Progressive Dinner (2014) was produced for members of a week-long workshop titled “Problem Solving Social Practice Art” at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa. Attendees were instructed to bring from home some snack or food item associated with place. On the evening of Progressive Dinner they were each given a Spatula&Barcode apron and instructed to explore the downtown farmers’ market and share their treats with anyone else wearing the apron—which included not only all the participants but also a number of farmers and other vendors. After feeding artists and farmers, the group moved on to community arts center Public Space 1, where we had prepared a meal and a souvenir cookbook composed of recipes suggested by participants for foods they associate with social justice and activism. They were joined via internet video conference by international guests “seated” on laptops facing their own suggested recipes. Faisal and Kareen Abdu’allah joined from London, and had suggested the traditional Jamaican dish of ackee and salt cod; Marissa Bejar joined from Lima, and had suggested the traditional Peruvian dish causa de atun. After dinner and discussion, the group progressed to a nearby tavern to enjoy Iowa beers.
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