To Eat an Apple
Pick an apple from a tree. Choose it carefully to ensure the best quality of taste.
Eat the apple until only the core remains.
Find an empty patch of soil and plant the core of the apple; ensure that there are seeds in the core, not just an empty shell.
Water the soil every day; fertilize it frequently.
Continue nourishing the soil until a sapling sprouts from the ground and grows a couple inches tall.
Find the best books, textbooks, and paintings you can.
Throw them at the sapling.
Leave the sapling in the pile.
Continue to water the earth, even if you can’t see the plant.
(a) Wait until a tree grows upon the books.
Once it reaches a couple of feet tall, take a picture of the tree and frame it.
(b) If the tree does not grow, repeat again, but with an orange.
“To Eat an Apple” was inspired by a children’s science experiment known as the “Potato Maze” and the scores in Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. The “Potato Maze” is a science experiment I did in 7th grade, in which a potato is placed at the bottom of a maze-like shoe box with a hole at the top. The goal was for the potato to grow a stem around the obstacles to ultimately poke through the hole and reach sunlight. In addition, I loved the absurd and destructive nature of Yoko Ono’s works, which I wanted to embody in a way that involved college. This semester, as a freshman, I’ve had to adapt to the new college lifestyle. These ideas culminated in “To Eat an Apple”, a score in which you symbolically take the role of a parent, trying to raise an educated child. The apple is heavily tied with the concept of knowledge as the fruit from the tree of knowledge in the “Fall of Man” is often depicted as an apple. In addition, an apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head is the common explanation for the beginning of his research on gravity. The work all together is intended to recreate the feeling of parenthood and entering a child into the college process. In the start, eating the apple is analogous to having sex, as the activity itself satisfies a base desire and (after planting the core) results in new life. Afterwards, the played needs to care for the soil by fertilizing and watering it. Once it sprouts from the ground and becomes large enough, the player throws textbooks and other works at the plant, in order to simulate the schooling process, which can be overwhelming yet ultimately beneficial. As the player continues to water and fertilize the soil laden with books, it becomes difficult to observe the plant itself, so the player must provide distant support. Ultimately the sapling must navigate through the pile of books and grow on its own with the resources given (now transformed into a sort of fertilizer). In the end, if it succeeds, you celebrate with a picture (kind of like at a graduation), but if it doesn’t, you move on and attempt again with a different fruit, an orange, symbolizing that the traditional education route may fail one child, but it may succeed for another (apples to oranges). As discussed in class, the gameplay of this score are intended to convey a meaning, rather than the story itself, as the player unwittingly takes up the role of a parent.
(For some reason WordPress won’t let me upload photos, so I uploaded them to the google album linked below, and you can view them from there)
Photo 1: The apple I’m using to do the score, picked fresh from the Dining Hall.
Photo 2: Me, biting into the apple, it was really juicy. Not pictured: Me eating the rest of the apple.
Photo 3: Me, holding up the completely finished apple core to show that the deed had been done, I had consumed the apple, leaving behind only the core.
Photo 4: A picture of the seeds contained inside the core of the decimated apple.
Photo 5: The core in a hole in the soil, being prepared to be buried. (I did this somewhere in Fenway in some soft soil).
Photo 6: The core completely buried now, with soil and wood chips pushed over it.
Photo 7: Me, watering the spot in the soil with the apple core.
That was as far as I could go as the plant didn’t grow yet.