Incubators exist to help ideas grow. The kinds of ideas that get support all look a lot alike though. A society that lacks diversity in culture narratives is a society that lacks the imagination to deal with the massive issues of our times. Ferment is a way of supporting stories that might not otherwise have a chance.
Fermentation is a practice known in most cultures. In fact, there is evidence of beer making in a cave near Haifa, Israel from 13,000 years ago. Fermentation refers to the conversion of sugar into alcohol but is also applied to the leavening of bread (carbon dioxide from yeast activity) and in the preservation of foods through the production of lactic acid (like in pickles and cheese). Ultimately, fermentation serves five basic purposes: to provide greater diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures; to preserve food for later use; to increase the health benefits of a food or drink; to get rid of anti-nutrients, and to reduce the need for cooking and the associated need for fuel.
Drawing on these purposes for inspiration, Ferment explored four key themes in 2019. Each of these themes related to unorthodox or emerging approaches to sustaining and disseminating narratives and practices that might otherwise not take root.
- Artificial Intelligence and Automation and the frameworks by which they will be deployed in the world
- Borders and the opportunities they present
- Financial Instruments to address precarity and volatility in a creative career
- Urban Planning and the role of the artist in enacting the future of the city