PIXXE: Projects Involving the Experimental Exploration of the Environment, originated by Jodie Baltazar [www.baltazarworks.com] in March 2011.
For the past seven years, Pixxe has undertaken projects that explore and sometimes modify public space and that try to understand the use of land by humans, especially in Warsaw, Poland. It takes an exploratory / experimental approach to environmental transformation and knowledge. The project promotes transformations that improve the conditions of life for as many beings and non-beings as possible, and that harm the least.
Environment should be understood not simply as what is “natural” but rather as that which surrounds us, or more specifically, as the shared space which surrounds us and of which we are a part. In a city this includes people, roads, buildings, sounds, plants, animals, soil, food, garbage, advertising, water, images, cars, institutions, media, and probably a lot more. The project seeks transformation not only in the appearance and use of this shared space but also in the living beings which inhabit it (people, animals, plants).
Pixxe’s activities include urban farming, community gardening, guerrilla gardening, foraging, transformation of public/community space for community activities, workshops and classes for the public and in schools on organic/eko gardening, composting, permaculture, DIY maker arts (e.g. upcycling, crafting, citizen science, cooking and food preservation).
Food is interesting to me because it is “necessary”. It’s a material condition of life. All of us, human and non-human alike, need it. Guts, or more generally the exigency to consume, is what connects living things to other livings things and of course, to the earth and the sun. It connects the living to the dead, culture to nature, country to city. It also connects the individual to the state and to the economy. Food drives the economy (literally in the form of the gas and oil required to move it around the earth) and it also reveals, through industrial agriculture and regulation of the environment, just how little control people have over the most basic conditions of their lives–food and the land it grows on.
And of course I am also interested in food because I love to eat!