Honey Jones Hughes

publieke ruimte - documentair - educatie - sociaal-maatschappelijk - uitwisseling

My approach to art-making is research-based, working through learning processes, and often borrowing techniques more attuned to anthropological studies. My work gathers collections of different elements, including video, conversations, interviews, workshops and text which curate snapshots into lives, places, or social groups at particular moments in time. These collections manifest as an exploration of place-making through micro-archives of interactions, which question where we are and how we live here.

Since 2020 I have been collaborating with Antonio de la Hera, mapping the production, processing and distribution of edible produce within and surrounding the city of Rotterdam. We are currently building a body of research concerning the surrounding agricultural sector, defining ethics in food production, and questioning locality and scale. Working through thoughts of sustainability, local resources, regenerative agriculture, in addition to personally thinking on project legacies and how projects can be used rather than viewed.

What’s in a Packed Lunch? (2023) - Public programme for Sustaining Small Acts at TENT, Rotterdam, NL. In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. A process of alchemy is happening in Rotterdam. Waste is being transformed back into raw materials, re-routed from landfill and back into our ever more productive economy. The dream: a perfect, never-ending, closed loop. This project arose out of on-going research into waste streams and infrastructure in and around the city of Rotterdam. The experience was designed to resemble the format of a school trip: Participants were given a packed lunch and went along a pre-determined route with directions printed on a specially designed napkin. The first stop was at the offices of international commercial waste company, Renewi, where sales director Robert Jooren, gave a presentation about the company. To contrast this perspective the group travelled to a second site, the Grondstoffenstation, about 15 minutes on public transport. This latter site is a new grass-roots inititative in Rotterdam’s Afrikaandermarkt which aims to recoup and process all the market waste on site to benefit local residents. Here, the group had a verbal presentation in front of the half-built construction, soon to be the waste facility. The lunchbox made for the trip used ingredients from local farms and producers, some of them were ‘waste’ items, some processed into a meal format. Included in the bag was a small ‘ingredients list’ outlining source of ingredients and also the ‘waste’ created in the process of (making) the experience.
The Frysian food supply chain in 3 episodes (2023) - Three part workshop series with students from MBO Aeres, Leeuwarden, NL. In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. For this project we chartered existing supply chains in Friesland, looking at both small and large-scale producers with local and international outreach. From this map we developed a three-part workshop series for MBO students in the Life Sciences and Food Innovation courses. We took them along the food supply chain, but in reverse, making pitstops at sites that were attempting alternative models that relied less on ‘traditional’ economies of scale, and passing by leading industry sites. Stops included De Streekboer1 (distributor), Wald Suval (industrial dairy farm with own point of sale), BioBoerPeter2 (Large egg farm with processing installation on site), a whistle stop tour around 6 industrial bakeries in Leeuwarden (from Dr Oetker to Borgesius), and CSA farm Yn’e Sinne. This project resulted from invitation from the MBO Aeres in tandem with a residency at VHDG in Leeuwarden.
Best Practice (2023) - VHDG & Kunstruimte H47, Leeuwarden, NL In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. This project was a continuation of our research into Dutch agricultural landscapes and industries, but this time in the province of Friesland, following an invitation by Stichting VHDG in Leeuwarden. The project involved a month long research period focusing and thinking about larger scale farming, how farmers and society should balance ecology and economy, and how cultural histories create challenges. As the research developed a distinct interest in “packaging” emerged. In other words how farmers, producers, or groups can communicate their (ecological) intentions and approaches, especially when deliberately avoiding industrial “best practice” methods, in a consumer market full of a broad range of “green” claims. We produced a series of lightbox-objects and composed accompanying stories to “package” some of the narratives we had harvested during the research period. The objects and stories reflected the polyvalent nature of decisions farmers and producers take in finding the right balance. The in-process objects were on show in Kunstruimte H47, Leeuwarden, for the second month of the project.
Manhattan aan de Maas (2023) - WORM Pirate Bay Archive, Rotterdam, NL In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. During this 2 month residency period we dove into WORM’s Pirate Bay Archive, in particular the board games collection. Board games are useful tools to play out social situations, or role-play an alternative set of circumstances. Monopoly, for example, has all the players start out on equal footing, racing as capitalists to become the dominant 1%, in control of most if not all of the capital and housing stock. We used the archive to prototype a board game that reflected the challenges of the contemporary housing market in The Netherlands (on a board that resembled Rotterdam), introducing socio-economic diversity via character role-play, and policy shifting potential through the introduction of a game-master in the role of a mayor. This prototype and first version of the game Manhattan aan de Maas can be played in The Pirate Bay Archive.
