Queens Chronicle, November 20, 2003


Flux Factory Explores Good Taste In All You Can Art Installation
by Keach Hagey, Chronicle Reporter
November 20, 2003

Charles a portrait in chocolate of the Prince of Wales, by British artist Prudence Emma Straite

Usually, the only gustatory experience the art world offers is in the overpriced cafe next to the gift shop. But Saturday, November 22nd, Flux Factory, Long Island City’­s predictably unpredictable art collective, sets out to overturn yet another convention with a free, all-day, all-edible art installation, All You Can Art, starting at 3 p.m.

When you go to galleries, the visual aspect of the arts is still primary, said Morgan Meis, president of the non-profit collective. Having to use one’­s tongue, smell and touch to experience art is something that you just don’t see that often.

The collective will transform its gallery space on 43rd Street into a series of rooms, each one offering a different take on the ways that tongue can experience art. But, Meis warns, in no way is it going to be like a meal.

Flux Factory invited specialists in food art from around the world to participate, and will also be adding a dash of its own creativity.

They found British food artist Prudence Emma Staite on the Internet. She works primarily in chocolate, sponge cake and icing, trying to challenge the boundaries between the aesthetic and the nutritious. She will be bringing her chocolate portraits, which are entirely edible, right down to the chocolate gold gilt frames.

Miwa Koizumi, an internationally exhibiting artist with degrees from Tama Art University in Tokyo and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, approaches her food projects with a question: what does air taste like?

I am interested in the physicality, directness and now-ness of the taste performance, she said.

For one of her recent pieces, Taste-lets, she arranged tiny bits of orange, bean or leaf in intricate displays, left them to dry or rot and glazed them with a high-gloss finish. For Flux Factory, she is planning something a bit more appetizing, working in ephemeral sugar crystal and edible air.

Frederic Prado will be presenting his technique for distilling Cola-Cola into alcohol. He originally sold the product, called Alcohola, through the French Buy Sellf catalogue, in which artists collect and propose objects that are not mass-produced but are the outcome of artistic processes.

True to Flux Factory’s collective spirit, one of its rooms will be a big kitchen where participants can sample a soup brewing in a giant cauldron and add whatever they find lacking. Cooks must write down what they add and how much, so that the real-time recipe can be reproduced in the future.

In another room, Stefany Goldberg, director of Flux Factory events, will explore the part of eating that doesn’­t have to do with taste: the sound of the crunch and the vibrations of chewing. Using a microphone and speaker system of her own design, she will sit at one end of a table and eat while the participants, at the other end, will experience the strange sensation of another person eating inside their mouths.

The event is expected to last until around 10 p.m. or everything is destroyed, according to Meis.

Flux Factory is located at 38-38 43rd Street in Long Island City. For more information, call 718-707-3362.

©Queens Chronicle – Western Edition 2003