings, which proliferated during the Dutch golden age, hint at caution—live your life morally and well, for all things must come to an end. Today, these symbols are joined by a new language of development and decadence. Decentralized finance, programming languages, and engineering lingo draw on fruits, vegetables, and other foods for terminology—for example, SushiSWAP meme tokens, beans, Java, and spaghetti code.


          Whether captured in pixels at their most succulent or deteriorating to dust in paint, these images are ageless assets that circulate the twinned markets of capital and culture. Simultaneously, they seem to suggest two different interpretations of our world—one of stasis and waste, another of eternal and effortless exchange. Characterizing this state in his 2016 book The Exform, Nicolas Bourriaud writes, “we inhabit an overfull world, living in archives ready to burst, among more and more perishable products, junk food and bottlenecks. All the while, capitalism boldly dreams its dream of ‘frictionless’ exchange: a universe where commodities—beings and objects alike—circulate without encountering the slightest obstacle.” Bourriaud’s text attempts to redeem the unproductive and unused, interrogating the exclusionary distinctions that have created this double vision. He insists, “What does progressive politics mean if not the taking-into-account of the excluded? …. What is an artist if not someone who deems that anything at all—including the foulest refuse—is capable of acquiring aesthetic value?”

IIFuorisalone Location: via Cecilia, 6, Milano

          I am always inspired by my location and histories of the place where I create or show my artwork and this collection is no different. Seasonal is inspired by the Italian Futurists and their event at the Penna D’Oca on November 15, 1930. The Italian Futurists established themselves in the early 20th century as an artistic and social movement. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti launched the movement with the Manifesto of Futurism which was published for the first time on February 5th 1909. Disliking everything from the past, Marinetti and the other artists within the movement pushed for an Italy with speed, machines, big cities, human flight, violence and even a new concept of food.   


          The cultural space and restaurant the Penna D’Oca brought together Milanese intellectuals, offering a place of discourse between artists, writers, theorists with the bourgeois and industrialists who gathered there to have meals and exchange ideas. This was a hotbed for revolutionary artistic movements which was partially designed by the iconic Milanese architect, Gio Ponti. It was in 1930 when Marinetti published La Cucina Futurista; a manifesto of futurist cooking — hosting a lunch with a few dishes being served, Marinetti expressed his beliefs that there should be a ban on pasta, removable of knives and forks at the table, and courses being consumed in a single mouthful. Recipes embraced technology and embraced all the senses, including perfumes and sound.

IIIMy Declaration of Intent: Dimmi, Amore Manifesto

          I understood that it was my responsibility as an artist to confront the Italian Futurists and their manifesto if I were to do a show in the original Penna D’Oca. With their manifesto being unacceptable in todays world, such as their glorification on war and desire to “demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.” I knew it was my duty especially as a female artist to confront this issue and write my own manifesto. To  display my art in this space, and stand where these men stood at Via Cecilia 6 in Milan, and recreate Aerofood, I acknowledge their creations and make way for something better and more suited for our world today. The Italian Futurists manifesto directed Italy in one way of the future, a type of future and type of Italy that can no longer be. I found it necessary to put my words together for a new type of world that I hope will inspire not only Italy, but being available in over 100 languages – this manifesto will inspire the world.


          During the famous and historically important design week of Salone, the Dimmi, Amore Manifesto’s were spread around the city of Milan. Since the location of the via Cecilia 6 was also the neighborhood of newspaper print houses, the concept of sending physical messages across the city was important to me. The Dimmi, Amore Manifestos are stamped with the date and time of the Seasonal show, and hand delivered to people around the city, as one would hand out a newspaper during the time period of the Penna D’Oca. Dimmi, Amore has become an entire collection,  to learn more please see Chapter 33.

IVFuorisalone Event, June 10th 2022

          I consider Seasonal to be a continuation of the ideas outlined by Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in his 1932 “The Futurist Cookbook,” which revisioned meals as visual, musical, and tactile experiences. Through photographs and time-based media, I invite my audience to consider the theatrical and aesthetic in what may seem familiar and mundane.


