WORLD TABLE, 2016
MORGAN KENNEDY & WORKINGMAN COLLECTIVE ( TOM ASHCRAFT)
Local white pine, steel, US grown canned tomatoes from the last American painted label company, handmade ceramic bowls, 7 cases of homemade tomato soup made from the bought cans of tomatoes, collected songs, soil, water, video transmissions, and spoons made by a local craftsman (Kevin Kirkpatrick)
Shelf 123.75”x 7.5”x26”
World Table is a collective. Ongoing project that employs multiple parts, people and stages. The tables, crushed tomatoes, plants, bowls, spoons, soup, audio, and related ephemera are all components of a larger cooperative system and the tip of our “utopian iceberg”.
We were invited to be in an exhibition themed around the topic of Utopias and decided to make a very long table/sculpture as the anchor object for our project: a very simple, beautiful, and recognizable table, a picnic table. We wanted to include 100 people that we knew from around the world to be connected to this table and settled on inviting these 100 people to send us specific items from where they lived, seeds, soil, water, and three songs, in a custom package that we made, sent to them, and they returned.
The process also involved turning our studio into a research and development greenhouse + idea incubator to support the growth and well-being of the seeds. We combined the soil and water as a unified symbolic gesture, played the music to the plants, and installed a live webcam so people could see how well we were taking care of their seeds/plants. When we considered how we would plant the seeds. We thought, why not find the best canned ingredients to make a delicious tomato soup and use the empty cans for potting the plants. We then thought, let’s go back to the table and drill 100 holes in it to accept the cans with the planted seeds that have sprouted and have all the participants at the table in a way that is mindful and interesting to view as an object. We then thought, let’s use some of the scrap wood from the table to make a bowl form from which a mold could be drawn and 100slip cast copies made. In these bowls we would serve our delicious soup in. We reached out to an artist colleague to create spoons for eating the soup, and we hosted a soup social event to feed participants at the gallery.
World Table may sound complex but it isn’t to us. World Table seems to embrace the beauty and grace of small rituals of everyday life. By following the trajectory of a community idea, we believe we have made a very simple, beautiful table object/sculpture, some nice drawings, prints, bowls, spoons, ephemera, and a slow mindful performance, with delicious soup. World Table is a work in motion and in stages of completeness.