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Marina Zurkow with Valentine Cadieux, Aaron Marx, and Sarah Petersen,
Making the Best of It: Dandelion

Making the Best of It: Dandelion is a year-long series of site-specific pop-up food refuges and community dinners that will span Northern Spark 2016-2017. The project features climate-change enabled (and often unwanted) edible indicator species, in order to engage the public in tastings and conversation about the risks of climate chaos, our business-as-usual food system, and the short-term food innovations at our disposal.

Making the Best of It: Dandelion elected as its poster child the humble dandelion, Taraxacum officinale. Abundant, nutritious, adorable, symbolic, and disliked by lawn-owners, this invasive plant offers a model of eating and thinking about human and interspecies well-being on a variety of levels. It is highly adaptable, does well in disturbed ecosystems, and is of significant interest to a variety of species, from bees to our gut microbiome. In addition, its anatomical response to different environmental conditions makes it an interesting guide for exploring the complexity of climate instability.

At Northern Spark 2016, a custom pop-up “refuge” will offer free servings of dandelion, in food and beverage forms, and also a graphical system of information, provocations, and recipes.

Marina Zurkow focuses on near-impossible nature / culture intersections, using life science, materials, and technologies to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents. Zurkow is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and has received awards from NYFA, NYSCA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is on faculty at ITP / Tisch School of the Arts, and is represented by bitforms gallery.

Valentine Cadieux is an artist and scientist who works on the ways that people participate in agroecosystems. She chairs the Twin Cities Agricultural Land Trust and directs the Environmental Studies and Sustainability programs at Hamline University, where she also coordinates a food movement learning collaboration.

Aaron Marx is an artist/architect focused on critically engaged and humanist work at the intersection of art and science. He is experienced in cross disciplinary approaches to art, building, and practice; principal interests include digital tools, public art (the commons), social practice, and design solutions embedded in human value and environmental integrity.

Sarah Petersen produces signs and signals for social space. She currently teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is a Fellow in the Office of Sustainability at Hamline University. Her work has recently been published in X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly and shown at Occidental College, Perform Chinatown, and Honor Fraser Gallery, all in Los Angeles.

Dandelion clothing generously produced by Print All Over Me.
Special thanks to…


Kim Bartmann and Anne Saxton of Barbette and other enterprises
Kristi Varner at Gigi’s Cafe and Squeaky Willow Farm
Jim Bovino, Director of Fermentation at GYST Fermentation Bar
Jerry Fodness and staff at Gigi’s Cafe
Jourdan Morris at Mill Valley Kitchen

Dandelion providers:
Courtney Tchida at Cornercopia Student Organic Farm, University of MN
Emily Paul at The Good Acre

Jesse Finkelstein and Amy Cakes from Print All Over Me

Michelle from Fortune Cookie Factory, Keefer Court Food, Inc.


View more photos from Making the Best of It: Dandelion on the Northern Spark Flickr here!


Presented by


W River Parkway Near Guthrie Theater


9 pm—5:26 am


Marina Zurkow
(works) New York
Visit Website