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NeoRio 2013: The Ice Cream Olympics

The Ice Cream Olympics playfully explores bio-cultural diversity one scoop at a time with workshops, educational program, 'open lab' learning and a fun event.

NeoRio 2013: The Ice Cream Olympics -

Intimate Ecologies: Tastes of the Monument

Hi my name's Anita and I am delighted to be working with LEAP (a program of Locology) and BLM Taos Field Office, NM to co-produce an art project that's been churning around for 3 years - The Ice Cream Olympics.

What better way to explore a local ecology and sustainability than through the making and eating of ice cream?

The Ice Cream Olympics is a participatory field day, a fun and accessible way to explore bio-cultural diversity one scoop at a time!

Each field game is devised to enable full participation from a team while facilitating the churning of the ice cream and their final flavors using Ice Cream balls. Showing people how easy it can be to make ice cream and challenge the conventional use of local ingredients through the art of the re-mix is our aim. Each game will be punctuated by tasting opportunities and vote casting on flavors, by a panel of local experts, as well as a people’s choice.

Through a series of free workshops, educational programs, 'open lab' learning and the final fun event we will playfully engage people with the abundance that is in New Mexico, whether locally produced or wild through a fun, yet meaningful way to share and experiment with local knowledge, food and bio-cultural traditions. Being in control of what you eat and knowing where to get affordable healthy food, or even how to grow your own easily, are all aspects of the project.

So with a bit of shake, rattle and roll, some dribbling and maybe an obstacle course or two, we hope to create some unique combinations and Tastes of the Monument.

Help us keep the balls rolling!

What is the Ice Cream Olympics..... details details details

The Event: A participatory performance that takes the form of a field day, with a number of games using ice cream balls, a fun safe active way to make ice cream.

All the games and related educational activities have been devised to engage with local sustainable and nutritional issues as wells as develop student centered curriculum aligned resources that relate to a localised open source food ecology. 

All participating teams will get souvenirs of the event with special prizes awarded for  best team name, the People’s Choice, and the ‘Olympic Gold’, awarded not for the fastest or most athletic but  most tasty, creative combination of local ingredients. It is hoped that is hoped that some new Tastes of the Monument will be created as well as the Olympic Gold - a unique flavor only available in Taos County.

But no Olympics is possible without training!

And NO Olympian reaches gold with out years of dedication and training..... Well we don't have that long but we are making a start.

Developed through an artists' residency, Intimate Ecologies: Tastes of the Monument, in the newly designated Rio Grande Del Norte (RGDN) National Monument the residency serves as a platform to promote the project as well as initiate a related education program; a series of workshops, open labs and educational hikes.

This process serves as a means to explore, reveal and re-mix the (agri) cultural food traditions of Taos County while promoting local, wild and grown ingredients. Also to show people how easy it can be to make ice cream and challenge the conventional use of local ingredients.

During the months of the residency participants will devise games and flavors (with locally grown, produced and wild ingredients, through workshops and play. Participants can also take part in educational hikes and discussions to consider related issues as well as co-develop solutions.

The Olympic event will take place Sept. 28, 2013 at the RGDN Wild Rivers Area, near Questa in Northern New Mexico. For a virtual visit, click here.  But the education program continues until Dec 2013 and we hope the legacies will last long after the project is over.

Long term we aim to create a licensing deal, developing the Olympic Gold flavour commerically providing income for the winner, a local producer and a sustainable funding stream for LEAP's art / education projects. 

Will you help us go from Monument to Legacy?

We are seeking $3650 to expand the education program to support:
  • Getting more of those local experts; the artists, educators and ecologists involved to co-create with local young people, student centred, curriculum aligned resources that engage with the intimate ecology of the natural world and the local agri / bio cultural traditions that have arisen from it.
  • and we want to do this with educational hikes, workshops and a youth produced digital archive and online radio program documenting the local (agri) cultural practices old and new of Taos County -  a vehicle for real world place-based learning.

So who wants to talk about food sovereignty and security or the environment?   Boring, Scary or rather not know?

How about ice Cream, playing games, foraging and sourcing local! 

