Abandoned Quality Chef Building, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Boni Cracker’s School of Under Cover Cooking Installation

As part of my New Genres class at Mount Mercy College each year we find an abandon factory, house or storefront site for the students to create site-specific installations. In 2006 and 2007 the city allowed us to use the former Quality Chef Frozen Soup factory and laboratory building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I collaborate with the students on this project, which culminates in a public opening with performances, video and other site-specific installations.

In 2007 I invited my long time colleague, friend and collaborator, Ann Gerber Sakaguchi in the San Francisco area (aka Bette Booda, Boni Cracker, etc) to get students involved in her latest project as part of the Quality Chef project. Ann had taken the altar ego of Boni Crocker and had started the Boni Cracker’s Instant School of Under Cover Cooking in response to the political climate in the years preceding Obama’s election. BCSUC, as it is known, has also served student in Chicago and in Ohio, where I assisted Boni by running her 2-hour degree program, administering lessons and diplomas.

On this page you first see Boni Cracker’s package, the school’s manifesto, admissions posters, admissions process, and a selection of the mail order lessons my students completed. The last Row of images shows several of the student installations in the laboratory and research division of the abandon soup factory in Cedar Rapids.