Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cup Thoughts

I recently went to an amazing event at Barnsdall Art Park called "Cup Thoughts".  I don't get out of the house much these days, but I was so excited about this event that I wrangled a babysitter and requested to go to this event in honor of my birthday re-do.  (My original birthday celebration had been cancelled because we all came down with a nasty stomach flu!)


Cup Thoughts was basically a giant communal coffee break with fellow artists, and hosted by a very gracious and fantastically kooky artist named Nicola Atkinson.  Officially, it was a public artwork by Nicola Atkinson Does Fly.  Nicola and I will hopefully be having an e-mail correspondence to discuss the event and the concept of communal meals that I can post on this blog in future, but in the meantime, check out Nicola's website  Nadfly Cup Thoughts  for more information and additional photos.


The idea behind Cup Thoughts was simple, but its execution required a vast network of collaborators and participants.  Nicola hosted two separate events at which two different groups of people in two different countries would enjoy a cup of coffee from the same set of cups.  She served coffee from cups she made herself, and a special cake, which she prepared from a recipe she created for the event, and sang a song she wrote in honor of the event.  The project took place over a two year period and were based on the idea of the "Fika", which is a Swedish tradition of enjoying a public coffee break with friends, family or colleagues.  As Nicola describes the project:


The starting point of Cup Thoughts is a simple question-- how do we take our coffee?  Do we have it "to  go" as we pursue our busy lives or do we prefer to take a break and engage in a more socialized ritual?  What if we took a proper break with our work fellows for ten minutes every day?  What if we detached ourselves from our computers, iphones and Blackberries?  How much more productive and creative would we be together?  This art project sets out to discover the effects of the "Fika" on people and their work environment.