In Search of Zea Mays was created for the corn maze at Airlie Center in Warrenton VA, home of the Local Food Project (formerly directed by Pablo Elliot). A corn maze was created with the help of heirloom non-gmo corn seed, a tractor and gps system – and let’s not forget cooperative weather and lots of waiting. Within the maze, dead-end pathways invited maze-goers to rest and reflect on the history of industrial agriculture through a comfy strawbale seat and text / image investigations into the modern food system’s most prized plant – corn. The experience culminates in the “Cornference” room located in the center of the maze (& equipped with office furniture). The Cornference room hosted discussions among maze participants, meetings for members of The Local Food Project and at least one birthday bash. In Search of Zea Mays invited participants to explore our corn-based industrial food system by simultaneously superimposing the navigation of real space, data, and ideas in the familiar and freindly (if-not frustrating) form of the corn maze.
The Project was also displayed at the Green Festival in Washington DC as part of Airlie’s Local Food Project.
A Project by Mark Cooley in collaboration with farmer and local food advocate Pablo Elliot.