The Cookbook of Gestures is an on-going local and global collection of recipes. A recipe is not just a written document. It is the result of a series of past and present innovative and improvised sensory gestures. Women conjure dishes, nimbly incorporating old and new ingredients. Combined, gestures and ingredients create what we call taste. In The Cookbook of Gestures series, I isolate agile motions, create delicate multi-sensory video, and reveal the dance of timeless embodied gestures.

Reframing the act of cooking as a learned, skilled, and embodied practice reveals the power of cooks and undermines the notion of cooking as a “menial art.” Unsung women cooks are key catalysts in the creation of new dynamic foodways. They wield considerable power and control over not just food consumption practices of a household but also the creation of culture itself and the making of history.

Description: Recipes 1-4 each with one video of 10 x 5 grid (50 squares) of film loops. Recipe 5 with three video screens (each 10 x 5 grid (50 squares). Each individual film loop is a hand gesture related to the processing/creation of a food/recipe. All gestures derive from five women who labor daily—at home and then in the old city—as cooks or farmers in Fez, Morocco.