September 2020


From the editor

Andrea Gyorody

Leftovers are easy and virtuous; that's why I've always loved them, categorically. The hard work of prepping and cooking is mostly done; the task of reviving limp, fridge-cold food often feels like a fun challenge (if sometimes a little too much like being on an episode of Chopped); and it's deeply satisfying to make the most of what you have. If all else fails, you can just stick an egg on whatever you've concocted, dab it with hot sauce, and it'll be delicious—maybe even better than the original meal.

Lately I've been wondering how I can apply that kind of resourceful nose-to-tail thinking to research and writing. Perhaps it's the pandemic effect: rather than casting about for the next, possibly infeasible thing, I've become more interested in deepening what I'm already invested in, mining past work for paths not taken and digressions worthy of attention. As Laura Fried and I were pulling together this issue, we found ourselves reaching out to people about their recent projects to ask how we could use Digest to extend them further, to sop up every last bit. These projects, we've realized, are virtually inexhaustible, but here we feature especially compelling snippets by artists Carmen Argote and Shana Lutker, poet Tommy Pico, and art historian Shana Klein—each of whom has generously given us a peek at process, sharing thoughts, notes, stories, and images that offer access to the work behind the work. It makes me happy, because nothing this good should go to waste.

—Andrea Gyorody

Active Cultures is a cultural organization that explores the convergence of food and art in contemporary life.