Fallen Fruit: Art, Sustainability, and Food
“What we’re excited about is not just the offshoot conversations about public space and sustainability and carbon footprints, but it’s also the fact that one of the things we love to do is make jam with people we don’t know.”
Such is the sentiment of David Burns and his fellow artists Austin Young and Matias Viegener. The three Silverlake artists are the cofounders of Fallen Fruit, an LA-based art collective that combines and preserves fruit, art, and sustainability. The group was founded in 2004 with an initial intention to survey fruit growing in public spaces, “or on the perimeter,” as it is commonly referred to by the artists. The idea was to gather information and “fallen fruit” that had met its end on the public sidewalks, alleyways, and streets beyond the walls and yards of private property.
Think, had you ever wondered about the fate of the grapefruit, lemons, or oranges that hang upon the overburdened branches of your neighbor’s tree? More than likely you have contemplated picking the delicacies that dangle beyond the reaches of private space. For Young, Viegener, and Burns, these concerns have grown into a large scale art and sustainability collective.
Their art group and collaboration is not a nonprofit. Rather, it is an art work continuously in motion. Events such as public jam-making sessions at galleries (and by jam we mean the spread, not an improvisational music collaborative), a South American residency to study fruit farming, and interactive art exhibits at Los Angeles museums. Fallen Fruit’s latest endeavor is a series of events to be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) over a nine month time span. The ongoing event, known as “Eat LACMA,” is open to the public. The events encourage a return to the fundamental principles of sustainable food and gardening, while encouraging an exploration of food itself. Specifically, there will be tree adoptions, lectures, tours, gardens, and food installations curated by local artists. Tree giveaways sponsored by Fallen Fruit have distributed 300 fruit trees to any person willing to plant it and care for it in a public space. These peach, apple, nectarine, plum, and tangerine trees will be planted on the edge of property borderlines so that the branches can hang into public space and will thus provide easy access for a legally shared, community-wide resource.
There are numerous events, each with its own focus on food in its relation to culture, as well as the growing connection to sustainability. In March, several artists will curate different gardens at LACMA that will eventually be used for events that will harvest and share the different products grown. To find out more about the art group and its related events explore the links below.