breadbox is part of an ongoing body of work centered around care, commensality, and reproductive freedom. Approximately three-fourths of people who live in the so-called United States agree that people with the capacity to get pregnant should be able to control the means of their menstrual production. Nevertheless, attempts to restrict abortion access rely on fear, surveillance, and elite rule to perpetuate harmful myths, dominate our bodies, and punish our desires. breadbox resists this fear-mongering through the near-universal folk tradition of breaking bread, fostering affirming conditions to promote reproductive autonomy.
breadbox’s print materials, video, prompt-stenciled foods, and face-to-face interactions avert high tech surveillance through a constellation of access points. Online videos are typically scanned to create automatic transcriptions, produce SEO-boosting metadata, and shadowban creators supporting legal or extralegal access to healthcare; the seemingly innocuous video installed in breadbox carries information about medication abortion through embedded closed captioning that is not bot-readable. Similarly, risographed zines distributed through ‘bread bags’ are abortion-access resource materials tailored to the communities that breadbox visits. Bread bags are available at installations across the country and online for free or by donation; proceeds benefit practical support organizations. Live, communal meals linked to installations and breadboxes-in-progress have their own magics.
breadbox counters the small group of outspoken extremists who would have us believe that bodily autonomy is a cruel endeavor for people who can get pregnant, trans people, and those who support us. breadbox treats the liveliness of sourdough baking (and each other) with responsive, sustained, and tender care, inviting us to articulate regionally-specific answers to the question: how do people access abortion care here?
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Borealis (they/them/beau/bo) co-produces works rooted in the queer art of care. Beau is a trans, disabled social artist and full-spectrum careworker currently based in Lexington, KY.