          One of the Futurists meals that was served in 1930 at the Penna D’Oca was Aerofood. Without cutlery, guests used their hands to eat kumquats, olives, and fennel, while listening to music of Bach and airplanes. I used the concept of Aerofood but added my own creations, and elements of today and our technology. The participatory experience for Seasonal contains the following elements:


1)   AEROFOOD. A recreation of the Futurists’ Aerofood. Guests are invited to eat from handmade fennel shaped dishes, an in-between of a bowl and plate. I work with a special clay which is very textured as I wanted the participant to feel connected to the earth somehow. So the ceramic fennel dish actually feels as if you are touching the earth, as little bumps and textures are felt. These fennel plates are specifically designed to weigh the same as an actual full fennel, as if you picked one from the garden or a stand at the market.  I wanted to put into question the size and shape of a dish, and how we can push boundaries to have the dish itself connect us to the food and process of farming. While you hold the plate in one hand or if it sits on the table, either is fine, while I spray a carnation perfume I made. As you smell the perfume, you continuously eat and touch three ceramic lefthand shaped forms which have three different textures on them; silk, sandpaper and velvet. During this, you watch and listen to an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) video which is to massage the brain. This can be in reference to Marshall McLuhan’s massage of the mind (please see collection entitled Alpha, Chapter 21). The ASMR video that is on show is footage of me in a long gown, something one would wear to an important dinner, and I eat the same meal as the person participating. It’s as if we are each other’s dinner date through the screen. I take one piece of fennel to my mouth, spray carnation perfume on my wrist and touch the three textures. The same movements the participant goes through.


2)   PASTA. Guests are invited to eat pasta. Maranetti stated that he wanted to abolish pasta because it “was a “passéist food” that “[deluded people] into thinking it [was] nutritious” and made them “heavy, brutish,” “skeptical, slow, [and] pessimistic.” As such, it should be abolished and replaced with rice. Due to this grand statement he made about pasta, I wanted to incorporate pasta. However, this pasta at Seasonal doesn’t make you lethargic. I worked with chef Giovanni Ronconi from Reggiana Gourmet. The ravioli was created using Rice flour, linseed flour, potato flakes, tumeric and water, and filled with seasonal vegetables. While eating the Seasonal ravioli, the guests listen to a one-hour long sound artwork which incorporates music by Bach, voices and noises from the produce market in Bassano del Grappa, and sounds of preparing and cooking food in my kitchen. It is important for the participant to feel connected to the process of picking up the vegetables, cooking and consuming. Each handmade ravioli cup which was made using the same cutter used for forming shapes with pasta dough, I ensure that each cup is a different size and style. I wanted to emphasize that each cup would hold a different quantity of pasta, because unlike the standard where plates have exact measurements of food — each person may have different appetites. Some may want a large bowl of the ravioli, while others prefer only a taste.


3)   VITAMINS. Ceramic forms Referencing Italian Futurists’ belief in scientific tools in the kitchen, I created ceramic broccoli’s which have holes cut in order to hold test tubes. Within these tubes are different liquids filled with nutrients, vitamins and minerals to either detox the body, give it more energy, or reduce inflammation


4) POSTCARDS. To tie into the concept of airplanes and the transportation of seasonal produce, I have introduced a collection of postcards as a worldwide participatory experience. On the table, there are unglazed ceramic plate specifically designed to hold postcards. There are enormous size forks and knives, and chalices around the plates. Being unglazed if offers a unique texture for the guest, and also tells the guest that these forks and knives are actually unusable —- as the futurists wanted to promote. Using hands to feed oneself rather than cutlery. Within these plates are stacks of postcards. Other postcards are found in large pots and pans which sit on the stove top. The person is invited to reach inside the pot, pan, or plate to take a fruit or vegetable — as if for example, you find a postcard of the broccoli in the pan, the gesture is as if the broccoli is being cooked in the pan. Once the viewer takes one or more postcards, whichever many they desire, they are invited to write a message to a friend or family member, preferably someone residing at a far distance away. They write the message, name and address, and then put it into the mailbox that i created. The mailbox stands off to the side with the word inscribed ‘Posta’ for ‘Mail’ in Italian. At the end of the event I retrieve the postcards and will stamp each one and send the postcard out once that fruit or vegetable on the front of the postcard is in season. Therefore, the person who may live on the other side of the world will also be part of this event. By receiving this postcard of the fruit or vegetable, I invite the participants to consider the transportation of our produce that occurs daily and worldwide, and brings into question the sustainability of this system.


Note: While opening this group of works to the embodied experience of a viewer, I also intend for this setting of food to be read in a political light, inviting interaction and exchange among participants and the potential for collectivity in a gesture to relational aesthetics that harkens back to my graduate studies with Rirkrit Tiravanija.






VISound piece



VII.2Plates and Sculptural Forms

VII.3Photography examples 

VII.4Aerofood and Postcards