Cathy Lane - .​.​.​the pickle jar is her home

from by verdure engraved



…The pickle jar is her home …

Is a multi-faceted exploration of food as a material, a commodity and as a sounding substance. It explores the many relationships between food and sound from their intrinsic ephemerality to the metaphors that tie them as materials to be processed and transformed – mixed, chopped, cut and blended.

…The pickle jar is her home … uses sound recordings from the UK and India, of food being prepared and cooked; of the places where food is grown and sold; of people and companies selling food and food products and of people talking about food that reminds them of home and childhood and foods that they like to cook and how to prepare them.

The research for this piece into personal and global food culture included looking into how food, spices and materials have been and are still central to colonialism and how political exchanges have influenced food, food preparation and taste. This seems particularly pertinent in India where battles between small producers and agribusiness which have, by and large, been long lost in Western Europe, are very much current and where strong regional food cultures seem to still be holding up against and possibly enriched by cultural invasions from Europe and the US. I am also interested in people's emotional investment in food - as a carrier of memory and of ideas of "home".

This work was made using 'Deja Vu', a bespoke software program designed in collaboration with Oliver Bown for matching sonically similar sonic textures or pitch shapes regardless of context, subject or origin.

Thanks to all the interview participants, Srishti College of Art, Bangalore, London College of Communication, Sujata and Anurag at Rainforest Retreat and Margie Medlin who now has a more conventional home.


from 2017 (1), released February 13, 2017
Cathy is Professor of Sound Arts and University of the Arts London and co-director of CRiSAP (Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice), University of the Arts London.



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