Amy Youngs and Ken Rinaldo next to their latest work, Soil Babies

Soil Babies by Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs was a crowd-sourced edible sculpture intervention by a group of artists at the gallery that wanted to learn about compost. Amy and I created a worm bassinet for the worms to eat and deconstructed these miniature sculptures to nourish the worms while nourishing a community, becoming aware of worm composting as a cure to our earth, and the soil we depend on. This work created an interspecies relationship between human artists, worms and the bacterial cultures within the worms microbiomes.

Edible sculptures for red wriggler worms for Soil Babies Sculpture. Photo Ken Rinaldo

The process was to use waste paper, watermelon rinds, and vegetables grown locally on-site and create miniature sculptures to be placed in the worm bassinet for the red wriggler worms to consume over time.

Worm bassinet filled with custom edible sculptures for red wriggler worms for Soil Babies Sculpture. The baby’s arm and foot at the bottom collect the worm tea from the worms. Photo Ken Rinaldo

In this work, it is essential to note that methane gasses that escape from landfills are 17 % or higher of all global warming gasses from bacteria that consume that waste.

Worm Bassinet from above is filled with the collaborator’s edible sculptures. Photo Ken Rinaldo

Red wriggler worms and locally sustainable reprocessing of your green waste in small systems such as this prevent that methane production from harming our delicate earth ecosystems and further abate global warming.

Monitor in the gallery allowing you to witness live the deconstruction of the worm sculptures. Photo Ken Rinaldo

We created a Raspberry Pi and miniature camera system to capture the worms loving the sculptures until they were eaten. The soil and worms were distributed back to the farm on the gallery site after the work was returned to the artists.

Opening at the Gallery of the Soil Baby work. Photo Ken Rinaldo

It is estimated there are one billion microbes in one teaspoon of soil, and worms can be a critical part of maintaining and enhancing that soil.

Artist Amy Youngs and Ken Rinaldo after completion of their Soil Babies project

This artwork and intervention present the benefits of seeing and acting as an interdependent living system. What you eat can be food for others down the food chain, including beneficial microbes in the soil.

Viewers looking at the camera see inside the worm bassinet of the Soil Babies participatory collaborative. Photo Ken Rinaldo
This team created individual edible sculptures of the worms to consume.


VISIBLE RECORDS                             Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug 1-Sept 13
The Tihua Tocha Exhibition
 invites The Weight of Sunshine mobiles, stabile sculptures along with the Soil Babies by Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs, and version two of Angel of Car of Death (Carro Angel de Muerte) invited and curated by Federico Cuatlacuatl.