PRI Art Machine

During September 2023, forty-seven artists at PRI collaborated on this textile art installation.
Each artist created one or more snacks from felt, glue, and fabric paint.
These soft sculptures are displayed in a vending machine made by Karly Bergmann, Art Instructor.

Photo/video credit: Deacon Warner & Jes Rosenberg

Collaborative Artists’ Statement

This is a machine, inside is the food. It has pops, chips, candy, a 25 cent sticker, numbers, the bottom where stuff comes out. It’s a vending machine! It’s art made out of snacks! It’s snack art!

Our food is a kind of art. Details on the front, stuffing on the inside. We made the fake food with felt. Put chocolate on orange, layer the pieces of felt and glue it. Then we stuff it with white stuff to make it like a pillow. We used paint to write the names like professional artists. Then we put the food on the shelves.

We made pictures in here. It’s not just one person doing it, it’s the entire group. It’s your opinion, our opinion, my opinion- an assembly line to add their opinion. It’s a process. All the cans are different from each other. It’s kind of our own, we all made the snacks, but Karly is there to help us out.

We want the audience to feel surprised, excited, and happy. Maybe overwhelmed or shocked! “Is it real or fake?” We want you to think it’s real- like you can put your money in there and get your favorite pop out. We want you to feel like we are professional.

Use your brain for your own choice for the vending machine. Look through the glass and see what kinds of treats we have: Chocolate yellow M&Ms. Red white Coca Cola. Orange black Cheetohs. Select the one that’s your favorite, push the button to punch in the number and letter, and get the thing that comes out the bottom. How does it work? Just kick it! Just kidding, put money in (usually, they take $1 or $5 bills). Enjoy!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.