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Lynn Peemoeller



Lynn Peemoeller works in social landscapes and community practice to explore food systems. Ecology, urban planning, agriculture, and policy intersect in her practice as an artistic approach to engage with and contribute to collective experiential narratives around subjects of place and resulting cultures. Ongoing modalities include enactment, recipes, performance, growing, foraging, and gathering. Current research involves co-developing a three-year interdisciplinary field school for the mid-river region as part of the “Mississippi River Open School for Kinship and Social Exchange,” project, funded by the Mellon Foundation and experimental landscape design studio LEEP, which engages with site specific transformation of the ecologic, material, and community culture of a former playground. Peemoeller’s current teaching includes food systems, ecology, seeds, and kinship.

Work by Lynn Peemoeller

Shopping cart parked on a sidewalk overflowing with potted vegetable plants.

Gemüse Korb (Vegetable Cart), 2010

Project creating mobile gardens from abandoned grocery carts.
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A Cookbook by the Community for the Community

St Louis Metro Market Cookbook image by Quinton Ward

This book is truly for the community by the community. It is how we talk about food in our lives and what excites us when we see something fresh at the market. Many people in our community are inspired to lead healthier lives through diet and lifestyle. In this book, we share these recipes to help each other remember that food brings us together for positive individual and community transformation. I love the stories behind the recipes that demonstrate the very personal connections that we have to food, memory, and each other. Community is a renewable resource, and we are strong together because we nurture it.

The St. Louis Metro Market is a mobile “Farmers Market on Wheels” and supermarket which travels to various community sites across St Louis providing access to healthy fresh affordable food. This project was fundraised and edited by Lynn Peemoeller., Metro Market Board Member (2018-2020). Funded by the Luminary Futures Fund 2019 and the Missouri Humanities Foundation.

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Black Gold Magic with Erika Allen

Black Gold Magic image by Eric Ellingsen

Black Gold Magic is an art installation/performance of actions and discussions creating a ritual space to explore food in context to Chicago’s urban environment involving the alchemy of de/reconstitution in the context of grounding. The invocation of spirits and ancestral ethers gives directional context to the created space of black gold magic. Entangling metabolisms of earth, air, fire & water. Entangling ritualistic purification stations and groundings. Black Gold Magic was originally conceived and performed for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial as part of Outside Design show at the Sullivan Galleries.

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Mid- River Field School: Crossings

Mound 9870 image by Jennifer Colten

Description: What would it mean to rethink the St. Louis region not as a set of static places but as a set of crossings? - - As a bundle of historical, contemporary, real, imagined, and projected crossings that allows us to reframe the region through spatial practices of emancipation, displacement, erasure, silence, death, freedom, settlement, presence, voice, and life. How can the idea of “crossings” draw-out the many meanings of this place to reimagine the future? And how might this act of reframing provide new insights among those who forge ahead in protecting and uplifting the many meanings of this place? The Mid River Field School: Crossings is part of a regional, multi-nodal initiative called Mississippi River Open School for Kinship and Social Exchange. The project engages artists, designers, activists, and culture bearers who are connected to the Mississippi River valley. The community-designed process supports cultural institutions and their work “in the field.” The three-year process is led by Lynn Peemoeller (PI) and Jennifer Colten. It encompasses five community centered projects on either side of the Mississippi River in an emergent process that will materialize through gatherings, enactments and material offerings. A public forum is being organized in October 2023 on the topic of Crossings in which we will invite conversation with Academic Colleagues, those with lived experience and engage a creative response from those participating. Funded by the Mellon Foundation Humanities for all Times Initiative

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Mid- River Field School: Crossings

Pokeweed image by Jennifer Colten

Description: What would it mean to rethink the St. Louis region not as a set of static places but as a set of crossings? - - As a bundle of historical, contemporary, real, imagined, and projected crossings that allows us to reframe the region through spatial practices of emancipation, displacement, erasure, silence, death, freedom, settlement, presence, voice, and life. How can the idea of “crossings” draw-out the many meanings of this place to reimagine the future? And how might this act of reframing provide new insights among those who forge ahead in protecting and uplifting the many meanings of this place? The Mid River Field School: Crossings is part of a regional, multi-nodal initiative called Mississippi River Open School for Kinship and Social Exchange. The project engages artists, designers, activists, and culture bearers who are connected to the Mississippi River valley. The community-designed process supports cultural institutions and their work “in the field.” The three-year process is led by Lynn Peemoeller (PI) and Jennifer Colten. It encompasses five community centered projects on either side of the Mississippi River in an emergent process that will materialize through gatherings, enactments and material offerings. A public forum is being organized in October 2023 on the topic of Crossings in which we will invite conversation with Academic Colleagues, those with lived experience and engage a creative response from those participating. Funded by the Mellon Foundation Humanities for all Times Initiative

https://mississippiriver.school

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Supermarket Artist in Resident

