Corn, Incorporated, 2013

Suite of handmade papers made from corn husk and denim fiber, each watermarked with corporate and government logos, representing the American corn-based food system. Edition of 10.

This suite of handmade papers reflects the corporatization of the American diet and its transformation into a corn-based food system. Historically, corn was an iconic American plant, a character in the romanticized origin mythology of this nation. However, the plant – initially bred selectively by the indigenous peoples of this continent – has now been trademarked and genetically altered to fit into a corporate product chain. Whether partially made out of corn, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, or made from animals fed a diet of corn, nearly 99% of all food products in the American supermarket can trace their origins to a cornfield.

This food system is an enormous contributor to global warming, through its requirements for massive amounts of petroleum. This petroleum is the basis for corn fertilizer and pesticides, as well as packaging and transport. In addition to the environmental problems to which it contributes, a corn-based Western diet is linked to numerous diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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