Massaction 1043

THE JOY OF THE MEETING OF THE CWA AND BROWN COUNCIL

Posted on August 31st, 2012 by Jane
Filed Under Art, CWA, Generationalism

CWA Member: What is this? Is it judges training?
Di: No, it’s an art work. It’s a performance.
CWA Member: It is not! Is it?!

This was perhaps my favourite interaction between the women of Brown Council and the CWA. The idea that something these CWA women do as a matter of course – both for the competitions, but also as a domestic activity – could be considered and taken in context as an artwork seemed delightful and exciting.

The relationship between the CWA – both members and staff – and the women of Brown Council has been constantly delightful these pass three days. On both sides, there is an overwhelming generosity as the women from the CWA offer engagement and advice, and the women from Brown Council welcome and celebrate their presence in the room.

Some members have been coming back each day to watch the progress of the work. The interest lies both in the ever-growing collection of cakes on the table, and in the various states of exhaustion of the Brown Council women.

We now have 16 hours and 20 cakes to go. It might be tight, but the atmosphere in the room is that it will certainly be achieved. Much of the fascination in the work is the real-time translation of a text (Jam Drops and Marble Cakes) to an action (baking) to a product (cakes). These cakes are typically baked one at a time, perhaps taking a couple of hours, and Mass Action really shows the size of scale of man hours that goes into the products which appear at a cooking competition.

There is an incredulity that appears on the faces of visitors, especially now with the knowledge of how little sleep the women have got and the table is so flush with goods. This appreciation is heightened by the women coming in who do have a knowledge and appreciation of the skills required behind baking. With only a few exceptions, the cakes are baked to an incredibly high standard; they wouldn’t look out of place in competition.

The worlds the women from Brown Council and many of the women from the CWA occupy are, in many ways, separate. But for this week, the CWA has become a conduit for forming relationships – however passing – between the Sydney based young artists, and the mainly rural based, mainly older CWA women.

As an artwork, it also isn’t a generational intersection you would normally see: these are women I would expect to see interacting with the “heritage” art forms, and here they are excited by a performance art work. More so, this performance is probably, in many ways, more exciting, and certainly more relevant, than many traditional works that their age group is typically associated with.

The space is also being shared, joyfully, with more than members of the CWA and Brown Council; as Mass Action is bring together a truly “intergenerational” audience, from families with young children, and adults of all ages.

On behalf of everyone there is generosity and curiosity. While, at times, relationships between the Brown Council are tense due to the endurance quality of the work, the atmosphere – and the atmosphere that is typically associated with baking – is joyous.

MASS ACTION: 137 CAKES IN 90 HOURS

28 August – 1 September 2012

Mass Action: 137 Cakes in 90 Hours is a performative bake-off and test of endurance between the four members of Brown Council. Within the civic space of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) headquarters in Sydney’s Potts Point, Brown Council will bake around the clock for 90 hours in an attempt to cook every recipe in the iconic CWA cookbook Jam Drops and Marble Cake. Paying tribute to CWA’s 90-year history, dedicated to the empowerment of women, this monumental feat will explore culturally embedded notions of ‘women’s work’ and the importance of intergenerational dialogue.

This sleepless four-day event will culminate in a cake-judging tournament in which certified CWA and Land Cookery judge Alison Mutton will put Brown Council’s efforts to the test. This will be followed by an afternoon tea for CWA members and invited guests.

Over the course of the 90 hours, this website will become a document of the event through live video and twitter feed and continuous mobile uploads of all the baking triumphs and failures. Writers Ianto Ware and Jane Howard will also take up residence at the CWA headquarters, and will be responding to events as they happen and blogging about feminism, baking, women’s work and much more.

During the 90 hours the members of Brown Council must adhere to the following rules:

1. There must be continuous baking for the entire 90 hours, from  12pm 28 August – 6am 1 September 2012.

2. At least two members must be cooking at all times and all four members must be cooking during the designated opening hours

3. Members must not leave the CWA headquarters at any time during the 90 hours.

4. Members must attempt to bake all cakes in accordance with CWA judging standards, but if a cake fails (burns, sinks etc.) the member may not attempt to bake it again.

5. Once the cake is cooked members must label the cake, photograph it and then put it on display in the auditorium. All cakes must be photographed and the images uploaded onto the website.

To watch Brown Council in action, visit them onsite at the CWA headquarters during the designated opening hours, or book in to the afternoon tea.

