collaborative projects

still moving moving still

recipes for disaster

pliant history

natural history

processed views

ponder food as love

watch me grow



project notebooks



Recipes for Disaster book
Recipes for Disaster is a 68 page book confronting the climate crisis, as told through risk-laden desserts.

Alarmed by the assault on science-based climate facts, we recorded the toxic conditions that are leading us toward environmental disaster. Scaling down the enormity of critical climate issues into literal, bite-size landscapes, we constructed darkly humorous recipes with accompanying ingredients and instructions. Recipes for Disaster prompts the reader to consider the consequences of what and how we consume.

Recipes for Disaster Images

Vital Signs of the Planet


Vital Signs of the Planet is an installation of 40 paper plates printed with NASA climate data that includes a book stand and table to display the Recipes for Disaster book, along with a stool with printed Earth pillow.

The paper plates are printed with NASA climate data from July of 2019, the hottest month on record for the planet. Despite the overwhelming amount of data supporting the science, this information can be consumed and  conveniently disposed of to maintain our current trajectory of  denial and destructive consumption.

Jell-O from the Future Workshop
To inspire imaginative possibility, shifting the doomsday narratives into potential futures, Ciurej and Lochman designed the Jell-O from the Future workshop. Jell-O’s infinite physical and conceptual manifestations is explored in the service of inspiring new thinking about the future in this collective 2-hour writing and drawing workshop.

Jell-O the popular food product, is so much more — economical, easy to make, versatile and marginally nutritious. Like other American icons, it has become humorous and provocative. From it’s introduction at the beginning of the 20th century, the prescient marketing of Jell-O has reflected America’s changing cultural landscape, molding attitudes around the domestic sphere, the war effort, dieting, nurture and servitude, women’s liberation, and family values. It was at the vanguard, shifting food from simple nourishment to factory fresh entertainment — a steady diet of novelty. Jell-O launched America into an era of industrial food, improving on mother nature: cheap, convenient, just add water and chill.

PART 1: Jell-O Memories (intro and 15-minute writing exercise)
Ciurej and Lochman are interested in exploring the intimate, confectionary relationship most Americans have with this processed food that has insinuated itself into our lives. Americans embrace Jell-O as moldable, jiggly, and for the most part, wholesome fun. A 15-minute writing exercise prompts participants to delve into their past to describe their earliest Jell-O memory. They will describe this memory and discuss their early impressions to underscore what is at play in the formation of food memories.

PART 2: Jell-O Futures (90-minute imagery and inspiration exercise)
Using creative prompts to build stories about future life on the planet, we will introduce exercises employing unexpected connections to inspire imaginative possibility, shifting the doomsday narratives into potential futures that examine both the promise and dangers of technology.

Teams will use cards from The Thing From the Future, a generative storytelling game created by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson, as prompts to sketch fictional objects from the future and build narratives about them. The game is designed to use signals from a distant world to inspire new thinking. Candy calls it “reverse archeology”, leading us to question where today’s excesses, inequalities and errors might be taking us. A collective drawing exercise to picture the worlds the teams created caps the workshop.

Work generated during this workshop will be available for exhibition and may be used in future projects.

images from Jell-O from the Future workshops conducted at Clemson Univesity, South Carolina, and at Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, 2019







© Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman