performance at RISD
I made paper pulp “life soup” for my audience. Each “customer” could pick up to two life flavors from my menu. I shredded slips of paper with images corresponding to the “flavors” and placed them into a blender with water. Customers could tear away any parts of the self-guidance books on topics including marriage, career, or faith as their add-on ingredient. The paper would deform in the swirling warm water into paper pulp. Customers could then pick a poem from a 500-page collection as their “topping.” Finally, they would “pay” me with life tips they wrote anonymously.
The final product of Life Soup was, of course, not edible. But it was the process of each person making choices that mattered more: what life ‘flavor’ to pick, what issues seemed pertinent, what literary language resonated, etc. It was also interesting to be the artist and observe the process. I watched “happy” quickly run out, and “wealthy” almost remain in full stock. Most of the life tips were about staying true to oneself.
It was also interesting to be the artist and observe the process: “happy” quickly ran out; most of the life tips were about staying true to oneself.