The shortest distance


The shortest distance

Social Sculpture


Dimensions: Variable
Materials: wood, acrylic, microgreens, dirt, food

The table is a surface upon which my mother spreads the bounty of weekend trips driving an hour out of the way to a Vietnamese market that was unlike the clean brightly lit Safeway a few miles from our house or the 99 Ranch mega Asian Markets more common in Orange County these days. Often crowded, it was an assault on the senses. An alchemy of strange spices, assorted live or nearly so fish and pungent produce congealed under fluorescent lighting. The market most likely did not comply with Federal or State regulations pertaining to food safety. 

The table is the shortest distance to the backyard of my first family home. When we moved in, the yard was an overgrown jungle crawling with garter snakes. Mystery monsters lurked in the tall grass, until by some magic, my parents transformed it into organized clusters of cilantro, mint, thai basil, mustard greens, bumpy melons, and a sundry of exotic vegetables I have yet to identify in English. 

It is an intersection and a cross section. As a family, we do not agree on everything, but when we convene, it is almost always at a table over food, usually food that was prepared together in a small kitchen. 

The table is a rectangle of plywood stained with used coffee grinds sporting a hinged top allowing for the storage of plates and cloth napkins, and containers for micro-greens that begin to sprout within three days. The obsessive, an excuse to pick at seed shells, spritz away compulsively and snack. 

The table is an action, ongoing research into the practice and practicalities of food when one lives in a small apartment with little light and no yard. Anyone can construct a table and anyone can sit at a table and anyone is invited to sit at my table, but anyone who comes to sit at my table must bring something.