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Cake

Some instructions on making a cake.

Cake Theory

Is a cake an artwork? Only if you make it.

A cake is an activity as much as it is an object, and this cake is an invitation to action (just saying that makes it sound a bit like a manifesto, as if cake could be revolution – but lest that seem an impossible reach, think for a moment about pleasure, and the way it has of overthrowing the little dictatorships of the mind).

The word recipe, both in English and French (recette) has historical ties both to medical prescriptions and to receiving and receipts. Participatory algorithms (recipes) are shared forms made specific by and for each individual (in the manner of a prescription). In relation to art, they lie at the junction of narrative (the story of an artwork) and instruction (procedure and process). In the mode of cuisine, they evoke food as a gift, as an opportunity for an experience between people. The linguistic matrix also includes the ideas of transmission and communication (as in radio receivers) — recipes, like art narratives are a way that ideas can be sent from one person to another, or one to many. Recipes ask the question: what is common in our experience when the recipe is made new each time? When I read the recipe, what can I know about what you have eaten, or will eat, what you have done, or will do?

Why cake theory? Because I love theory as much as I love cake.

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2004

Cake was part of Be Something’s online exhibition of instructional artworks, Time Being

>>Cake recipe

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