Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Food Just A Mirage in the Food Desert?

"Division to Badger Street"

On my journey through the Appleton Food Desert, I decided to focus on color. More specifically, I decided to focus on the idea that good nutrients and antioxidants are found in foods that contain a lot of color. I figured since there is not a lot of healthy food available in the food desert, there would not be a lot of colorful foods in my tract of the desert. So, what I decided to capture on my journey was pictures or advertisements of food in restaurants or stores that portrayed the food they sell as very colorful. This was my "event score," as mentioned in the article "Auto-Maticity," by Margaret Iverson, that dictated what my journey would focus on.What I found was a lot of colorful posters, pictures of fake fruits, and allusions to animals or wildlife. I didn't just want to capture the boring streets of College Avenue, so the challenge that I gave myself made it really fun.

In my video, I inserted a couple of these images of "color in the desert," but I wanted to focus also on the actual food that I ended up buying. I wanted to give the impression in the video that it was hard to find healthy food in the desert...because it was! Instead of documenting myself eating the food, I made a more abstract version of the journey by including some of the food that I bought in the video, portraying it as a sort of illusion or mirage. I was trying to expand on the idea of the "Journey Form" that Nicolas Bourriaud talks about in "The Radicant." Specifically I liked the quote that he mentions by Victor Segalen: "My journey is (...) a confrontation, in the field, between the imaginary and the real," because my video focuses on the idea of mirage. On my journey I encountered many mirages of healthy food: pictures of fruits and animals that made it seem as though there was a plethora of color surrounding me. But when it came down to it, finding actual healthy food was difficult, just like a real journey through a real desert.


  1. I think College Ave has a lot of color, but not a lot of fresh color when it comes to food. It did seem like sort of a mirage to me after walking down College Ave, that there was all this food, but places were closed and or the food wasn't healthy. I feel you did a really good job of portraying the mirage aspect, especially with the floating fork with a date on it.

  2. Setting up instructions or rules for yourself as you navigated the Appleton food desert made issues emerge such as the colorful food posters being like a mirage. That the fresh healthy food isn't there and often instead overly packaged, overly processed. Trippy way to point toward an issue.