Microbial Actants in They/ Them/ Their

Heather mead beginning 

Heather mead beginning 

Super active

Super active

 
Jalapeños, onions, and carrots visible here 

Jalapeños, onions, and carrots visible here 

Lately I have been working on a lot of fermentation projects for my upcoming show, so this post is a review of the processes and different ferments involved in the show. 

About two weeks ago I started a mead for a sculpture in the show. I brewed it with wild yeast and bacteria from grapes and apples. After it got sufficiently bubbly, I added heather to flavor it. The heather is a tribute to the uptown neighborhood I have lived in for eight years. Fort Tryon park, right around the corner from my apartment, has a beautiful heather garden that I enjoy during every season, and practically every day. Heather is a year-round ground cover with small flowers. It also happens to be a traditional ingredient for mead. According to Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, heather mead (or ale) was brewed for ceremonial use by the ancient Picts, who give us the origin of the word picture because they were adorned with tattoos and body paint. The heather has a subtle bitter and delightful flavor, a more delicate flavor than hops, but used for the same purpose in the flavor profile. 

 

For another sculpture I made three fermented hot pepper/ hot sauce combinations. Jalapeños, onions, carrots, and garlic are a staple on my condiment shelf. The onions don't blend into a pretty hot sauce/ salsa, so I usually keep them chopped. But, for a chipotle hot sauce I combined the jalapenos, onions, carrots, chipotles, and paprika for more color. (not pictured)

I'm also making a large amount of other ferments for the shelf in the show (to be eaten March 9). I tried one of these brined tomatillos a couple days in. They were awesome. Highly recommended. They taste like cucumber pickles (pretty much) but were easier to control. Cukes can be unpredictable. 

Ready for the growler w/ airlock. A bag of heather is flavoring it while fermenting. I'll remove the bag for capping. 

Ready for the growler w/ airlock. A bag of heather is flavoring it while fermenting. I'll remove the bag for capping. 

stirring mead to activate fermentation!

 

 
 
brined tomatillos! SO GOOD!

brined tomatillos! SO GOOD!

show at Black Ball Projects

My art and fermentation exhibition featuring microbial assistants, fermentation collaborators, kimchi demonstration, and a culminating event harvesting and tasting ferments opens February 13th at Black Ball Projects! Mark your calendars!


S.E. Nash

They/ Them/ Their

February 13, 2016- March 9, 2016

Opening reception and kimchi demonstration: February 13, 6- 9pm

Closing and fermentation tasting: March 9, 6-9pm

They/ Them/ Their is a celebration of the multiplicity of being. It is a presentation of the actions and ingenuity of microbes: an attempt at de-emphasizing the human. The exhibition title refers to the artist’s use of plural gender pronouns as a reflection of symbiosis. That we are made of more microbial cells than human cells means that we are all a multiplicity: we are all they, them, and their and can use these pronouns to entangle uncomplicated notions of gender. 

The exhibition features sculptures with edible components created in collaboration with microbes. Using vessels containing edible fermentation substrates, sculptures specific to each fermented food surround the vessels. Evocative of the fermentation process and life within, the sculptures build environments that call attention to human and non-human creative acts. During the exhibition, the fermentation sculptures will bubble, change color, and the presence of fermentation will be evident through all senses. At the opening event the artist will prepare kimchi for one sculpture, demonstrating the process and packing the fermentation jar as an inauguration of the exhibition. The closing event will consist of harvesting and tasting the sculptures. The ferments that have been brewing over the month span of time will be ready to eat and will be served to gallery visitors. 

The exhibition will also feature a shelf where other NYC fermentation practitioners will show jars of their fermentation experiments, to be eaten at the closing event. 

This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City. Recent group shows include “Whizzer” and “12x12x12” at Black Ball Projects, “Thinking and Touching Time” at Ortega y Gasset Projects, “The Hovering Life” at kijidome gallery in Boston, MA, and “Obsolescence” at Curious Matter in Jersey City, NJ. Nash received an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University in 2005.


Black Ball Projects

***Open Saturdays and always by appointment

www.blackballprojects.com

info@blackballprojects.com

374 Bedford Ave.

Southside Williamsburg 

Brooklyn, NY 11249 USA