photo: Campbell Henderson

Extreme Baking

Desertification, an ever-warming atmosphere, and technologies of war ignite and activate often-trivialized domestic and bodily interiors—the home, the oven, the microbiota of our guts and hearts, the curl in our hair. Hair dryers, irons, curlers and hot plates heat up handmade enclosures designed to map changing conditions of baked goods as they travel from the United States to the ubiquitous and often-unnamed “desert” in the Middle East.

For soldiers between deployments, the desert has no name. The desert, neglected, anonymous, flown over, bombed, remade in the image of global war and terror, receives care packages from places that postcolonial power structures allow to be specific and real like Sydney, Ohio, Denver, Darwin, Phoenix.

Working at the intersection of speculative kitchen appliances, handicraft traditions, and amateur environmental chamber design, I care for, document and theorize multibiomic cultures of love, war and home by investigating the quality and appearance of fungi and molds on homemade cakes and cookies.

Extreme Baking

photos: Campbell Henderson

Where better than Australia, home of the Anzac biscuit, to engage the public in a conversation about Extreme Baking?