JelLo-Fi is an installation of Jello, molded in classic 1950's forms to be grouped in the grass at the Lo-Fi Festival at Smoke Farm a 360-acre former dairy farm on the Stillaguamish River in Arlington, Washington.
Walking along a woodland path you happen across an outcropping of colorful wiggly dessert in the grass like a strange plant or fungus.
You don't need to know anything more in order to enjoy the installation. But conceptually, the project goes deeper.
It's a bit of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (about the meat packing industry in Chicago at the turn of the century) meets Willy Wonka.
While Jello is made from rendered cows' hooves this fact is masked by the artificial fruity flavors and cheerful colors and the way it's marketed.
Meanwhile cows are a problematic element of our agricultural system taking vast amounts of resources to raise, particularly water, and contributing to global warming as well as pollution of rivers and streams.
A recent NPR article about meat consumption in the US showed that 52.8 gallons of water are used to produce a single quarter-pound beef patty. In a year of record high temperatures and drought we continue to suck water out of the Ogalalla Aquifer in part to feed beef cattle, steadily draining this precious, non-replenishable resource.
JelLo-Fi is a gently ironic reference to our general urban disconnection from the source of our food as well as the sustainability of its production and the ecological effects of factory farming, in particular water consumption.
Here the molded Jello sits directly on the ground near a stream where cows once trod, thus returning the rendered cows' hooves symbolically to their source.
The installation will be seen by over 400 attendees of the Lo-Fi Festival over the course of a single day along with works by 70 other artists and performers.
Since Jello deteriorates in sun, rain and air its gradual absorption into the landscape becomes a kind of entropic sculptural event. I'm excited to make a work of art that is not permanent but exists as a one-day experience after which it belongs to the slugs the squirrels and the elements.