at The beginning of Teacher as Conceptual Artist the participants were sent on a walk. Before the walk they were each given one of the directives listed below. Directives were assigned by chance. When everyone return from their walk, after having completed thier directive, the group cooked, chopped, and assembled a salad buffet. The event occurred in the communal kitchen of the Amsterdam University of the Arts. The salad was then enjoyed by all. It was documented by photographer Thomas Lenden.

GOING DUTCH SALAD (by chance), February 2018

Dinner today is a meal that we will construct together. The assembling of the meal will be simple and similar to many meals you’ve made before. The eating of the meal will also be easy. All the while, the gathering of the ingredients to make the dinner will take a little bit of work, but only because a chance operation—filled with indeterminacy—is the primary parameter for that task and also because your trek to and from your destination will have a light assignment attached to it.

What follows is the description of the chance operation for the gathering of the ingredients and the assignment attached to the trek.

1.   For the next hour each one of you will go out and buy no more than €7,50-worth* of certain salad ingredients. You’ll notice here that the word salad has been put into italics indicating that the idea of what can make a salad can and should be reimagined.

2.   Before you leave you will be assigned a number.

-       If that number is 1 or 2 you are assigned to buy only ingredients that are green in color, but not leaves of any kind. Please select more than one ingredient, and have the things you choose contrast in texture.  

-       If your number is 3 or 4 bring items that are wet and items that are by contrast dry. Consider the potential smell of the ingredients when making your decisions.

-       If your number is 5 or 6 bring ingredients that you would designate as being a warm color on the color wheel. Bring more than one ingredient that fits this description insuring that the items you bring contrast especially in size.

-       If your number is 7 bring ingredients that are liquids and one or two accompanying ingredients that need to be eaten fast before the liquids you are buying destroy their integrity. 

-       If your number is either 8 or 9 you need to bring ingredients that are grown or originate from another country you have visited. Only some of these things should have seeds or pits.

-       If your number is 10 you need to bring ingredients you would describe as white or translucent. In addition look for contrast in flavors (e.g. sour v. sweet, bland v. salty, spicy v. bitter etc.)

-       If your number is 11 or 12 you need to bring two thing that need to be cooked before they are added to a salad. Create contrast in those ingredients by thinking about their point-of-origin. When you select your first ingredient, ask yourself, “where did this come from?”, at that point find something you would consider its opposite and bring that ingredient too. 

-       If your number is 13 bring two ingredient that had human interference in them somehow. That “interference” should not involve death (however you want to define that term). Also consider the names of these ingredients. Select at least one with a short name and one with a long name.

-       If your number is 14 bring two things that are traditionally Dutch. One that you’ve seen in a salad before and something you never seen in a salad but you would dare to try.

-       If your number is 15 go wherever you’ve decided to go, and when you get there make conversation with someone who is also shopping or selling. Ask them what their favorite thing is to put on a salad. Bring us that. Do this two times unless both people tell you the same thing, then do it a third time.

-       Additionally, you have been split into two groups. If you’re in group A you need to buy leaves of some kind. If you’re in group B you need to by one other thing that needs to be sliced, but that isn’t already in your category.

-       In terms of quantity, buy what you would consider enough for eight people, but stay within budget. It is better you buy less within budget than to go over budget to buy enough for eight people.

3.   As you make your way to and from your destination, do these three things: 1. Even though you and your colleagues may be going to the same site, go separately. 2. Go quietly. 3. Go slowly, but not artificially. There is no rush. Come back when you are done, but don’t get “distracted”. 4. Make five documents of things that are special to this particular trek. Let it be something you’ve never noticed before. This doesn’t mean that you’ve never come across it before, rather it means that this time you’re purposely giving it your attention. In this case, “documents” can mean any type of capturing (e.g. your camera, a drawing, an audio recording, a small piece of prose or poetry that captures what you noticed, etc.)

When everyone returns we will arrange our ingredients on one large table. We will then make and document our salads. We will eat our salads. While we eat our salads, we will talk about what was witnessed during the trek.