Fallen Fruit began as a public project by a Los Angeles based art collective. Their goal? To show people that food is all around them by mapping the abundance of fruit growing in public places throughout their city. Since their first map in 2004, people around the world have shared their discoveries by mapping the “fallen fruit” in their communities. This “Fallen Fruit” movement allows people to re-discover their own backyards … turning urban foraging … into a treasure hunt.
Sunset Junction Back Alley
Los Angeles, CA
2 February 2011
People search their cities and neighborhoods for unused or unwanted things: litter, refuse…even food. Fallen fruit is often overlooked (either after its fallen to the ground or while still on the tree). It can be harvested, gleaned, or just observed.
1. Find a neighborhood with lots of fruit growing in or over public space
2. Trace an outline of the streets and place little symbols for the fruit trees
3. Share with your friends
(NOTE: These maps should be suggestive and playful, not overly precise, and used to encourage people to explore their own neighborhoods.)
The Fallen Fruit Collective started when 3 artists (David Burns, Austin Young + Matias Viegener) began examining the space between houses in their Los Angeles neighborhood. They quickly discovered over 100 fruit trees in a five city block area offering organic public fruit year-round. They mapped this resource and shared it with others.
PEOPLE RARELY EAT THE FRUIT GROWING IN THEIR OWN GARDENS. They simply assume it’s somehow not as good as fruit from the market. That two block journey they take by car to their local grocery store further reinforces that disconnect. Los Angeles is a car culture – everything is seen through windshields…against the soundtrack of cell phone conversations. Part of these artists’ mission is to get people to look at things they sometimes don’t see. People often stop to talk to them when they pick. One girl told them she didn’t eat bananas because she thought you were supposed to eat the peel…which she hated. It wasn’t until she tried one on an LA sidewalk that she changed her mind.
David Burns is a visual artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. His recent video work has shown in festivals and galleries around the world.
Austin Young is an artist based in Los Angeles who works primarily in photography and video. His work ispublished regularly in Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, as well as Surface, Flaunt, Vogue, Spin, and Rolling Stone. He recently completed a feature length documentary, “Hadda Brooks, This is My Life,” about torch singer, Hadda Brooks.
Matias Viegener is a Los Angeles based writer, artist and critic who teaches in Critical Studies and the MFA Writing Program at CalArts. He works alone and collaboratively in writing, video, installation and performance art.