Cook Book/Look Book
A calendar of recipes illustrated by an artist collective. This year's cycle includes Melisa Gerecci, Yvette Molina, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Monifa Kincaid, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Marlene Ellis, Sophie Ziner, Aurora Diaz, Lisa van Croft, and Natalie Moreno.
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Our project celebrates the quiet potency of recipes and calendars: practical tools for household care. As picture books, calendars are portable storytellers. As art galleries, calendars rotate displays through the year in our home or work spaces, merging with the household as we annotate them with personal notes. Users rotate them in private, but also with anyone else flipping a page at month's end.
The pace of turning pages over the year shows us an overview of the present, future, and past. Time becomes an ingredient.
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Each artist designs one calendar month to tell a story through food and invites two others to join. Then we compile the images into a 12-month calendar for printing. Each month will be graphically unique. The final product, with its diverse chapters, will be unified as one calendar. The eclectic nature of contributions makes the project accessible and broadly relevant, inspiring users to recall their own food stories and storytelling in a beautifully imperfect way. It's a book with multiple narratives, telling a shared story of creative nourishment.
Together, we have deep local and global distribution networks. Our recipes and food stories reflect how we are part of many places, multiples of belonging and displacement, and our overlap in Newark artists’ community. We will mail and deliver the calendar/cookbooks to our communities near and far.
Re-layer pics! TAP!
Our organizing concept is rooted in note-passing, album-making/scrap-booking/mix-tape-curating, chain-letter culture of the 1970s-90s. Its analog origins imbue the project with the intimacy of a personal invitation.
At the same time, it draws from the possibilities of the early internet: to reach out and connect with someone new or far away. Accordingly, Cook Book/Look Book Calendar Project folds the best elements of digital connectivity into analog exchange.
It lets us grow our connections organically, in a human-centered, woman-driven manner of our own making. It respects time. It reclaims technological potential from algorithms, restoring the hopeful possibility of early internet culture. It's as private or as public as we desire it to be.
In the future, the 2023/24 participants may be invited to return or may take on different roles. Our collective is structured to live beyond its original creators and be self-sustaining.
It faces the future, using memory and emotion—enhanced by smell, taste, and feel—to carry parts of the past forward. Cook Book/Look Book is an open, living archive, chronicling lived experience in a record of our own making.
Pull em apart
Push em together!