a more than human world
F.E.A.S.T. 2020 was a great success, thanks to the artists who submitted proposals, and the participants who provided financial support and selected the winners. Although the event has passed, we’re still accepting donations to support artists’ projects.
VisArts’ F.E.A.S.T. (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) is a bridge between artists and the community – a public meal designed to democratically fund thoughtful, creative art projects that impact the community. At the event, artists present their proposals and answer questions about their concept, process, and intention. Community participants, who donate to support the event, receive a ballot and cast a vote for their favorite proposal. The artist with the most votes is awarded a grant from the donations. The event is based on F.E.A.S.T. in Brooklyn’s model for sustaining artists’ projects directly through community participation.
F.E.A.S.T. 2020 Finalists
Sobia Ahmad and Monroe Isenberg: Collective Conversations, Observing a Year
How can we share meaningful actions and rituals that connect us to land and place? What practices allow us to dissolve boundaries with nature? Utilizing collective imagination, we propose creating a knowledge bank, an archive consisting of shared practices that approach a more than human world. To create this library, we will invite 365 people (symbolizing a year) to respond creatively to the following sample prompts. Participants may submit any and all formats and mediums ranging from photos and videos, to sound, writing, poetry, books, and other types of conversations.
Congratulations to Ahmad and Isenberg for winning F.E.A.S.T. 2020!
Inga Bragadottir: Walk This Way
Walk This Way is a self- guided, experiential walk in the woods that encourages observation, contemplation, and regard for the natural world. Through fostering an intentional encounter with nature, this project provides an opportunity for participants to relate to the natural world, and remember that they are moving through an ecological community; a more than human world. The project is situated along an outdoor path in a designated Montgomery County park, with signs and a map directing the walker. Along the path, the posted signs contain participatory prompts and contemplative questions such as, “Walk your next 20 steps as silent as a mouse… What do you hear?” and “How do you have a conversation with a creek?”
Hira Sheikh and Kavita Gonsalves: TransHuman Saunter
TransHuman Saunter is a geolocative artwork by two women from the Indian Subcontinent living in Brisbane, Australia, that documents the artists’ entanglements with the multispecies ecosystem of the Indian Banyan or Indian Fig Tree. Constituting imagined narratives of multispecies, the artists utilise a decolonial ecocriticism lens on their collaborations with the nonhuman colonised Indian Subcontinent being: Indian Banyan Tree. The work will also draw attention to the artists’ micro-narratives of brownness based on their identities as ‘lesser’ humans and that of the Indian Banyan Tree as ‘non’ human. The entanglements represented will feature weaving of lived experiences of colonialism, migration, oppressions, and everyday living in ‘White Australia.’ This is further juxtaposed with human-planetary crises of climate change, forest fires, a pandemic: all psychoses of disjointed human/nonhuman entanglements. This artwork digitally locates itself in Australia and on the Indigenous land of the Turrbal and Yuggera people. In engaging with the Indian Banyan Tree and unearthing the atrocities of the “other,” the artists hope to provide a space to transcend and disrupt White colonial forms of knowing so as to heal and repair. The eventual work will be a contribution to the Indigenous ways of knowing through an evocation of the narratives of the unseen: the “lesser” humans, the “non” humans, and the “non” beings. The artists employ geolocative media, maps, images, sounds, poetry, and video to create this multispecies saunter. The project funds will be utilised to rent filming and recording equipment and register for editing and geolocative media software.
Monsieur Zohore: Celestial Bodies
MZ.14 (Celestial Bodies) is a memorial project for which Zohore is purchasing stars in the name of a person of color who has lost their life to racial and/or sexual violence. The funds for this series, which begins with Freddie Gray, are being raised through public donations, institutional grants, and the sale of an open edition sculpture of a telescope. The stars to be purchased are ones that were visible in the same time and place when the named person was killed, so that the members of that community may look to the sky and metaphorically see their loved one as a celestial being. The stars themselves will be documented through the framing of the certifying documents provided by Cosmo Nova, a star-naming company. In an effort to ensure complete transparency, each framed print and subsequently “owned” star will be donated to a local institution that is devoted to the preservation of POC life and culture. Violence against POC goes as far back as the inception of the history of this nation, and Zohore intends to honor these victims’ lives until he runs out of stars in the sky. Zohore intends use the F.E.A.S.T. fund to manufacture the aforementioned telescopes, as well as produce prints to sell and continue to fund this project. The engraved telescope will cost $489.95, and the production of the print will cost around $1,500. Zohore will sell these works though social media and various galleries in New York and Baltimore.
Cooking Demo with Artist Catherine Khamnouane
Usually during the annual FEAST celebration we all eat, talk and vote together, but in 2020 we decided to host the event over Zoom. Due to the celebration taking place virtually, we decided to kick it off the with a wonderful cooking demo from visual artist and chef Catherine Khamnouane. To learn more about Khamnouane and her work, visit catkham.com
To watch the recorded cooking demo and create the dish Yum Woon Sen, visit our Vimeo!