This story is a part of MOLD’s reader-submitted project series. Submit your projects here for consideration.

Society’s consumptive behavior patterns itself on the ecology around it by promoting a rigid order on the resources we consume. Beyond being human resources, these minerals, plants and living systems hold diversity and qualities of their own which are often mutated in order to be efficient for extraction.

Images courtesy of Barney Pau Jury Morgan.


The Baker’s Bedroom is part of an ongoing exploration into queering domestic and consumptive norms. Queering, in this context, is the act of subverting codified norms and challenging heteronormative assumptions. This project focuses on the promiscuity of rye which, compared to wheat, barley, and other grains, is relatively hard to monoculture. This is an act of natural deviance and defiance to our societal and agricultural norms; ergo: queering.


This project is about questioning the way we consume by challenging the heteronormative domestic norms upholding society through the practice of queering; looking at existing problems through new and unusual lenses. 


The sourdough Barney bakes challenges convention: diverse in its ingredients; promiscuous in its agency; considered in its impact. Placing this ‘bent’ bread in the bedroom questions domesticity’s censure of diversity. The Baker’s Bedroom plays on artifice, challenging normativity through subversion of convention. The piece is littered with queer symbolism, subtle yet assertive; an underlying otherness can be glimpsed breaking through a veneer of hegemonic domesticity. The toilet wallpaper; the folded poster; the framed photo; the bent bread. All are tropes of domesticity that have been subverted into a queer surreality.


This project is focused on addressing why our food systems are constructed the way they are, and how we can ‘queer’ those societal norms through enhanced diversity and promiscuity. Through this novel and unusual methodologies and practices can come to the fore.


Barney Pau is a writer, designer and researcher who believes food, in its ubiquity, transcends language. Barney believes that by applying its powers of communication as a medium it is possible to impart the wisdom of sustainable consumption to others. Barney has taken their interest in exploring the future of food into my studies. In their current research, bread is their touchstone: it’s entwined history with agriculture; the infrastructural problems it causes; and the potential solutions it presents. Their inquiry also focuses on queering food; how we can interrogate contemporary consumptive norms by altering our practices.