INDUSTRIAL PARK LIVE DINING by Nicole Fournier
The Canada Council for Arts
Canadian Wildlife Federation / Federation canadienne de la faune
INDUSTRIAL PARK LIVE DINING is the research, development and creation of applying LIVE DINING in an industrial park, in the Burroughs of Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC. Industrial Live Dining is an expansion of the Live Dining concept, which includes ecosystem development, and the creation of multiple Live Dining spaces within a polyculture context of wild and cultivated plants, co-designing the Live Dining landscape with employees, creative participation of employees in an expansion upon the Live Dining concept.
LIVE DINING is a planting, harvesting, preparing, composting, cooking, dining PERFORMANCE, a CONCEPT, with "Live Dining-Room Kitchen" installation, CHANGING, ADAPTING & EVOLVING with different contexts. Bringing and/or VALIDATING "wild" plants, polyculture agriculture, foraging in needed places, to address issues related to food, medicine, culture, non-monetary exchange, in contexts of diversity of people, plants, wilderness, domestication & community. http://livedining.blogspot.com/
LIVE DINING is about planting wild and cultivated plants, and setting up chairs and tables for people to commune within the plant environment. LIVE DINING is meant to engage people to connect to plant life in an individual and or collective way, as well, LIVE DINING is about greening an area of land with diversity of plants (essential for biodiversity related to preventive human and environmental health issues), and provides a place that welcomes people to sit and be amongt this biodiversity, as a way to bring people in direct contact with plant life and other people. The importance of plant biodiversity includes non-edible plants to the edible plant system, for ecosystem maintenance, for greening spaces, for human global food security, all of this environmental knowledge, informs and underlie the Live Dining concept.
LIVE DINING is a collective and relational performance, which includes digging, sowing, planting, harvesting, preparing, cooking, dining. While not all LIVE DINING creations have included collective planting or cooking, the cooking part has been made into a schedualed 2-3 hour dining event, as a way to celebrate the creation of this green space for people, plant biodiversity and ecosystem development.
LIVE DINING is a concept that is site specific & adaptable to different contexts. It involves promoting diversity with polyculture agriculture of indegeous wild plants and cultivated plants, to address interconnections between the sources of our food, daily acts of food preparation, non-monetary exchange, the importance of biodiversity to the planet and food security, people & plants, domestication, environment, wildness & community.
Each person’s presence is part of the verbal and non-verbal exchanges. The public is invited to participate, whether they perform one action, all actions, or none. The result has been with past LIVE DINING, a connecting between the people involved in a LIVE DINING performance, which results in a sense of temporary community, and has led to more permanent communities.
INDUSTRIAL PARK LIVE DINING, will involve restauration - the seeding and planting of indigenous wild plants, but also the conservation of existing wild plants that have been found on the site, this includes a small woods "boisée" that homes mammals such as fox, rabbit, squirrels and voles. Therefore the setting of LIVE DINING will be PERMANENT, more than a season, with the plan for ecosystem development over several years or hopefully decades. To date the settings of past LIVE DINING have been seasonnal and impermanent.
A CO-CREATIVE PROJECT BETWEEN NICOLE FOURNIER and EMPLOYEES OF THE COMPANY
INDUSTRIAL PARK PROJECT, LIVE DINING will be a co-created with and for the employees of the company-landowners. This project is seen by the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a possible prototype for other companies in the industrial park to follow.
Former contexts or settings for LIVE DINING have always been impermanent: A Parking lot (Visualeyez2007 performance festival, Edmonton, Alberta), a vacant lot, a constructed elevated urban agriculture space (articule, Montreal), an existing community or collective garden, suburban backyards a cement courtyard (Sardinia, Italy), a roof top, and a field.
Ideas in LIVE DINING concept
In environmental thought, there is this of idea of interconnectedness in the philosophy of Deep Ecology, but there is no creative or artistic re-imagining of solutions or approaches to bring the public to experiencing this interconnectedness in human environment. It seems you have to go into the wild, but when you do, you destroy the wild. Wilderness is to be preserved and people kept out of it. Civilization is about control, controlling, managing, designing every aspect of human made environments, including plant and tree growth, and measuring, and monitoring scientifically with our inventions in technology, all aspects of human-environment relationships. There is no wildness left (hardly) in the city. This controlling behavior has caused a great diminishment in global biodiversity, of all species, which more and more has been linked to disease (new super viruses) and global warming. This, in the plant world, can be a metaphor for human relations in the social, economic and political arena, in connection to how we control and create norms in public space. My performance work research has involved and continues to involve, being aware of the context of the performance and either creating spaces for contexts or bringing or validating contexts of the mix of wildness and controlled growth of plants, to talk about the balance between wild and controlled behavior
Idea of “planting” wildness.
This means leaving lots of room for planting indigenous plants, or leaving “free space” room for them to take seed. I want to put more emphasis on leaving uncontrolled space for Wild Plants, because greening of cities is normally about using cultivated and planned controlled design of planting.
PERMANENT DIVERSE PLANTS for the INDUSTRIAL PARK project is also about creating a long term self-perpetuating edible and non-edible context, to encourage a long term natural ecosystem development. Long term development, happens with wild plants and cultivated plants that come back every year (perennials).This allow for health and an increase in biodiversity as the plants interconnect and mutually support each other, and invite insects, birds & other wild plants to live in an industrial park.
Summer heat waves and the industrial park context
The INDUSTRIAL PARK site is one of the most needed places for wilderness and biodiversity.
What is today the Saint-Laurent industrial park, in the mid 1970’s, was farmland and small forests. I went to a conference on February 19th, 2008, organized by the Conseil regional en environnement de Montreal CREML, about strategies for greening cities, which included discussion of the urban heat island effect created by cities all over the world, that contribute to global warming. The Industrial parks of Montreal are one of the major sources of increase in temperature in cities connected to global warming. Industrial parks are the one of the heat islands in cities.