Moving Units at Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (2015)

As part of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft exhibition Food, Shelter, Clothing (May 23 – September 6, 2015) MOVING UNITS: Where Food & Economy Converge was an event series organized by Daniel Tucker.

Moving Units featured participation from The Berry Center,  Ryan Griffis and Sarah RossJudith LitLouisville Time BankCynthia MainRepublic Bank, Luigi Russi, Nancy Schoenhoff, Sean Starowitz, Slow Money KY, and more.

Moving Units was a public program series about food and economy.  Through five thematic “Units” this series drew on some of the subjects that are rarely talked about together but with effects on how people get food and make lives and livings from Kentucky and Illinois to France and China. All events  took place at KMAC and in Republic Bank as part of the Futurefarmers’ Flatbread Society installation for Food, Shelter, Clothing exhibition curated by Aldy Milliken at KMAC.

The Events: (at 715 W Main St, Louisville, KY *unless otherwise noted)

Unit 1: Save For Later (Saturday May 23, 12-3:30pm at KMAC): Water-tight bucket and barrel making with Cynthia Main and Fermentation Workshops with Schoen. See more.

Unit 2: The Global Local (July 16, 6pm at KMAC): Screening and Discussion: “Between the Bottomlands & The World” by Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross. See more.

Unit 3: Intimate Economics (August 20 – KMAC, 5:30pm) “Intimate Economics” panel discussion with participants from Moving Units and other local food and economics projects in the Louisville region including Steve Trager (Republic Bank), Beth Thorpe (Louisville Timebank), Carrie VanWinkle (Slow Money KY) and more. See more.

Unit 4: Bread for Work (August 21, 9am-4pm – *Republic Bank – 601 W Market St Louisville, KY 40202) with Sean Starowitz. See more.

Unit 5: Global Commonwealth (August 29th 4pm See the exhibition, 5pm Screening, 6:15pm Q&A, 6:45pm Reception – KMAC 3rd Floor): Screening and Discussion: “After Winter, Spring” by Judith Lit. Co-sponsored by The Berry Center and the Center for Interfaith Relations. See more.

Background: As a starting point Moving Units draws from the news of this summer season’s closing of the Chicago Board of Trade futures and options trading pits where commodities contracts for wheat, corn and cattle were speculated on through the famous open outcry of colorfully dressed traders. Futures contracts — agreements to buy or sell something at a certain price in the future — were invented to protect farmers against price movements for grain. Today the trading pits will be closed in favor of the dominant electronic means of trading, currently representing 99% of the market. This history of the financialization of food inspired the San Francisco art collective Futurefarmers to make their own mobile Grain Pit, on display all summer at KMAC and the nearby Republic Bank.

Moving Units considers this history and alternative trajectories in the global politics of the plate. The series asks questions: As financial markets render aspects of our life from food to housing into mere units to be speculated on, how do we reconcile that with our desire to use the local food movement to reclaim intimacy in our lives?


Logo design by Amy Franceschini, Futurefarmers

Further Reading

Moving Units was developed in collaboration with Futurefarmers for their Grainpit installation. There are other artists dealing with finance and food that you should check out:

*Developed in collaboration with:

republictranspgold Print