In the Beginning There was a Box

A Video-based Workshop Led by Sara Rodrigues

In the Beginning There was a Box is a video-based workshop led by interdisciplinary artist Sara Rodrigues. Through her thought-provoking narrative, Sara invites us to create a food-growing box to grow food and think through problems around land ownership, food production and trade. The workshop marks the beginning of the long-term research project Fungi Initiative's second edition Myriads of Things initiated by collective Transparent Domain to reflect upon a complex web of relationships that we are all entangled in.

Through In the Beginning There was a Box, we would like to invite you to reflect upon our behaviour as animals, consumers and humans and questions how we can move forward together for a more regenerating future.

To create your own food-growing box, you will need the following materials:

  • 2 cardboard boxes of the same size

  • natural earth pigments and guar gum

  • 1 or more brushes

  • 1 ruler

  • leaves, twigs or/and dry grass nutrient-rich soil or compost

  • seeds and/or leftover vegetables

1. 

Ask in a local shop for disused cardboard boxes. You will need two boxes the same size. Make sure to select a box with an appropriate size for the space you have at home. Sellotape the cardboard back together on one side. Cut the folding slaps, to obtain a clean-cut square top. Use the extra cardboard to fortify the bottom of each box. Around 50% of the food that is consumed in the UK is produced at home, 50% is imported. Each box represents half of the food consumed. 

Start with one box which will refer to the home produce.In order to paint the box respectively, search google earth. Find the nearest agricultural land to your home. Notice the size, pattern and colour. Select natural earth pigments to match the colours of the land. Mix them with guar gum and water, to make a paint that is not toxic to the soil.

2. 

If you don’t have access to local soil or compost, you will have to buy some. Forage in your nearest local park or green area, for fallen branches, twigs, leaves and cut grass. This should be enough to fill more than half of your box, which will slowly decompose to mulch. The top layer should be filled with soil.

3. 

Look around your kitchen for potential seeds or leftover vegetables, which could be grown in this country outside. Select a combination of three for companion planting. Space them in the soil of your home produce box.

4. 

The box with produce from abroad should be painted all in one colour. Repeat the process above until it’s ready for the seeds or left-over vegetables to be planted. Look in the kitchen for imported produce inspiration and a combination of three that benefit each other. After planting water the boxes, make sure to select a place for the imported produce box with plenty of sunlight and warmth. The home produce box will be able to endure less sun or partial shade. 

5. 

6. 

Water every other day and enjoy seeing them grow.

Sara Rodrigues is an interdisciplinary artist with a research-led practice working in audiovisual composition and performance. Engaging with the various senses, her work is often participatory and open ended. By exploring the interconnectedness of humans with their ecosystems, both micro and macro, she is interested in possible forms of autonomy, resilience and regeneration. 

© 2020 TRANSPARENT DOMAIN

Email: dear.transparent@gmail.com​