A Kitchen of One’s Own by xtine burrough and Sabrina Starnaman is a speculative remix that confronts Epic Kitchens, a dataset of first-person cooking videos, with quotes from articles and social media posts on sexual harassment in professional and domestic kitchens, podcasts about the kitchen as a political space, and reflective texts by women authors about food and cooking.
Epic Kitchens (2018) is a dataset of videos collected by a group of researchers to create non-scripted recordings of all daily activities in kitchens. It is the largest known dataset produced using first-person vision. Each recorded action is assigned a verb like “wash”, “peel”, “toast”, or “rub” to describe and categorise the event.
What might appear as an everyday action in the original dataset, becomes charged with contemporary tales of aggression, disparity, and joy in professional and personal kitchens worldwide in burrough’s and Starnaman’s work. The selections from women’s fiction placed in conversation with contemporary news stories expands the subject into a centuries-long story of power dynamics and women’s experience in the kitchen.
A Kitchen of One’s Own reveals the arbitrary nature of information preservation and highlights the constructed nature of digitised materials. Blurring the lines between art and archive, or information and dataset, this project furthers discourse about the digital dataset as an authority of knowledge curation.
A Kitchen of One’s Own is commissioned for Data / Set / Match, a programme that seeks new ways to present, visualise and interrogate contemporary image datasets.
An accompanying online commission Epic Hand Washing in the Time of Lost Narratives, is available to view here.