INPUT FIELD FORM #2 by Ursula Endlicher
In my practice I turn code (such as HTML) into material form. By superimposing structural, system-based and interface components from the Internet over processes in
the material world (and vice versa), new perspectives on the "nature" of either world are encountered. In recent years I have been focusing especially on interfaces of
data collection, foremost HTML <input> fields... The project I have started at ChaNorth during the very inspiring "ProcessPark" Residency in April 2018 is called INPUT FIELD FORM #2
and materializes an HTML based Web-form into an agricultural layout for growing plants and serving food, creating edible HTML. The process and growth of the plants has been documented
over time, mostly via drone, which
opened new perspectives on documenting the field (and any kind of event or performance in it) by bringing the INPUT FIELD FORM back into the format of a Webpage.
In INPUT FIELD FORM #2 the HTML form - the online sign-up form on ArtSlant used for collecting data from the artists applying for Process Park - is "freed" from its original function and transcends its usual format to become an agricultural field in the landscape around the ChaNorth's Artist Residency. The INPUT FIELD FORM "garden" is structured by the Web form's functionality, and each agricultural "sub-field" therefore is dedicated to a specific functionality in the online Input Field. Instead of taking data from the "users", it is given back to them in the form of food that has grown inside the installation. The harvested plants and herbs are offered during public sampling tours, and used for a multi-course menu - again relating and inspired by the HTML component - for everyone who helped set up the agricultural fields, as well as participants, facilitators and friends of the residency.
DESIGN / DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE / GUIDED-TOUR SCHEDULE / FIVE-COURSE DINNERS
During my ProcessPark residency in April 2018 the layout of the online artist application form for the residency has been transposed into an agricultural field in the garden area behind the back house of the ChaNorth residency buildings. The INPUT FIELD FORM covers 35ft x 21.5 ft and include 5 vegetable and herb fields measuring 8 ft x 2.75 ft each, and one field measuring 4.5ft x 2.75 ft that will house the grill. Fifteen different vegetables and herbs have been selected based on each online field's functionality, and feature one "main" plant (representing the funcitonality of each field) as well as so-called companion plants, supporting and protecting the growth of each "main" plant. Main plants include "Red Beets" for the Password Field, representing encrypted, hidden information by this root vegetable that grows hidden in the ground, or, for instance, the "Kohlrabi" for the Email Field (the @ symbol bears a visual similarity to the Kohlrabi with its leaves curling around the bulbous stem). And then, there's the grill that will be where the "Submit Button" is located.
The five vegetable and herb fields are set up as raised beds in "Hügelkultur", a composting process built into the beds, consisting of decaying wood, leaves, compost, and top soil to improve soil fertility and water retention, and hay as a cover to protect the seedlings. The walkable areas around the fields were kept as low grass (as found on location) to invite visitors to stroll between the fields. To protect all the plants from being eaten by rabbits and deer a fence was built with chicken wire and wooden rods, including a door on one side.
GROWING TIMELINE / PUBLIC TOURS 2018
Seedlings had sprouted indoors for several weeks and were transferred into the outdoors in the last days of April.
The first leaves came up mid May, and by the end of the month, everything had grown a lot (also the grass between the fields) and the first guiding and sampling tour took place on May 27 (12noon-4pm)!
By late June some veggies and herbs were ready to be harvested and offered for snacks during the guiding and sampling tour at the end of the month, June 30 (12noon-4pm). Among them: Lovage for a refreshing lemon drink, and some dill for a tasty dip! (= Photo left: Close-up of "Confirm Password" Field with rainbow beet accompanied by broccoli, dill & lovage)
Towards the end of July many plants were grown to full fruition (bush beans for instance) and became part of a richer assortment of fresh snacks offered – via the Submit Button – during the INPUT FIELD FORM tour on July 29! Among the new dishes added to the food sample table was also red beet salad.
August (Tour: September 1) 2018
In August veggies grew wild! Only tending the fields once that month the squash plants went out of control and broke out of their Website Login Field. In the Email Field: many Kohlrabis, beautifully serving as the "@" symbols of the plant world! Served raw in thin slices during the tour!
In mid to late September most vegetables were beautifully richly grown and ready for more harvest! The whole field – leafy veggies and the grass in-between – was in full and intense green... Many new dishes could be added for the sampling tour on September 30th: pickled rainbow chard, red beet & chard salad, fresh kohlrabi slices and very tasty celery stems for the dip – all just off the field!
October (Tour: November 3) 2018
The third week of October fall started to move in! Amazingly, many veggies were doing well despite a couple of frosty nights! Dishes offered during the tour included broccoli slaw (so many broccoli leaves! great for the slaw!!), grilled butternut squash (the squash was harvested before the frost and stored and "cured" indoors), and Kombu Celery (pickled with soy, fish flakes and sesame oil) – and of course a proper "Glühwein" cannot be missed that time of year to keep the visitors warm!
