“Taste: Cultivar” – Root Division
San Francisco, CA


Sugar (Arbor Vitae)’ is comprised of recycled or ‘refined’ materials; salvaged digital audio technology, dirt and refined sugar. Deliberate use of the floor and ceiling bring awareness to the body, while the visceral quality of the materials brings awareness to the senses. My curiosities with Sugar lie in the meaning of ‘processing’ and our modern societies obsession with the food substance. Sugar is singularly one of the most used food stuffs within our modern life, aside from corn and fat.

…click the orange box to activate and de-activate the sugar refinery sounds coming from the upper, white, sugar-encrusted speakers…

From the earth up by the use of dirt (the heartbeat), nature’s way of recycling, we tend to manipulate our raw materials, push them through a process of refining which is induced by our need to feed the masses and expand ‘shelf-life.’ We often find ourselves oscillating between enjoyment and detriment of this modern protocol. Short-term benefits include cheaper food and a wider variety of goods. Yet the impact on our bodies, minds and smaller local communities (namely farmers and food producers) take the hit in the long run.

sugar-encrusted speaker cone

sugar-encrusted speaker wire

…the sugar-encrusted speakers branched upwards emanating sounds of a sugar refinary plant…

…as the speakers came down towards the earth, they began to blend with organic compost/dirt, getting larger in size (like the trunk of a tree) and began emanating the sound of a heartbeat…

The morphing between the rhythm of the heartbeat, in conjunction with the dirt-encrusted speakers (the organic) into the mechanical noises of a sugar refinery as the piece ascends upward (the inorganic): a different heartbeat that has risen way above our heads, above our grasp of control, explores a metaphor for our modern version of the ‘Tree of Life.’