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Embodying Energy

Hugh Pocock, faculty in Foundation, General Fine Arts, and Video and Film Arts at MICA, opened his new solo exhibition, My Food My Poop, at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore on May 21, 2009.

Posted 05.24.09

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Exhibitions
General Fine Arts
Video and Film Arts
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Hugh Pocock, faculty in Foundation, General Fine Arts, and Video and Film Arts at MICA, opened his solo exhibition, My Food My Poop, at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore on May 21, 2009. Hugh, who has taught a course on Climate Change and Sustainability at MICA for over two years, explores the concept of energy as it manifests itself in our everyday lives through his art. This exhibition is concerned with how his own body serves as an engine for generating energy by the ways in which the food and drink he consumes are converted into energy. In addition to displaying 63 days of his daily rituals of consumption and excretion in the form of journal entries, the exhibition presents wooden blocks of various sizes that approximate the total weight of the food, excreta, and energy that his body has generated over that period of time.

Energy lacks a body, both in the popular imaginary and in our everyday encounters with it, and as such, one of the principal cultural challenges of dealing with our 'energy crisis' is our inability to understand what it is, so as to better engage our co-implication in the larger energy ecology. Hugh's work powerfully substantiates energy by giving it a body, that even if it only obliquely makes reference to the energy it represents, enables a critical rethinking of what it means to be mediated by energy; to consume, expend and exert energy.