Mass Action: 137 Cakes In 90 Hours is part of HALLS FOR HIRE, a season of site-specific performance and installation presented by Performance Space in town halls, church halls, sports centres and other community meeting spaces across Sydney. This season invites artists to consider the architecture, history and social function of these spaces and create site-specific interventions that transform, alter, or respond to them via their artistic practices.

massaction

137 CAKES: BAKED

Posted on September 1, 2012 12:58 am by Jane
Filed Under Baking | 2 Comments

With a little over five hours to spare, Brown Council have completed their monumental task of baking every cake in the Jam Drops and Marble Cakes cook book. They said it couldn’t be done but here they are, and they have the baked goods and aversion to butter to prove it.

It’s been a feat to watch. The work ends tomorrow with judging from CWA and Land Cookery Judge Alison Mutton followed by afternoon tea.

Thanks for joining us on this blog; we’ll be back with more tomorrow.

NO.137 PASSIONFRUIT SLICE #BCMASSACTION

Posted on September 1, 2012 12:48 am by Kelly Doley
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, Finished Cakes | 1 Comment

NO. 136 HAZLENUT SQUARES #BCMASSACTION

Posted on September 1, 2012 12:44 am by Diana Smith
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, CWA, Failed Cakes, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

NO. 135 COFFEE SLICE #BCMASSACTION

Posted on September 1, 2012 12:24 am by Frances Barrett
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, CWA, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

NO. 134 PEANUT CARAMEL SQUARES #BCMASSACTION

Posted on August 31, 2012 11:45 pm by Kate Blackmore
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, CWA, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

NO. 133 HONEY AND CARROT HEALTHY SLICE

Posted on August 31, 2012 11:42 pm by Diana Smith
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, CWA, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

NO. 132 PASTRY CURRENT SLICE #BCMASSACTION

Posted on August 31, 2012 11:39 pm by Kelly Doley
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

NO. 131 RASPBERRY COCONUT SLICE #BCMASSACTION

Posted on August 31, 2012 11:25 pm by Kate Blackmore
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, CWA, Finished Cakes | Leave a Comment

THE CWA, PHILLIP BLOND’S BIG SOCIETY AND ANOTHER POST ABOUT THE BUILDING CODE

Posted on August 31, 2012 11:06 pm by Ianto Ware
Filed Under CWA | 1 Comment

A while back I saw Phillip Blond talking about the UK’s ‘Big Society’ and the rise of the ‘Red Tory’ hosted, oddly enough, by the Australian Centre for Social Innovation. Blond was on Q&A a while back, but he’s most famous for having produced the system of devolved power and the outsourcing of social services that have accompanied the UK’s rapid decline into a place that used to care about social services, and a place that doesn’t give a damn.

I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was I disliked about Blond’s argument at the time. After a few days in the CWA, I’ve had some time to think it over.
…keep reading

NO. 130 PIKELETS #BCMASSACTION

Posted on August 31, 2012 10:42 pm by Frances Barrett
Filed Under 3 BISCUITS, SLICES, MERINGUES & PIKELETS, Baking, CWA, Finished Cakes | 1 Comment

keep looking »

  • MASS ACTION ENDS IN0
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  • CAKE TALLY137 CAKES BAKED
  • LIVE FEEDLIVE FEED BACK FROM 1PM FOR CAKE JUDGING
  • TWITTER
    • 137 Cakes: Baked, With a little over five hours to spare, Brown Council have completed their monumental task of bak… http://t.co/wt7u4fXL 12:58am 1 Sep, 2012
    • No.137 Passionfruit Slice #bcmassaction, http://t.co/Sk1G4jmq 12:49am 1 Sep, 2012
    • Stay tuned for live feed party. #BCmassaction 12:49am 1 Sep, 2012
    • No. 136 Hazlenut Squares #bcmassaction, http://t.co/fwsfLbCA 12:46am 1 Sep, 2012
    • LAST CAKE IS ON THE TABLE #BCmassaction 12:40am 1 Sep, 2012
    • No. 135 Coffee Slice #bcmassaction, http://t.co/LdC8UN4e 12:25am 1 Sep, 2012
    • No. 133 Honey and Carrot Healthy Slice, http://t.co/HC5vgu1A 11:49pm 31 Aug, 2012
    • No. 132 Pastry Current Slice #bcmassaction, http://t.co/BCz9uoHM 11:48pm 31 Aug, 2012
    • RT @StanGorton: @BrownCouncil Nice report on ABC 7pm news featuring my mum and the #bcmassaction of 137 CWA cakes in 90hrs – check it out!!! 11:48pm 31 Aug, 2012
    • RT @hellojeffkhan: Thinking of you thinking of cake thinking about the power of mass actions @browncouncil #BCmassaction @pspace 11:47pm 31 Aug, 2012