Exponential Growth is a newly commissioned project that is creating an exchange network to share locally found yeast cultures, in an experiment to see whether Loughborough’s ‘Culture’ can colonise the world, and what the limits are to growth.
There are many varieties of wild yeast present in our environment that have been used for centuries to leaven bread and ferment beer. In this form they are referred to as ‘starter cultures’. Working with scientists, bakers and home-brew enthusiasts, artist Rebecca Beinart is experimenting with capturing and growing these cultures, and developing them into Starter Kits, which have been distributed to local residents and visitors to take care of, use for food production, grow, divide and pass on. The project is attempting to create a network through which these Loughborough-born cultures can be spread regionally, nationally and globally. The systems of transport and exchange that help the culture to spread are tracked through the project.
Exponential Growth brings into question our value judgements about locality, global economics, growth and sustainability. It is a phrase often used with abhorrence by environmentalists, and with glee by economists. Is continuous growth possible and desirable, or do all systems find their own limits?
In June Rebecca held sour-dough bread making workshop and hosted a stall on Loughborough market where people could taste the products of Loughborough cultures. Related events in late summer and early autumn will be announced on this page.
The results of the experiment will be tasted in an autumn feast of bread, beer and wine produced from the original Starter Culture.
Click below to see the project website which Rebecca will be updating her on a regular basis: http://exponentialgrowth.org/
Rebecca Beinart is a Nottingham based artist who makes live events and mobile objects that inspire curiosity and initiate conversations. Her projects frequently take the form of an experiment in which you are invited to take part: exploring the territory between art, ecology and politics.