Public Program

Leamington Yeast

Saturday, November 8, 2014 | 12 pm – 6 pm

Leamington Yeast: Artist Jennifer Willet invites participants to learn more about biological art practices; gain hands-on experience and collect yeast samples. The FREE program takes place at the Leamington Arts Centre, 72 Talbot Street West in Leamington. 

Windsor Yeast (2008-14) is an ongoing bioart project where Willet collects yeast samples from the community in the regions of Windsor-Essex and Detroit. The project makes visible to audiences the microorganisms we share our communities with every day. The yeast samples are grown in her lab at the University of Windsor in petri dishes backed with photographs and historical images of this area. The project was inspired by the smell of yeast, due to the fermentation process at the Hiram Walker and Sons Distillery, that infuses the air regularly in Willet's Walkerville neighbourhood in Windsor. For Willet, the airborne smell of yeast signals the imagining of how we may be permeated with the molecules of a robust industrial biotechnological by-product. At the same time, she recalls with nostalgia the fermenting of wine and beer with her father in the basement of her family home. Windsor Yeast applies both a critical and a nostalgic lens to the post-industrial terrain of Windsor-Essex and Detroit, literally growing colonies of yeast over images of her adopted community. This project has grown to include satellite workshops in other cities including Hamilton Yeast (2010), Montreal Yeast (2014), and Amsterdam Yeast (2013).

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