Consume, a project of SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics), investigates the world’s systems of food production, distribution, consumption and waste. Consume will be exhibited concurrently with ECOAESTHETIC: The Tragedy of Beauty.

With fuel prices fluctuating and climate change causing monumental shifts in weather patterns, we have been forced to rethink our methods of food production and distribution. Natural disasters have wiped out entire crop cycles (the rice supply in Burma and the wheat harvest in Australia) and experts are saying that a global food shortage is imminent. The prices for wheat, corn, rice and other grains have steadily increased since 2005, causing food riots and hoarding from Morocco to Yemen to Hong Kong. The New York Times recently reported an estimate that Americans waste 27% of the food available for consumption. What are some possible solutions to these mammoth problems?

As more people change their habits, and as the government ratifies new regulations, we can make significant progress in the fight for food. The American public has shown awareness that the industrial-food system is deeply flawed. Expanded recycling and composting programs – as well as the growing local, organic and free-range movements – are indicative of a profound shift in the way we think about food. Consume will also include a series of public talks, screenings and workshops that confront and take up diverse food-related issues.

Curated by Papo Colo, Jeanette Ingberman, Lauren Rosati and Herb Tam.

Prayas Abhinav (India); Elizabeth Demaray (USA); Jon Feinstein (USA); Jordan Geiger / Ga-Ga and Virginia San Fratello / Rael-San Fratello Architects (USA); Sara Heitlinger and Franc Purg (UK/Slovenia); Manny Howard (USA); Miwa Koizumi (USA); Tamara Kostianovsky (USA); Robin Lasser (USA); Lenore Malen (USA); Mark Lawrence Stafford (USA); Laurie Sumiye (USA); Andreas Templin (Germany); and Uli Westphal (Germany)


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 / 7-9pm
Raw Food Demonstration and Tasting: $15

Seema Shah – chef, health coach and chocolatier – will demonstrate how to prepare three local, seasonal and healthy raw food dishes for summer. She will also talk about her experiences with community supported agriculture and show us how to make more environmentally informed decisions about what we eat. On the menu: Fresh Mojito Cocktails, Colorful Kale Salad, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Cash bar. To learn more about Shah, visit

Artist talk with Elizabeth Demaray

Demaray, an artist in CONSUME, will discuss her project Corpor Esruit, or we all deserve a break today, for which 500 ants are fed McDonald’s Happy Meals for the duration of the exhibition. She will be joined by Dr. Christine Johnson, Scientific Assistant at the American Museum of Natural History, NY, who will explain her research on ant behavior and socialization.

THURSDAY, JULY 22 / 7-9pm
Media That Matters presents GOOD FOOD, a collection of short films and animations about food and sustainability. Q and A to follow with filmmakers and representatives of Media That Matters. $5 suggested donation. Cash bar.

TUESDAY, JULY 27 / 7-9pm
SEA Poetry Series, No. 4 with James Sherry, and featuring The Canary Project
SEA Poetry Series conceived and organized by E.J. McAdams, poet and Associate Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, New York City. $5. Cash bar. Q and A to follow.

James Sherry is a poet, and the publisher of Roof Books, which has published over 100 titles of contemporary poetry and criticis. In the late 1970s, he founded the Segue Foundation, began publishing the poetry journalRoof, and distributed the critical journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, two of the early seminal publications of the Language poetry movement. His interest in environmental poetics is explored in his new book of poetry,Sorry.

The Canary Project (Susannah Sayler and Ed Morris) was founded in 2006 to produce visual media, events, and artwork that build public understanding of human-induced climate change and energize commitment to solutions.

THURSDAY, JULY 29 / 7-9pm
Community Food Access with presentations and screenings by Just Food, Center for Urban Pedagogy, and Green My Bodega. Featuring information on CSA’s, food justice, and increasing access to healthy food in underserved areas. $5 suggested donation. Cash bar.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24 / 7-9pm
SEA Poetry Series, No. 5 with Julie Patton
SEA Poetry Series conceived and organized by E.J. McAdams, poet and Associate Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, New York City. $5. Cash bar.

Julie Ezelle Patton is the New York-based author of Using Blue To Get Black, Notes for Some (Nominally) Awake, and A Garden Per Verse (or What Else do You Expect from Dirt?). Julie’s work has appeared in ((eco (lang)(uage(reader)), Critiphoria, and nocturnes. “Room for Opal,” a sound/text installation that Julie created as a Green Horizons Fellow at Bates College, is lovingly explored in Jonathan Skinner’s “Listening with Patton” (ON: Contemporary Practice, 2008). Julie’s performance work, featured at the Stone, Jazz Standard, and noted international venues, emphasizes improvisation, collaboration, and other worldy chora-graphs. She has shape-shifted into a cat-witch for Sop Doll: A Jack Tale Noh (written by Lee Ann Brown and Tony Torn), Desdemona in Othello Syndrome (Uri Caine’s 2009 Grammy nominated CD), a ring-tone (Ravi Coltrane’s At Night), and “Onyx Blackly’s” voice of doom for Barnaby McAll’s Triplum. Julie’s work reflects her practice as a native plant and green space advocate (“Let It Bee Gardens,” “Rockefeller Park Project,” “Poet Tree Mitigation Works”), market gardener (“Sun Raw”) and eco/arts educator (“Old School”). Julie is a recipient of an Acadia Arts Foundation Grant (2008), and a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship (2007). Julie has taught at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art, Naropa, Teachers & Writers Collaborative and Schule fur Dichtung (Vienna, Austria).


SEA is a unique endeavor that presents a diverse multimedia exhibition program and permanent archive of artworks that address social and environmental concerns. SEA will assemble artists, activists, scientists and scholars to address environmental issues through presentations of visual art, performances, panels and lecture series that will communicate international activities concerning environmental and social activism. SEA will occupy a permanent space in Exit Underground, a 3000 square-foot, multi-media performance, film and exhibition venue underneath Exit Art’s main gallery space. The SEA archive will be a permanent archive of information, images and videos that will be a continuous source for upcoming exhibitions and projects. Central to SEA’s mission is to provide a vehicle through which the public can be made aware of socially- and environmentally-engaged work, and to provide a forum for collaboration between artists, scientists, activists, scholars and the public. SE A functions as an initiative where individuals can join together in dialogue about issues that affect our daily lives.

General exhibition support provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; Exit Art’s Board of Directors and our members.