pumpkin pick an ick

an ick gets picked by its degree of consensus. the taste, the texture, the cultural significance can all make an object an ick. too much ick makes one sick. when we make a pumpkin sick, what do we transform it into?

“pumpkin pick an ick” takes the form of a picnic where we feed a pumpkin icks as chosen by participants. the icks go in, the not-an-icks stay out. the pumpkin must incorporate our contemporary sicknesses to throw up its guts and offer a different type of sustenance.

this lecture began as a participatory walking performance taking place at the starting point of the 606 Trail in Chicago’s Wicker Park. audience were invited to place the items they found to be “icks” into the pumpkin themselves as a docent facilitated conversations about the “basicness” of pumpkin spice lattes and other items using a pH scale. the performance ended once the pumpkin became sick and vomited.

this performance was repeated one year later at the Hairpin Art Center for High Concept Labs’ Fall 2017 Open House. in this iteration, the pumpkin was staged with two docents on either side offering up each ick to the audience and placing each ick into the pumpkin based on audience consensus. the docents would intersperse this ritual with colonialist botanical histories of the different “pumpkin spices” (see right column). once the pumpkin had gotten visibly sick, the ritual ended. the pumpkin’s guts were extruded and attached umbilically to the docents who finalized the performance with a dance to signify ingesting the pumpkin’s sickness.

the pumpkin spice stories

(coming soon)