Week 3: Potatograms
As a continuation of the ongoing project “AT THE TABLE, IS WHERE WE MEET”, week three explores the different ways in which food has been used to communicate. As a sterile example of a capitalist, American tradition, “candygrams” are boxes of candy and chocolate sent to a recipient with a telegram or message attached. It was a way to say “I love you, I miss you, I’m thinking of you”. How sweet, literally.
Due to postal suspensions and increase in shipping times as a result of COVID-19, sending any sort of food long-distance is a dodgy endeavour. Despite this, sharing food remains one of the most nourishing, thoughtful gifts. As a sort of middleman, Olivia Mossuto has and will continue to mitigate links between artists and audience. Artists have had the opportunity to send a message to someone in Olivia’s surrounding community, as a sort of secret pen pal and transient artwork. The “telegrams” are attached to a small box filled with potatoes for the recipient to either cook or plant. The telegrams are completely free for both the artist and audience involved. Artists may not receive a response, but the existence of a telegram, means the existence of a potatogram. Potatoes will not be given out without telegrams. Put simply, the project lives thanks to artist initiative.
- The harvest of sugar and chocolate have horrific histories tied to colonial rule and slavery, and it is still very difficult to ethically source sweets today.
- Potatoes are a comedic, sad tuber, but at the same time they have so many possibilities – mash them, boil them, fry them, slice them – everyone loves potatoes in its range of forms.
- Potatoes are not a common allergen – people with celiac, nut allergies, and other dietary restrictions can eat potatoes.
- It is a common staple we take for granted. They may not be as pretty as sweets, but they last long, they nourish, and if they sprout, they can be planted.
- In crisis, potatoes are nutritious! Candy is empty calories.
Participating artists include:
- Holly English
- David Mook
- Stephen Nulty
- Alan Powdrill
- Paul Radocchia
- Claudia Palermo
- Claudia Sambo
- Dani Tagen
Thank you all for your incredibly engaged submissions! Below is the documentation of all telegrams sent and recieved:
The packages left on each doorstep:
For those artists still interested, the project is rolling and I will be accepting submissions indefinitely! Email email@example.com for submission details.
2 thoughts on “Week 3: Potatograms”
Oh my gosh what a fantastic project! I absolutely love it!!!!! well done x
This is so good Olivia! Such beautiful telegrams and the actual potato box is an artwork in itself.