Cultivating Conversations

Treatment lll at the Western Treatment Plant – curated by the Public Art Commission, Deakin University

The Rogue Academy collective encourages conversations through art and food,  to challenge preconceived notions and inspire new ways of thinking. Our latest project delves into the parallels between the Western Treatment Plant network, the human digestive system, vermicomposting,  fermentation and celebrating the crucial role that decomposition microbes play in creating fertile soil and generating new life. For Treatment 3 our project, Cultivating Conversations, we invite guests to sit, eat, consume and process. 

Collaborating faculty include Sharon Flynn of The Fermentary, honourable dinner guests and Hong Kong-based artist Gai Ya Qi will help challenge the stigma surrounding waste by highlighting its beauty and transformative potential. Our project, Cultivating Conversations, is informed by key ideas around corn-, waste processing and systems of digestion and transformation through worms, food, bacteria and stories.

We conducted an intriguing survey as part of an artwork that delves into the relationship between diet, digestion, and the human body. The project involved showcasing participants’ digestive contents on a scrolling film, where they were invited you to take part by sharing information about their dietary habits before attending the Western Treatment Plant’s Night + Day Treatment III event on April 21st and 22nd, 2023.

The participants provided details about all the food they consumed within a 24-hour window. It was important to note that the artwork may include the contents of their digestive system arriving at the plant around the time they attend the event, so we encouraged participants to approach this survey with this timeframe in mind.