Silicone Fabric Coatings (Syl-Mer): "The Invisible Protectors" 1956 Dow Corning
       
     
 Determining one’s own cultural identity can often be more complex than one may initially realize. Although I am from the West Coast of the United States, I grew up with a mother that spoke fluent Japanese, a sister who was born in Tokyo, an education in ceramics based on Japanese principles, and a community that would regularly attend Dharma talks at the local Buddhist temple. As a result, most of my life I have had an intense focus on Japanese culture. Although I think of myself as ethnically Italian, and culturally from California, in many ways I consider Japan to be my spiritual home. While I was aware of most of this, I didn’t realize how much it affected my life until the Tohoku earthquake, and the consequential Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, also known as 3/11.  Prior to 3/11 Fukushima was largely known for two culinary attractions: Dumplings (called Gyoza in Japanese) and Peaches. Tragically, since the Daiichi disaster, food from Fukushima has largely been presumed toxic, ultimately casting a larger shadow over the regions proud tradition of foodways and its cultural sense of self. After visiting the Fukushima region for myself in 2014, it occurred to me that one of the more significant forms of resistance to the “slow violence” of the 3/11 disaster was to prepare and serve Gyoza in the traditional Fukushima style, and to use the meal as an opportunity to share the story of Fukushima and my experience there with others.
       
     
 In the summer of 2012 I was asked to participate in a site-generated exhibition in Detroit. At the time I was focused on issues of human apathy in the wake of environmental crises and drew upon the work of Australian physiotherapist Michael White and his writings on Narrative Practice. For the exhibition I opened a hotline for anonymous members of the public to share their “Eco-Anxiety” or environmental crises-driven concerns. The intention of the project is to help members of the public construct new narratives for themselves to move beyond the anxiety that inhibits them from making positive change to environmental crises.
       
     
 In 2012 I conducted a series of interviews with the ambition of assessing people’s larger social values. Participants were given a contract after which time I interviewed them based on four questions and twenty six coins. After participants had completed their interview I gave them them the coin(s) that they valued.
       
     
 Meeting Bacon was a response to the Farm-to-Table movement. While many are happy to have artisan foods, and find comfort in the concept of their food being treated humanely, few can stomach the reality of actually confronting the animal they eat. As a result, Meeting Bacon was intended to convey to others the active knowledge that can come through cooking and eating. In the performance I prepared a lunch of BLTs with bacon I had cured myself. The performance began by talking about the importance of knowing where one’s food comes from and by exhibiting my bacon to the audience. After seeing their delight, I produced a pig’s head that the audience members had to examine prior receiving their sandwich. I wanted to create a sensory experience where participants would have to negotiate the pleasures of frying bacon with the confrontation of the pig’s severed head.
       
     
  The Marfa Yonke Gallos is a baseball team in the Old Timers League of Far West Texas. The Yonke Gallos were in existence long before my full-time residence in Marfa. The team is considered “illegal” because the players are too young to play in the Old Timers league, but because the region is so sparsely populated, other teams in the area are happy to have another team to play against.     In 2012 I was asked if I would like to play on the team. I declined for personal reasons. However, rather than drop the team altogether, I decided to “squat” on the team as its new owner. While most of the players were confused by my choice to claim an intramural baseball team, few rejected my new role, since I used it as an excuse to cook hotdogs with fried onions, peppers, and bacon - a form of food I longed for from my childhood. I gave up my ownership of the team when I moved to Michigan and was no longer able to cook for the players.