Bake Sale Residency: Shulie Seidler-Feller

July 4, 2009

This is long overdue!  Shulie was a resident baker for the Bake Sale Residency for Artists program On June 4th at Smack Mellon in DUMBO Brooklyn for an film screening event.  She baked delicious fruit hand pies (the crust was made with cornmeal, yum), gingerbread whoopie pies, and chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, both with cream cheese frosting.  Holy hell, that stuff was amazing.  We’ve finally worked out the interview, which is below, and although I can’t find the cable to connect my camera to my computer to show you pics of the bake sale (they will be up shortly), I can share with you Shulie’s photographs of her portrait project.  Read on for the interview.

copyright Shulie Seidler-Feller

Tracy: Can you tell me about your body of work and about the project you were raising funds for?

Shulie: Bruckova is a self-portrait project that seeks to document generations of women in my family using photography as the central vehicle, as well as elements of performance. The prefix used in my maternal family’s Czech naming tradition, Bruckova—the diminutive form of the surname Bruck, is used to tie these women together, to establish a connective thread between these women. I make these large-scale “portraits” of my female relatives using props culled from my living family: their clothing, jewelry, makeup, and photographs all inform these images and often are used in my photographic process. I use my memories of these women as well as information gathered from interviewing my family members to attempt to construct the personalities of these women in front of the camera. Using studio lighting equipment and a large format camera, I aim to reconstruct these women’s personalities—often trying on their personas in addition to their clothing. To learn more about the project, email

copyright Shulie Seidler-Feller
T: How long have you been baking?  Do you come from a long line of bakers?
S: I grew up in a house where cooking was a central part of life. From a young age I helped out regularly in the kitchen. While my mother only started baking later on in life, my grandmother cemented my love of baking very early by baking a special birthday cake for me each year. I started baking on my own at the age of 12 (I used to love to make cinnamon rolls for my brother!) and have continued since.
T: How was your experience in the kitchen baking for the bake sale?
S: It was a little frenetic. I decided to bake a lot of different things, so it took me a while to get the job done. I did very much enjoy both the baking and the selling of the goods, however.
T: What did you enjoy most about your bake sale experience?
S: I most enjoyed being able to sell what I had made directly to the people eating it. It was great to hear that they enjoyed the baked goods– I like to take pride in whatever I make. In addition, it was great to see the nostalgia that some of my goods brought up in people–it gave me real insight into the connection between food and memory.
T: What were some comments about your baked goods during the bake sale?  Were you able to chat with anyone about your process, your ingredients, and/or your portrait project?
S: The most interesting comments made were about the gingerbread whoopie pies that I made. I love to make them because I think they combine savory and sweet flavors nicely, but I was surprised to see that people gravitated towards them because of the kitschy quality they seem to have. Several people were excited to see them because they claimed to have not seen a whoopie pie since childhood. Being able to clearly see the way in which enjoyment of food is linked to memory gave me good insight– in addition to the fact that it was so nice to be able to get people very excited about what I had made.

I chatted with a few people about my ingredients (specifically about what kind of fruit I used in my hand pies), but most people seemed more interested in eating rather than talking. No one really asked me about my portrait project. I think if there had been a better way to display that information and the connection to Sweet Tooth, that might engage people more. I did think it was great that the curator made an announcement about me–it was nice to feel Smack Mellon’s support.

<Thanks for baking your butt off, Shulie!>


A new home for Hello, Sweet Tooth!

June 29, 2009

Hello, Sweet Tooth recently resided over at and I have to say it was not a very good experience.  Uploading images was frustraing, and for some reason the html was always screwed up.  So, after a year of battling it out with Blogger, and many suggestions from friends later, I’ve moved my blog over to  And they didn’t even pay me to say that.  Hopefully, this much easier format will allow me to update the goings on of Sweet Tooth of the Tiger more frequently, as well as have a more immediate platform to discuss such interests as the intersection of food, culture, and art.

As you may already know, I’m the founder and administrator of Sweet Tooth of the Tiger, a bake sale project based in Brooklyn.  I’ve been facilitating the bake sale for the past year at art and culture events at locations such as Exit Art, Smack Mellon, DCTV,, The Last Supper Festival, Design Trust for Public Space, at which I baked all kind of goodies and sold them for cheap to the public.  In the process of hauling baked goods to galleries and public spaces, I began developing ideas about the social practice of eating, the effects of sugar on the body, hyperactivity as a catalyst for action, circulating capital in the arts, and other stuff like the role of the arts administrator in a recession and new artist economies.  I’ve been involved with wonderful arts groups like FEAST (Funding Emerging Arts with Sustainable Tactics), InCUBATE (Institutie for Community Understanding between Art and The Everyday, based in Chicago), the Last Supper Festival (an annual interdiscplinary event that examines the connections between art, food, and culture), and others.  I just graduated from NYU with a Master’s in Visual Culture Theory, and during my two years there, researched all of the aforementioned issues, with my thesis title ending up as “Feed Me: Participatory Art, Food as a Medium and the Shifting Politics of Collaborative Practice in an Economic Collapse” (yes, that is a mouthful.  Pun intended).

So, I find myself continuing these efforts now, launching new projects, such as CAKE WALK (, but more about that later.  Oh!  I also devloped the Bake Sale Residency for Artists this past January, which is off to a gentle start, as I have no funding for the project, but I’m nurturing it as well as I can.  So far, The Residency has been host to four different bakers, the first being Frankie Martin (my sweet little pal who is embarking on BIKE USA, a bike and comedy and art tour down the coast of Cali, in two days on July 2nd) at Secret Project Robot.  Then, about 4 months later, ha!, Shulie Seidler-Feller, a photographer that is working on a portrait project portraying herself as different generations of women in her family, was the resident baker at an event at Smack Mellon.  The night after Shulie’s bake sale was a double-teamed bake sale at an event sponsored by the Renegade Craft Fair at Huckleberry Bar in Brooklyn.  The event featured the amazing baked goods of Sanam Aarabi and Jessica Reed.  I will be posting interviews and pictures of all of them shortly on this blog.

Perhaps that’s enough of an inroduction for now.  I hope to be writing regular updates weekly, so stay tuned!

Currently reading- “The Taste of Sweet: Our Complicated Love Affair with Our Favorite Treats,” by Joanne Chen

Currently listening- “California Girls,” on Distortion by The Magnetic Fields

Currently watching- Season Two DVD of The Cosby Show