Jabblescram Projects

Picky Eater

Short Video by Kay Slater, Jabblescram: Game Remix, July 2020

Creator: Kay Slater
Exhibition: Jabblescram 2020
Published: July 2020
Format: Video (uncaptioned, stock audio)
Access: YouTube (embedded below)
Content Warning: Video makes reference to eating disorders and alcoholism.

“I grew up loving play kitchenettes. It didn’t really reveal itself as a gendered experience for me until I was much older because my mother loved to cook, and there was genuine love and respect in my imitation cooking play – I wanted to have the same skills. When my eventual failure to become a competent cook was pitted against assumptions that my mimicry and eventual assistant role in the kitchen would produce a culinary master, it manifested feelings of failure for not being a competent adult and later life partner. Garnish these feelings with a sprig of hearing loss, a side of ritual communal eating, and a blend of unattainable beauty standards and body dysmorphia, and one can see how easy it is to lose one’s appetite.”

Kay Slater

The Work:

Description: a film poster showing a grainy, green-filtered still from the short video. A dining place setting made up of objects found in the boardgame Scrabble, a small cast iron frying pan and a wine glass holding many letter tiles, a single spoon with the letter tile for I, and the tile-holder bars laid out like a square plate. The text reads: Lose your appetite. A short film by Kay Slater. Picky Eater. Below this are two film festival laurels for the altFF and Fort Langley film festivals in 2024.

Description of the Work

In a continued mission to incorporate play and live-making into their practice, Kay filmed the following short-movie with the goal of creating a live narrative using the game ready-mades and no script. In a burst of inspiration, upon spying their frying pan on the rack, the story starts innocently with elements of childhood play and kitchenettes. Once the letters are cooked, the story turns into a melange of thoughts and anxieties the artist feels when eating out in public. The soundtrack is made up of colour filters and static to express their frustration towards obnoxiously omnipresent “background music” in public eateries, the now ubiquitous call to “put on headphones” to “better” enjoy a game, mobile app, or interactive experience”, and in expressing their own experiences with synaesthesia. 

The artist states: Video uses colour for sound expression. Video is meant to be played with sound off, or sound painfully loud. Soundtrack does not enhance the experience. Wear headphones at your own risk.

Within Jabblescram:

This project borrowed 100 letter tiles, the 15 x 15 gridded board, bag, and 4 tile racks included in a generic box of Scrabble. All pieces once used were returned to the box.

Video uses sound clips (Candy Bar Wrapper, Frying Food, Pouring Drinks, Restaurant, Static1) from under CC License Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0),

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