DIY Seaweed Farming: a ‘how to do it at home’ guide (2022) - In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. This publication is the result of an experimental research project where we attempted to create a sea-like environment in our kitchen with the intention of nurturing seaweed fit for human consumption. In essence we were trying to create a micro-seaweed farm in our home, hoping to create the perfect environment for what is being hailed as a miracle crop capable of solving climate, plastic and even fuel issues. The experiment allowed us to explore what it meant to try to replicate the sea in a confined environment, emulating the challenges of urban farming. The project reflects on the use of technology to try to attempt to solve contemporary food issues in contrast with traditional farming methods. The research resulted in a booklet designed in line with the kinds of guide you receive for flat-pack furniture, for cameras, for freezers - a black-and-white booklet, glue bound, printed on thin paper. The introduction is written by Kate Price, a fellow farmer, artist and researcher. Produced thanks to the generous support of an Experiment grant from the Stimuleringsfonds in 2022.
Sociale Field Study (2022) - B-R-O-D-O, Lago, IT In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. This Sociale Field Study took place 18-30 April 2022, as part of the B-R-O-D-O residency programme with Lago Film Festival. The focus of the study was on the landscape and industries that exist in the immediate area around the two lakes in the town of Lago, in the Veneto region of Italy. The lakes are surrounded by a community of peoples, each with their own relation to the territory, the cultivated and indigenous species, and the intersecting cultures. Following the research period in Lago, we designed and produced a map as a report of how the area has evolved following human use, with delineations of areas of particular importance and human presence. Copies of the map were distributed in the area as editions in Italian and English during the film festival. Photos: Alfred Agostinelli
BUURTIJS Archive (2022) - In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. To document the network of questions and decisions that arose out of the BUURTIJS project, we coded a website using P5.js. The basic concept is a series of ‘mind maps’ 2-5 that correspond to different themes or aspects of the research in the context of “making a local ice cream”: Ingredients, Individuals, Definitions, Economies etc. These mind maps are layered on top of one another, with the possibility to zoom in and out, and can be switched on or off to prioritise certain layers at any given moment. In another section of the website, we have a payment screen, which we directed people to when buying ice cream. Included in this section is a short text about “solidarity payments” the alternative payment structure we adopted from Elske Hageraats where you pay for labour rather than products, an as-complete-as-possible budget outlining how our economy enabled the project and determined certain decisions, and a calculator to help you work out how much an ice cream should cost based on your own income.
BUURTIJS (2020-2022) - In collaboration with Antonio de la Hera. A project exploring and mapping the production, processing and distribution of edible produce within and surrounding the city of Rotterdam through the lens of certain ingredients needed to make ‘local’ ice cream (milk, cream, eggs, and beet sugar). The project evolved from a challenge to make ice cream using only the most ethical ingredients collected by bike, directly from the source, to later be sold in our neighbourhood. The idea was that the sales of the ice cream could support the production of a research and development period, but it didn’t quite work out that way due to economies of scale and consumer expectations amongst other things. Out of this a body of research related to our surrounding agricultural sector emerged, with questions of food sovereignty, local resources, and scales of production. BUURTIJS lives on as a body of information, several ice cream recipes, mapping of a local agricultural history and, of course, as a network of individuals within the local landscape.
METROPOLIS MASTERS! (2019-2022) - A workshop in urban planning or a game where participants work around the existing waterways of a place while imagining future needs that may arise out of changing world, such as higher water, warmer (or colder!) climates, new types of local flora and fauna, and urban innovation. The city-scaping is frequently interrupted by the ‘game masters’ with new events and interjections such as natural disasters, funding cuts, other changes in social and economic policy. Participants are invited to role-play ways out of each scenario that comes their way in collaboration while collectively building a sculpture. Several versions of this game have been staged in the following cities: Rotterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh between 2019-2022.
W1555 – Conversations with an Accidental Community (2019-2021) - A documentary-style video work about the community living between numbers 15 and 55 on Wolphaertstraat, Oud Charlois. Initiated by Honey Jones-Hughes, a resident in this community for the last three years, the conversations take place during a period of renovation, where the homes of her and her neighbours are being rebuilt as part of a project by Woonstad Rotterdam. The film explores the histories of these houses, the residents, and the hopes for the future of this community in a state of flux. With thanks to all my neighbours in W1555, Geo Wyeth + Jay Tan, Kamiel Verschuren, Sol Archer, Antonio de la Hera, Jeanette Orrell, Steffan Jones-Hughes. Soundtrack by : NEWK, listentomerijn Sound recorded and mixed by Nick Thomas With thanks to the support of a CBK Rotterdam PPR Grant, Mondriaan Fonds, and Charlois Speciaal.