INPUT FIELD FORM TOURS were held in conjunction with ChaNorth OPEN STUDIOS of each month's residency artists!
INPUT FIELD FORM DINNERS
>>>INPUT FIELD FORM #2 CHANORTH DINNER
On June 30 2018, a special event, the INPUT FIELD FORM DINNER at ChaNorth took place: right next to the INPUT FIELD FORM #2 installation - the dishes for the five-course-menu were based on and inspired by the functionality and layout of the artist's application form for the Process Park/ChaNorth Residency that artists had to fill out to apply for the residency... dishes for the dinner consisted of a variety of veggies and herbs harvested from the agricultural fields... and prepared as edible HTML.
As an introduction to the dinner the INPUT FIELD FORM TOUR led through the five <input> fields turned agricultural fields... | (Center) Explaining how the @ symbol of an email address field equals the Kohlrabi in a vegetable field...
Some of the harvested vegetables and herbs from the field are used in the kitchen! | Preparing edible HTML | The grill = the Submit Button: instead of taking information from its "users", the visitors receive grilled veggies harvested from the fields in return!
The five course dinner is directly inspired by the functionality of each <input> field and the correspondingly growing vegetables are the basis - and trigger - for the choice of each of the five courses..
Sitting down for the five-course dinner...
...serving dishes into the night.
>>>INPUT FIELD FORM #2 NYC DINNER
On November 14 2018, a second dinner event, the INPUT FIELD FORM #2 NYC DINNER took place. This event was curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley / Public Art Action and hosted by Asher Remy-Toledo / Hypen-Hub in Chelsea. Guests joined a five-course dinner, which again, was inspired/based on the original online INPUT FIELD's functionalities for each of the five fields. The growing season's last harvest right off the fields was used to create the fall-inspired dishes such as Roasted Squash & Kohlrabi Soup and Rabbit Stew!
Preparing for the five-course menu: Prepping Mirepoix for the Rabbit Stew; roasting Butternut Squashes for the soup; on the day of the dinner and with the fabulous help of Amanda and Zoe the rest of the dishes were put together: ingredients diligently cut for the Rainbow Chard and Red Beet vegetable dish; Zoe setting up the plates for the first course, Tiger Eye Bean-Patties with Ancho Chilly Sauce and Kombu Celery.
While the first course was served during the presentation as finger food, guest were given an overview of the project and the principles of edible HTML. The guests learned about the course of the "magical evening of edible HTML" – and its tightly structured schedule that paired five different courses with wine – and conversation that highlighted the relevance of each field's online functionality in the choice of dishes to be served... as well as many other topics on the future of food!
The menu shows the structure of the online INPUT FIELD FORM, its transformation into the layout of the agricultural fields, and the choice of plants for each field, giving answers to each question and/or functionality in the original online form. The five online fields were transposed into a five course menu – from appetizer to dessert – centering each dish around the harvest of each field.
The dinner table set with the the second course for the guests that moved from the loungy presentation area to get seated at the dinner table. Roasted Butternut Squash & Kohlrabi Soup was the third course, followed by Rabbit Stew...
Rabbit Stew with Rainbow Chard & Red Beet Vegetables and CousCous for the forth course. Fifth course: Lemon Lovage Cake with Lemoncello Icecream! Wrapping up with fun conversations – and schnapps....
WRAP-UP AND OPEN SOURCE GARDENING
After this year's growing season (and starting January 2019) INPUT FIELD FORM #2 will stop being INPUT FILED FORM #2 and become a regular garden to be taken over by ChaNorth for their own gardening purposes. INPUT FIELD FORM #2 is built in the spirit of "open source gardening", and passes on its orginial layout to be changed by the next gardener's vision and needs.
This project couldn't have been built without the help of Joel Kuennen, Nora Khan, Brigitta Varadi and Peter Fulop from ChaNorth, and Chashama. Thanks for hands-on help, inspiration, and fun!
Photo credits on this site: Lee G. Day, Adrianne Wortzel, Gaku Tsutaja, Amanda McDonald Crowley, and Ursula Endlicher.
Video credits on this site: Drone camera by Lee G. Day; video editing: Ursula Endlicher
A big thanks for all the preparation and kitchen help for the INPUT FIELD FORM #2 DINNER at ChaNorth goes to Lee, Brigitta and Peter. Thanks to Nicholas Das for playing his musical compositions during the INPUT FIELD FORM #2 DINNER.
A big thanks for all the preparation and hands-on kitchen help for the INPUT FIELD FORM #2 DINNER in NYC goes to Amanda McDonald Crowley, Zoe Allison, and Lee (fantastic Lovage-Lemon Cake!). Many thanks to Asher Remy-Toledo for generously offering his loft space and kitchen for that night!!
Public Art Action
AND EVEN MORE INFO ON INPUT FIELD FORM...
This is the second installation in the INPUT FIELD FORM series. The first one was built in the summer 2017 during Agrikultura in Malmö/Sweden. This is the third project in the edible HTML series.