The archive, website and analogue materials will also help share local knowledge that many have forgotten. There are still elders in New Mexico with a wealth of ‘old school’ local knowledge that is important and useful for adults and children alike. With public support  the knowledge that already exists locally can be utilised to create an educational program that is place-based and relevant to the needs of the area yet deeply connected to global concerns.

Good News: We are already underway and have heaps of volunteer hours and support   including event management and production - LEAP and BLM sponsorship e.g. event location, staff support and resources.

So we're asking YOU to help US create a legacy!

and importantly..... just to say THANK YOU

We've created some unique perks we hope you'll enjoy as a thank you for supporting us - we also hope you'll get a warm fuzzy glow from supporting the project.  

Download examples of the perks from the here.

Flexible Funding - We've chosen this model as we want to do something rather than nothing and have developed the education program as scalable.

So we can commit to activities as soon as support starts registering and as LEAP, a direct program of Locology, a 501 (3) c means all US donations are tax deductible.

Of course, overfunding is allowed, in fact highly encouraged and will enable the project and it's legacies to evolve even more.

Who am I and why am I doing this?

A public artist by desire (& education) I'm interested in the move away from monumental artworks towards legacies by encouraging local 'experts' (all residents in a location) to share their knowledge in new ways for the benefit of the location. With the designation of the RGDN national Monument and the artists' residency this seemed like a perfect opportunity to produce The Ice Cream Olympics, a project which focuses on a whole system that already exists and how it can be maximised sustainably.

Evolved from Robin Salant’s Exquisite Ice project 2009, The Ice Cream Olympics becomes a vehicle to share knowledge, available to be remixed or in this case churned to create new and re-imagined information.  Exquisite Ice, spun from the Surrealist’s game Exquisite Corpse, invited members of a given community  to use Ice Cream balls to produce gelato together, while exchanging stories of their personal food or flavor history. Robin visited me in Taos, (2010) where we went to the Taos Archaeological Society Potluck, armed with an ice cream ball and the ingredients to make Green Chile and Piñon ice cream.

On return to London, 2011 I re-imagined the potluck event into ‘The Ice Cream Olympics’ idea and ran it by Robin as a collaborative project to co-develop.  We have been looking for the opportunity to make it happen ever since – and here it is!

During the 3 years I have been coming to Taos I've become increasingly aware of the local food issues, with New Mexico recently ranked 50th out of 50 for food insecurity. In the 4th year of a drought and employment issues it seems there's a great opportunity to re-consider a different way of doing things.

The Ice Cream Olympics has been developed to encourage that conversation while exploring tangible solutions that come from the local. Through raising awareness of what's available locally and incorporating these ingredients into local food culture the opportunity to address food sovereignty and security arises...... hopefully without putting people to sleep!

The Ice Cream Olympics wants to playfully engage people with the abundance that is in New Mexico, whether locally produced or wild and is a fun yet meaningful way to share local knowledge, food and bio-cultural traditions. The project aspires to be a catalyst building and consolidating and existing network to share the information gathered, in new ways.

But its not all about money - There are many ways to help.

Spreading the word is priceless and includes you in the ecosystem of the project, we appreciate your time and energy promoting the project within your networks.

Indiegogo offers some useful sharing tools, whether pasting the url into an email  to a few of your friends or using your own social networks.  Don't forget offline tools!


Looking towards a more sustainable future we need to expand our concept of currency, with time and materials as well as expert advice equally important. So if you are a business, cafe, restaurant or local producer and want to partner in the project - please get in touch!

Finally the risks....... yep there are some but we think we have them covered!

We have consulted NM Environment dept to insure the project aligns with standard guidelines for health and safety and we also have BLM Ethno-botanists on board to insure safety when it comes to wild / foraged ingredients.

The Olympic Event: This will be stewarded by a briefed team including health professionals and BLM staff.

Bad Weather: We have a 'Plan B' bad weather version.

Participation: Pre-registration, workshops and profile raising events will encourage participation and only pre-registered participants can with The Olympic Gold - Taste of the Monument award.

So that's the long and the short of it........

We hope you'll become a part of the project's ecosystem by supporting us whether donating or spreading the word - this is just as important as anyone here on the ground!

                      

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