Lisa Meyers and Autumn Chacon. “Noise Cooking” at Art Gallery of Ontario, 2012.
Toronto resident Lisa Myers is like many cultural workers in that she wears a few different creative hats: artist, curator, writer, and musician. What is maybe atypical is that she’s also a chef. At first, Myers cooked to make a living while she sang and played guitar in bands and also studied new media. She eventually decided to obtain, in addition to other college credentials, a diploma in culinary arts. Myers had kept her various jobs and interests “kind of separate.” Then, a few years ago, all of her pursuits began to merge. The following video, Jimmie Durham’s Quick Biscuits, is a perfect example.
Quick Biscuits is a collaboration between Myers and New Mexico-based writer and performance artist Autumn Chacon. The women met earlier this year while in residence at Canada’s distinguished Banff Centre. Chacon, who conceived of the piece, directed and recorded Myers as she “performed” the biscuit recipe. Chacon gives us an intimate view into the bowl, but the emphasis here is not so much on the look of the ingredients as the sound of them. Contact microphones attached to Myers’ cooking utensils amplify every pour, stir, scrape and pummel of flour, baking soda, salt, and yogurt. For Myers, Quick Biscuits is like a concert: “The recipe is the score. The cook is the musician. The foods are the instruments. And then the implements—the knives, the bowls, the whisks, the peelers—act as microphones.” For me, Quick Biscuits is worse than a Skrillex track. Of course, I have taste for certain sounds like I have tastes for certain foods.