Supermarket Collage image by Lynn Peemoeller 2019

Supermarkets are windows into our society. The neighborhood Supermarket plays a central role in the community. There is nothing quite like the modern-day hunting and gathering of food at the Cathedrals of Consumption we call Supermarkets to demonstrate the important rituals of public and communal life through which we are nourished, and our identity is both created and shaped. As a social-artist and food systems planner, I work with communities to explore the impact that food plays in our lives. I am fascinated with supermarkets and the way they act as cultural forums of our society and physical manifestations of desire, longing and promises. Over 200 hours were spent at the Greenleaf market in the Carr Square Neighborhood interacting with workers, community members, and invited guests. Time spent in front of the house and behind the scenes explored and cataloged the quotidian activities through interviews, photographs, and video. External aerial drone footage was gathered in attempt to visualize the boarders and impact of the physical site in a neighborhood dominated by the site in a neighborhood dominated by the legendary unscrupulous landowner Paul McKee. Funded by RAC 2019 Artist Grant.

group of people standing in garden near buildings

Postnatural Landscapes

Edible Narrative at Granite City Arts District image by Alisa Blatter

The Edible Narrative presents a visible, materially enacted practice that “makes edible” thousands of years of human intervention and massive transformation of this earth. We activate seeds of the past (“Lost Crops”) and those of the present to help narrate the story of our food through postnaturally defined landscapes. By embodying postnatural histories of selected species; referring to living things that have been intentionally altered by human beings, through domestication, selective breeding, induced mutation, and genetic engineering, we see the human intervention in seed plasticity, morphology and productivity in our environment over time. This project was part of the HKW Anthropocene Mississippi River Project, Anthropocene Curriculum, Anthropocene Vernacular. Link: https://www.anthropocene-curriculum.org/contributors/lynn-peemoeller

woman in a red shirt sitting with food in front of her for a food exchange

Berlin East-West Spatial Reenactment

Berlin East-West Spatial Reenactment image by Lynn Peemoeller

A historic reenactment of the food exchanges that took place between people living in East and West Germany “over the Berlin Wall” from 1961-1989. The project exposes the now hidden, historic relations of two vastly different yet parallel urban food systems and the different realities of food availability and thus evolving food culture as it related to East and West Germany. The project reveals a spatial food narrative for the city and exposing its historic divided past as it relates to food culture. It also creates a narrative of how people living in one divided land were connected through food. From this we can learn about scarcity and abundance in relation to past and present distressed economic food systems. Berlin Food Art Week 2015

image of a round loaf of bread with a star imprint in the middle

You Are Food, Artecitya Residency Thessaloniki Greece

You Are Food image by Lynn Peemoeller

The residency utilized local food culture, habits and traditions, as a means to activate and map public spaces as well as encourage meaningful communication and exchange between citizens from different backgrounds. Ethnographic interviews were conducted with urban agriculture pioneers who are transforming urban spaces with their knowledge, local economies and food production. Food waste and resourceful habits were observed and documented. Throughout the residency, local foods were foraged and produced to profile five distinctive flavors of Thessaloniki: sea salt, sour grapes, sweet apples, biiter olives, and umami fish paste. These ingredients were presented on locally baked and traditionally stamped bread to offer a public engagement on the perception and expression of local culture and taste. The project resulted in a living archive of oral and visual representations of food culture and urban agriculture in a changing city in relationship to local identity and heritage.

Learn more.

group of people sharing bread

Perceiving Academy II Cyprus Edition with Eric Ellingsen

Peace Bread image by Lynn Peemoeller

The occupation and division of the island nation Cyprus is a context to explore transnational themes of division, unity, identity, and urbanism. Working with participants over the course of two weeks, and using wheat, flour, bread, and dough as a metaphor for life and as a common material, we explore contemporary attitudes about the divided city and the nation of Cyprus from a diverse set of representatives in both the occupied (Turkish) north and the south. In this work, exploring the historic role of wheat and bread, a spatial narrative was generated from actions moving around the island collectively learning and gathering stories from participants that reveals paths of identity which are not necessarily defined by political lines but rather woven together in time and space, built into a shared landscape. The final event staged in a public space adjacent to the politicized dividing line, the “Green Zone,” utilized, “unified” dough made with gathered materials from both sides of the Island to materialize participant led objects of physical and personal significance imagined from the course of our activities which was transformed into bread objects. Funded by E.K.A.TE Cyprus.