Have you ever struggled over how to explain the difference between pasture-raised and cage-free eggs? How about sustainable and conventional agriculture? The world of real food is stuffed full of terms bent on describing how it is we’re moving beyond organic towards something far more intentional and wholesome — terms like aquaponics, food miles, and mobstocking.
Over the past few years, photographers Douglas and Laura Gayeton have been crisscrossing the country capturing images that convey the meaning of these emerging terms. Their project is called the Lexicon of Sustainability, and it’s probably one of the single most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.
They’re combining photography, videography, and old-fashioned artistic sense to create a photojournalistic dictionary of the vocabulary of sustainability. The Lexicon, as they call it, is now a collection of “information art” and short films that can be viewed in a traveling art show as well as online. Anyone — even you — can curate this show for your community.
Check out the spectacular quality of the videos they’ve commissioned so far. This is the story of an egg:
And this is the information art produced from that story:
(HINT: Click on the picture to see a larger version. What amazing detail!)
The idea is that words mean things. And when you or I use words like “food miles” in a conversation with someone who eats a standard American diet, we sound like an invader from outer space.
Perhaps The Lexicon can do what we can’t. It can let the images speak, let the images educate. In the same way that absolutely everyone who saw Food, Inc. now has the image of thousands of baby chicks hurried along giant conveyer belts to their doom emblazoned in their minds, perhaps these gripping images within The Lexicon can introduce others to the language of sustainability.
To check out more of their work, or to see about hosting a traveling art show near you, visit The Lexicon of Sustainability.
(all photos and videos by The Lexicon of Sustainability)