Ferment 2021


The third and final year of Ferment was entirely virtual. This led to opportunities to try new things and difficulties when dealing with a diverse group of creators who hadn’t had a chance to connect in-person. New Not Normal continued to be the home for residencies, events, workshops, and connections during a period of forced isolation.

Fermentation is a practice known in most cultures. 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.

Ferment therefore became a useful metaphor for the work we are trying to do.

  • To increase the diversity of stories available to us to make sense of the world.
  • To preserve stories and ways of knowing so that they are not lost to future generations.
  • To offset the trend toward algorithmic optimization of culture at the expense of the hard work and education required to develop personal taste.
  • To offer time and support to approaches that the market might not currently support
  • To accelerate projects that disrupt how we deal with massive problems affecting us and subsequent generations

While Ferment as a year-long container for cultural producers was discontinued, the model was carried forward into Ferment AI, a residency that convened creators around the issues of materiality, relationality, and sociality of algorithmic systems.





in partnership with:

Ananya Ohri

Jacob Niedzwiecki

Nagata Shachu Taiko Ensemble

collaborators and artists-in-residence:

Parul Bansal


Jermaine Henry

Luisa Ji

Marie Sotto

Bianca Li Channer

Olivia Arau-McSweeney

Meena Rizwan

bryan depuy

Yan Zhu

Rachel Wang

Tyreek Phillips

Wesley Cabarios

Teya Zuzek