Maize Meditation

Participatory Equinox Performance: Saturday, September 22 at 5PM

For the month of September, artist Amanda Turner Pohan will transform the McCarthy Art Gallery at Saint Michael’s College into a library of archival materials documenting a timeline of corn cultivation, from the agricultural practices of members of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation of Vermont to the rise of American agricultural biotech corporations. To mark the final year of harvest of the 66 acre cornfield leased from St. Michael’s by a local farmer, this project invites participants to attend an event in the gallery on the weekend of the fall equinox. This event will look at the ways in which techniques of agricultural biotechnology are invisibly embedded in the genetically modified corn consumed today, and how the invisible technology inscribes itself on/into individual, social, and political bodies. Participants will be invited to sit and eat a four course meal consisting of corn-based foods. The artist will guide participants through the meal using a meditative dialogue. Each course will be paired with an excerpted reading from the exhibition’s newspaper publication read by Chief Shirly Hook of the Koasek Traditional Bank of the Koas Abenaki Nation and Mark Lubkowitz, a maize geneticist and Professor of Biology at Saint Michael’s College. The participatory event will begin in the gallery foyer at 5pm on Saturday, September 22, and will conclude with a silent group walk to the campus cornfield.

The meal will consist of a Cheeto (corn), Kool Aid (high fructose corn syrup), Coffee Mate (corn syrup solids), and a marshmallow (corn syrup).