Created in collaboration with visual artist Mia Rushton, Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor—a project in art and social engagement—brings together elements of craft, performance, and civic participation to create edible art objects made from local vegetation and civic water sources—popsicles! Composed of three primary public actions, Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor includes: a) the finding and collecting of fruits, grasses, flowers, bark, roots and other edible plant life that grows in specific neighbourhoods in a city; b) the processing of these ingredients into community-specific ice pops and; c) the distribution of free naturally flavoured popsicles to participants for consumption via a small mobile popsicle stand. Throughout the highly public and performative process Moschopedis and Rushton are dressed as hybrid park warden/vendors and act as naturalist and huckster, hunter and gatherer.

Through a series of performative gestures Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor responds to the social and geographical context of a city and the distribution of the city’s indigenous and planted flora. By creating a performance for a highly specific and intimate site—the participant’s mouth—this project seeks to reintroduce a discussion about economics, ecology, and place by tasting class difference and geography. What better way to reimagine a city than to cool down on a hot summer day by eating and tasting a popsicle made from flowers found in an affluent community, vegetables located in a derelict garden, or berries sourced along the banks of a river?

A playful, but critically aimed project, Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor considers how discussions of class, ecology, and spatial relations can become of “perennial” concern after thirty years of neoliberal policies that have sought to “uproot” and detoxify the body politic of critical discourse. Our answer to how best create a healthy civic body: eat the city and its’ surroundings! With Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor we question capitalist systems of exchange and capitalist social relationships—how are these determined by local vegetation; and how are class differences revealed by the types of flora found in different neighbourhoods within a city? With Hunter, Gatherer, Purveyor we are seeking to introduce a process of “digesting” capitalism and the city and thereby retoxifying the body politic as having a proclivity towards social and spatial justice.

10th ANNIVERSARY (2009)