Two meatgrowers meet in a processing plant. They move automatically through each day, longing for one another, as the viewer—a silent friend and confidant—looks on.
This is the premise of artist Rindon Johnson’s Meat Growers: A Love Story, commissioned by Rhizome and Tentacular 2019. The virtual reality play is set in the year 2100, in a post-Green New Deal Napa Valley where there are no more paved roads, trees abound, and all the strip malls have been turned into food forests and meatgrowing plants. Gender is never mentioned, and race is ambiguous. The viewer’s character carpools to work in a solar VW bug, listening to their colleague’s enthusiastic monologue, and watching the verdant ladscape roll by.
The work will premier at Tentacular 2019 in Madrid this November, and will be presented as part of Rhizome and the New Museum’s VR platform First Look in early 2020.
The work is commissioned as part of Rhizome’s 2020 research theme Making Kin, which aims to reconsider the relationship between nature and technology and the role of networks and infrastructure in a time of climate crisis.
Image: Still from Rindon Johnson, Diana Said (2019), virtual reality installation.
The Rhizome Commissions Program is supported by Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.