INVISIBILITY LAB to Host Open Engagement 2018 – Dinner Conversation

Invisible Sustenance

May 12, 2018
7:00  –  8:30

In a fast-paced, interconnected world where people rarely have time for nurturing themselves or their relationships, the Invisibility Lab asks: What keeps you going? What sustains you through difficult times? What do you rely on for sustenance? Are these things measurable? Are they visible? And most importantly, are they sustainable? Founder and Chief Researcher, Gabrielle Senza will host a lively dinner conversation and participatory investigation into the phenomenon of invisible things.

2018  Dinner Conversation

Invisible Capital

Here’s a peak at a paper by Gretchen Sneegas on GradFoodStudies website:

“Sustenance Out of Refuse”: Detroit, Invisible Capital & the Search for Food Justice

Gretchen Sneegas

abstract | In recent years, Detroit has been largely portrayed by mass media as a site of desolation and desertion. The city’s citizens, however, have another story to tell. This paper examines the Detroit Food Justice Task Force (DFJTF), an organization designed to improve food security within the city. DFJTF seeks to empower native Detroiters by helping them to discover their own “invisible capital,” or existing resources hidden from view. Using qualitative discourse analysis to examine DFJTF’s website and social media content, this paper analyzes the overlapping categories of race, space, and capital as they intersect with food justice work in Detroit. This paper argues that DFJTF uses these categories to challenge mainstream, racialized depictions of Detroit as a barren landscape, instead describing the city as rich in invisible human and spatial capital.

Iowa Lakeside Lab Residency

This looks like a great place for working on Invisibility Lab research – especially the environmental/sound aspects of the unseen world and to develop more transdisciplinary projects… I can’t wait to spend some time exploring this site to see what the resident artists have focused on so far!


The Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program invites artists, musicians, composers, and performers of all genres to apply for a two to four week residency. Lakeside Lab is a biological field station and nature preserve located in the northwest region of Iowa. The residency program is offered with an eye towards Long Term Ecological Reflections, a national partnership between biological field stations that support thoughtful relationships between art and science.

The Artist-in-Residence program aims to create opportunities for collaboration, partnership, and reflection between artists, scientists, and community members. Artists are encouraged to use the area as their studio and to interact freely with scientists, field study courses, local residents, and visitors. A high priority of the program is exploring relationships between art and science. Preference is given to artists whose work engages with ecology, science, and natural history in unique and collaborative ways.


The application window is open each year from January 1 to March 1. Questions about the residency or the application process can be sent to Alex Braidwood, Director of the Artist-in-Residence program.

Mildred’s Lane

I think someone at Transart mentioned Mildred’s Lane to me last year, but I only now stumbled upon it do discover it is a project/site organized by J Morgan Puett (whose fashion/architectural installations in Manhattan in the early 90’s I absolutely ADORED!) and Mark Dion.

While it has a much more elaborate (and academic) program (not to mention an incredible homesteading site and world-famous artist-founders) than my Berkshire Art Kitchen project (2008 – 2010), it is similar in that both projects are about creating new modes of being in the world. We share a worldview (and workstyle) that focuses on how art, life, home, work, and food are interconnected – and where family, friends, and the public are woven into the fabric of that workstyle experience.

Mildred’s Lane seems like a cool place to check out… Here’s a bit from their website, Mildred’s Lane :

Workstyles and the Ethics of Comportment

The core of the practice and the educational philosophy at Mildred’s Lane is an attempt to collectively create new modes of being in the world — this idea incorporates questions of our relation to the environment, systems of labor, forms of dwelling, clothing apparatuses, and inventive domesticating;  all of which are form an ethics of comportment — and are embodied in workstyles. As a student at Mildred’s Lane, these issues will be negotiated daily through the rethinking of one’s collective involvements with food, shopping, making, styling, gaming, sleeping, reading, and thinking. Every research session will be an intensive reconsideration of workstyles — there will be visits to alternative farms, discussions around food and cooking, cleaning, and maintenance. The total space of the domestic will be part of the course of study — we will collectively work on experimenting with the full spectrum of our whole system of engagements.

““I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means for it; the desire is there; the things to be known are infinite; the people who can employ themselves at this task exist. Why do we suffer? From too little: from channels that are too narrow, skimpy, quasi-monopolistic, insufficient. There is no point in adopting a quasi- protectionist attitude, to prevent ‘bad’information from invading and suffocating the ‘good’. Rather, we must simply multiply the paths and the possibilities of comings and goings.”

— Michel Foucault from ‘The Masked Philosopher’