The Bliss Point
Working in collaboration with Montreal artist Natalie Doonan..
materials: sugar cane, 3D printer, text, wooden furniture, computers, lab coats.
dimensions: variable, room size
Part love affair with all things sweet and part critique this project is about the production and consumption(amongst other
issues) of sugar in all its various forms good and bad. The tension between medical issues such as diabetes and obesity,
politics and economies, advertising and the idea of the fun and colourful candy mountain sugar party are all inspirations.
The specific site of investigation is our human body and the manipulation of it by major corporations, marketing, social
political manipulations and such.
A large part of our presentation was the hardware hacking of a 3D printer to print out using sugar syrup as a material.
We built a multi media room installation based on an abstraction of curiosity cabinet /museums and science labs. We(Natalie
and Ken) were the docents/lab technicians with associated costuming. Inspiration for this is based on the Redpath Museum,
The Museum of Jurassic Technology and science labs in general. The display cases were curiosity cabinets populated with
artifacts related to sugar culture, industry, medicine and pop culture amongst other things exotic and wonderful. Some of
these objects were printed by the 3D sugar printer. Many others were be collected and others we made ourselves using
various candy making and electronic techniques. There was a digital workstation which which included a 3D scanner, computer,
and our hacked 3D sugar printer. The lab technician(s) scanned peoples faces, created a 3D model, scaled it and printed it
out as a sugar sculpture which was displayed in the museum. Didactic panels with important information were installed
throughout the space. Myself and Natalie staffed the lab for the period of the exhibition interacting with patrons
interpreting the many facts and arguments related to all things sugar.
Hedonistika is a one week multi-modal event that brings together food scholars, artists, and
roboticists to examine the innumberable (and often hidden) ways in which technology and food are related. By engaging with
the challenging ideology of hacking, participants will seek to interrogate and expose the mutually constructive bonds of
food and tech, while proposing alternative, playful, and stimulating reconfigurations. Part festival, part workshop, and part
symposium, Hedonistika merges research/creation with critical analysis, and community engagement with celebration.
Hedonistika is produced by the Elektra festival (the largest new media festival in Canada) and monochrom (an art activist group
The Bliss Point was commissioned by Hedonistika and
exhibited at the Mussee D'art Contemporain in Montreal Quebec as part of