Milk It

Milk It is an exploration on symbols and ideas surrounding gentrification and the cyclic nature of the economy in it's close-knit relationship to the housing market. Milk It is also a study in materials and time; milk, historically tied to ideas of value, nutrition, and daily consumption, is contrasted against dirt, a plain material found in bountiful amounts on Earth. As the frozen milk melts, it is strained through the dirt and into the glass bowl. This act, using a life-size strainer and bowl is meant to scale the piece to our own lives and relevance. The milk, acting as shelter and value for these small figurines, is taken from the figurines forcefully, and reclaimed in its pure form for the viewer. At the end of of the piece's process, the viewer will relate the course of actions to his or herself.

Milk It additionally speaks on the issue of climate change. As our weather reports rising temperatures each year, record-breaking warmer summers and colder winters, more extreme weather conditions from changing global climate patterns and phenomenons, and the resettling of the first American climate refugees, climate change is a massive topic that has largely gone unspoken and disregarded in America. What happens when the dust settles from fighting about all the wars we're involved in, finally learning to become tolerant and accepting of different races, cultures, genders, sexualities, etc., will we still have a place to call home? Milk It presents a similar kind of observation, as we all become involved in pressing issues, distractions, political, social unrests, the world around us slowly melts away...

My inspiration came from learning about the housing situation in developing cities in Shanghai, specifically from reading Shanghai Gone by Qin Shao. As in many developing cities, the housing situation in Shanghai is often described as foul play; people are arrested from their homes deemed as prime real estate land, literally taken in the middle of the night and thrown out in the outskirts to fend for themselves; housing costs are beyond unaffordable, rising into the millions even for small studio apartments; and it all perpetuates a system of gender discrimination, ravenous, un-checked capitalistic consumption, and an imbalanced social structure.