Helen Reed and I participated in a show entitled The Incidental Person, about the legacy of the Artist Placement Group. For the duration of the show, we placed our 111-year old goldrush sourdough culture into the pancake batter of a Manhattan eatery. For each serving, an informational placemat about The Incidental Pancake was provided for the customers. The Incidental Pancake is now a permanent fixture and ongoing artwork at Bubby’s Restaurant.
Related events and exhibitions:
The Incidental Person, apexart, New York, New York, 2010
Inspired by Apexart’s current exhibition (The Incidental Person), The Pancake Placement Group (consisting of Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed) will present The Incidental Pancake, a bacterial enterprise designed to collaborate with multiple hosts. For a limited time only, The PPG will introduce their 111-year old Yukon Goldrush sourdough culture into the mix of a Tribeca eatery’s pancake batter. Incidental Pancakes will be served as special menu items between Feb 16 – 22, 2010. Informational Pancake Placement Placemats will be available at both Apexart and Bubby’s Pie Company. As The Incidental Pancake is consumed, so too is it’s social and cultural history in the Yukon. Please stop by for your own nibble of the living past.
Antony Hudek on The Incidental Person:
The late British artist John Latham (1921-2006) coined the expression “the Incidental Person” in the context of Artist Placement Group, known as APG, which he co-founded in 1966 with Barbara Steveni, Jeffrey Shaw and Barry Flanagan. Contrary to most artist placement schemes, APG emphasized process, interaction and the artist’s independence in relation to the host institution, rather than any short-term tangible outcome. Like an unbiased observer or a third-party mediator, the Incidental Person placed through APG in industry, government, education or the non-profit sector would negotiate the terms of the invitation from the institution in question and adapt the nature of her or his intervention accordingly. This incidental function, as Latham explained, “is more to watch the doings and listen to the noises, and to eliminate from the output the signs of a received idea as being of the work.” Latham stresses the incidental person’s approach, that is, a certain position or attitude vis-à-vis the context in which she or he is placed. In other words, the identity of the incidental person is secondary to the effect she or he has on a given situation, for the aim of the incidental person is not to be anything in particular but instead “to generate maximum public involvement, and maximum enthusiasm which goes with the involvement.”