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A project developed during the

Meet Factory Food Studio Residency


​CO2 can be viewed as a waste product, created as a result of a necessary exchange when we expel the air from our lungs and also when gas is released during fermentation. It is also an indication of transformation, as the old is processed in order to make something new. With Collective Sigh, I am proposing that we view these exhales as signs of life and byproducts of resilience during transformative moments in time.

Final installation with sauerkraut vessels, sauerkraut, pickles, sculpture, sound piece.

While in residence at the Meet Factory, I invited people to make pickles, sauerkraut, and other preserved food while reflecting on thoughts and actions that have sustained them through the past year of lockdowns and isolation. With a series of written sound prompts, I encouraged deep breathing and play. 

 The responses were then recorded and compiled into an audio piece. I am exploring the idea of a collective exhale which frames both the action of sighing and the process of fermentation as methods of resilience. The final installation housed pickles, sauerkraut, sculptures, and the sound piece.

Collective Sigh (Project Summary Video)

sauerkraut - sound prompts - pickles



Sauerkraut making with open studio visitors 6.29.21

Fermentation as a process of resilience:

With controlled rot, perishable matter is given extended life through a chemical transformation facilitated by bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms. The CO2 emitted during this process is an indication of decay, but also of continued life. This bubbling and release of built up gas is an expression of hope, a sign of transformation. Fermentation is also used as a way to preserve food in periods of abundance. We fortify ourselves to meet times of scarcity with preparation and resilience. In the Meet Factory studio, viewers are invited to chop and prepare cabbage and deposit it in a large, traditional fermenting crock.

The sauerkraut (known to be beneficial to the immune system) will ferment throughout the duration of the exhibition and my residency time. I will monitor the fermenting, acting as a facilitator for this collective crock. During the cabbage preparation time, viewers will also be asked to reflect on thoughts, words, and actions that have sustained them through difficult times (specifically this past year) and record them on labels. These labels will eventually go onto the jars of finished sauerkraut and viewers are invited to return to the Open Studios event on August 12 and take a jar of the final product.


Traditional, ceramic, waterlock, fermentation vessel and ingredients for cabbage fermentation to make sauerkraut.



Sighing as a process of resilience:


The release of CO2 from our lungs is a sign of life. It is necessary for survival but can also be therapeutic depending on the speed and depth of the exhale. Expressive sighs, cries, and frustrated outward breaths signal inner turmoil and angst.

They are also important first steps of healing as we acknowledge and accept. I have compiled a booklet of words and phrases that  prompt viewers to make sounds that require the movement of air. Some of the sound prompts require deep inhales while others ask for percussive exhales or longer sighs of air.

00:00 / 07:19

Audio excerpt from final installation. 

During the recent global health crisis, we have developed a hyper awareness of the release of breath and exchange of air. We must hold our breath during a time when, as a society, we so desperately need to sigh together. During my residency, I invited people to consider the movement of air in and out of their bodies.

With a series of written sound prompts, I encouraged deep breathing and play and then recorded and compiled these sounds into an audio piece. I am exploring the idea of a collective exhale which frames the action of sighing as a method of resilience.




A special pickle back shot comprised of whiskey and brine from homemade pickles was served at Meet Factory's "Soiree", an open studios event. The artists in residence made pickles to accompany the shots.


Meet Factory's "Soiree", an open studios event 12.8.2021

The piece came together as final installation of sculptures, jars of pickles, sound piece, signage, sound prompt booklet and fermentation jars. Sauerkraut from the first open studio event where visitors participated in the process was packaged in jars for the taking. 

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