Few deny that the art of cooking lies solely in the finished dish; the process counts, hence all the celebrity chef cookbooks and the entirety of the Food Network. The regular art world isn't so revealing. In Recipes for an Encounter, the process is laid bare. Essentially, its a book of recipes (also instructionals, diagrams, scores, texts, what have you), to facilitate encounters, which can often be described as art happenings, which should tip you off: This is weird, challenging stuff. The few we can readily understand include a ballet in a train station performed by 500 people listening to a radio broadcast; a knitting recipe for "fuck you" gloves; a guide titled "How to Colonize a Nation"; detailed blueprints for a bank heist; a list of camper essentials with an eye toward catastrophe (throwing stars and a hemostatic clamp are included); and, finally, a recipe for "silencing" the book by blowing it up. At tonight's book launch, the organizers preside over a strange spate of events. The Center for Tactical Magic is on the hook for spellbinding techniques of sorcery, seduction, and spectacle using Tactical Magic, which is defined on its site as a fusion force derived from seemingly disparate art paradigms. What? Exactly. Artist Matt Volla leads group exercises in mimesis and empathy; if you dont know what mimesis means, well just confuse you further. Lastly, chef Jerome Waag serves up something or other; probably the latter, as Waag is also a performance artist who participated in a dirt tasting in 2008.
Thu., Jan. 28, 7 p.m., 2010