Tonight at 7pm: Dvořák’s 7th & The Czech Symphonic Tradition with The Orchestra Now: Watch Now

Common Ground

an international festival on the politics of land and food

Curated by Tania El Khoury and Gideon Lester
In association with the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard (CHRA)

The Fisher Center LAB Biennial is a thematic festival that invites and commissions artists to create new works that grapple with some of the most pressing questions of our time.

The 2022–23 edition, Common Ground, is a year-long international program focusing on the politics of land and food and taking place on four continents. We have commissioned new works from artists whose practices engage with food sovereignty, climate change, and land rights.

Together, we invite you to join them in imagining a more equitable, sustainable, healthful, and delicious future.

Common Ground includes two four-day festivals at and around the Fisher Center—one at harvest time (October 13–16, 2022), one in the growing season (May 4–7, 2023).

Cooking Sections: When [Salmon Salmon [Salmon]]

A three-part performance installation

When [Salmon Salmon [Salmon]] is a trilogy of performative installations tracing the effects of salmon farms on multiple ecologies. The three works focus on the impact of food production based on extractive systems that push the environment to the verge of collapse. Shown for the first time in North America, the trilogy portrays farmed salmon as a constructed animal, one of the most recently domesticated and industrialized species in history.


October 13–16

The Belly is a Garden

A lecture performance

Seed keeper and artist Vivien Sansour invites us to join her in a conversation and lecture performance that unfolds over a walk through the Bard Farm and the wild landscape that surrounds it. As we walk, we will study the diversity of plants growing there and consider how we share the world and how we interact with it.


October 13–16


See all Common Ground programs on the same day, including The Belly is a Garden and Cooking Sections Parts 1, 2, 3 • $20 per package, plus fees. Estimated runtime is approximately 2.5 hours.
Purchase Package

See the entire Cooking Sections Trilogy, which includes Part 1—lecture performance—and Parts 2 & 3—immersive video installations • $20 per ticket, plus fees. Estimated runtime is approximately 1 hour.
Purchase Tickets

Purchase Cooking Sections 2 & 3 only • $5 per ticket. Estimated runtime is approximately 30 minutes.
Purchase Tickets

Reserve The Belly is a Garden only • Free. Estimated runtime is approximately 1 hour.
Reserve Tickets

Related Campus Event

BOOK LAUNCH: Eden Revisited

by László Z. Bitó ’60

The “fall” in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden is a food event! Is there a more powerful story that shows us that we are what we eat? Eden could be thought of as a representation of ecological balance. There is no ownership of land and no hunger. The first couple eat according to their needs; they are gatherers rather than farmers; they do not till the soil; working and eating are not linked; land is not yet property. Eden Revisited, a novel by scientist, writer, and philanthropist László Z. Bitó ’60, published in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard, gives us a fresh look at the primordial garden and helps us reimagine a world where being free from hunger is a basic human right.


October 12

More Common Ground

Common Ground will continue in the 2023 growing season. The May festival will include world premieres of performances and installations by Kenyon Adams and chef Omar Tate, Tara Rodriguez Besosa, Tania El Khoury, Suzanne Kite, and Jordan Weber.


Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when tickets go on sale!

Fisher Center LAB

Fisher Center LAB is the Fisher Center’s artist residency and commissioning program, providing custom-made and meaningful support for innovative artists across disciplines.


Since its launch in 2012, Fisher Center LAB has supported residencies, workshops, and performances for hundreds of artists, incubating new projects and engaging audiences, students, faculty, and staff in the process of creating contemporary performances.