Wednesday, January 20 at 6:00 PM
For January we will read with local visual artist Sean Nash! He has selected “Fermentation as Metaphor” by Sandor Ellix Katz.
Questions Sean would like to consider as you are reading:
In the section, “spectrum empowerment,” Katz challenges the imposition of a normalizing lens on any individual or group, and he writes that organizing and solidarity are forms of bubbling, or fermentation, in society. How do you react to a definition of spectrum empowerment through a fermentative lens?
Katz discusses the origin and continued prescription of a military agenda toward the microbial in the section “the war on bacteria.” Given that we are projected to live with COVID-19 and the pandemic’s restructuring of our lives for some time, what are some potential implications of this crisis on a popular understanding of our interactions with microbes, including pathogens?
Sean loves the term “emotional composting,” a phrase that Katz attributes to his friend Valencia Wombone. It captures the need to transform knots of trauma and difficulty through a warming and energetic practice of fermentation, composting. What does this image conjure for you, and do you connect it to critical self care, ancestral, and regeneration practices?
Here is some supplementary information for you to consider when thinking about questions 1 – 3:
Sean’s talk on “Transfermentation: embodied processes of fermentation, art, and trans becoming” for “Ferment for Food Justice” https://youtu.be/eQFFhoaKm1M
Interview on Fifty Feminist States podcast https://www.fiftyfeministstates.com/podcast/missouri-2
Stephanie Maroney “Sandor Katz and the possibilities of a Queer Fermentative Praxis” https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/cuizine/2018-v9-n2-cuizine04200/1055217ar/
Want to purchase the book? Support a local bookstore and order your book from Wise Blood!
Wise Blood Booksellers is Kansas City’s little bookshop on the corner, selling both new and used books and cultivating community at 300 Westport Rd since late 2019.
ABOUT SEAN NASH
Sean Nash is a visual artist and food fermentation experimentalist. Sean’s multidisciplinary work frequently integrates fermented foods with sculptures as edible, time-based, and socially engaged components of exhibitions. Often calling for submissions of fermented foods to include in installations and programming events, his work with the microbial expands narratives of authorship, kinship, and personhood with queer and trans materialities. His work has been shown nationally, with solo shows at the Kniznick Gallery at Brandeis (Krautsourcing, 2019), Plug Projects in Kansas City, MO (Lactobacillus Amongus, 2017), and Black Ball Projects in Brooklyn, NY (They/Them/Their, 2016). He received a 2017 Rocket Grant Research and Development award for Garden Variety Soda Fountain, a sculptural soda cart built for naturally fermented sodas made with community garden grown ingredients. In 2017, he was a panel presenter at the inaugural Food, Feminism, and Fermentation conference at McGill University in Montreal. Sean co-authored the essay “Bubbling Bodies and Queer Microbes: Dispatches from the Foundation of Fermentation Fervor” with Stephanie Maroney, published in Fermenting Feminism, 2017. He is based in Overland Park, Kansas and is the Social Practice Program Head at the Kansas City Art Institute. Sean received an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University in 2005 and a BFA in painting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2003. Sean’s work can be found at senash.com