When artist Jesse Hemminger wanted to start a project that dealt with letting go, he turned to a likely place. Well, maybe not. He actually started making robots powered by sauerkraut.
When artist Jesse Hemminger wanted to start a project that dealt with letting go, he turned to a likely place.
Well, maybe not. He actually started making robots powered by sauerkraut.
Three small kraut-powered machines draw designs on paper, which Hemminger and his friends have used to record anxious memories before shredding and recycling it. The concept captures a dual process of growth and change - sauerkraut becoming fuel, pain renewing itself as art.
Hemminger will demonstrate "The Sauerkraut Project" from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, as part of its new "Hungry Planet" exhibit.
The genius yet jovial artist shared about ideas, identity and intrigue.
I got my Bachelor of Fine A rts from Ohio State in 2001 in art and technology. In 2008, I got my Master of Fine Arts from the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. I studied public art there. "The Sauerkraut Project" kind of brings those two degrees together.
I've personally had multiple definitions of public art. I think it's about when you create a work of art in which you can reach people when they're not expecting to see art, to have an art experience.
I came back to Columbus for a fellowship at OSU. I was also thinking I would come back even if I didn't get the fellowship. Two weeks after I left, my brother moved here. When I came back to Columbus a year ago, my entire family except for one of my sisters was living here.
"The Sauerkraut Project" was kind of a happenstance thing. A friend of mine from Germany happened to be visiting me around Christmas time. He taught me how to make sauerkraut. I was looking for a new idea. It was this serendipitous thing that popped up.
When I tell people about the project, usually it's like, "Uhhh OK." I get that a lot. People make comments that I think too much. I get that a lot. When they actually see the robots, I think a lot of people think they're cute.
The best advice I've ever received is move your ass and your mind will follow. If you're stuck mentally, just get up and go jogging, go for a bike ride, go for a walk. Just move.
Three things I can't live without are dental floss, my MacBook Pro and my mom.