Items purchased at grocery store, as specified by a series of amature YouTube videos on "how to make fake weed."
Artist in residence participants busily at work on their own versions of "fauxrijuana" using provided ingredients as well as improvisational materials and tools.
Judging competition includes a blind jurying process of artist peers and institutional directors.
Artist peers judging the "People's Choice Award" round
Bemis Contemporary Arts director and gallery manager judging the final winning round.
Winner: People's Choice Award, first workshop series
Limited edition fabrication session, first workshop series
Ultimate Fabrication Challenge: Fauxrijuana
2013 - ongoing
Information workshops, fabrication sessions, and judging competition on making simulated marijuana. Ongoing project conducted at various artist residency programs. Held at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and a second undisclosed residency.
"Ultimate Fabrication Challenge (Fauxrijuana)" was a workshop and competition in which artists are tasked with prototyping visual facsimiles of marijuana ("faux" marijuana) out of common household ingredients in to order explore issues of craft, reverse engineering, the power of simulation, and the collective imagination. Using amateur instructional videos found on YouTube as a starting point, artist participants used their expansive skillsets to design and fabricate their own fictional "strain."
They are given 36 hours to fabricate their items, which are entered into a competition. Judging involves the institutional staff and executive directors of the residency programs, generally taking place at "high noon." This results in winners in several categories, of which the parameters are collectively negotiated (People's Choice Award, Best Shwag, Best Name, etc.). The winning entry has its recipe transcribed, fabricated as a limited edition multiple by the organizing artist, Stephanie Syjuco, and then distributed to the participants as the official "edition" of that particular event.
No illegal substances are used in the production of this project and would result in the automatic disqualification of the entry. Prior drug use or exposure to drug culture is not necessary to participate, as the "idea" of what it should look like is often times more potent than the real thing. In the process of production, judging, and sharing of ideas, workshop participants form their own dialogue around the subject of illicit activity.
This participatory experience is inspired by Jean Baudrillard's claim that "simulation is infinitely more dangerous since it always suggests, over and above its object, that law and order themselves might really be nothing more than a simulation..."
Selection of how-to videos found on YouTube: