Thunder Cheese Circle

A true addict speaking from the heart

This late summer I arrived early at Camp Abundance Bee Farm (Deltaworkers HQ for the coming years). After stepping into the compounds garden I received a warm welcome of Dawn DeDeaux, our land lady. Not only is Dawn DeDeaux a true New Orleanian and great artist but also the only female winner ever of the Demolition Derby at the Super Dome in New  Orleans. So she knows how to rock. The welcome this time was accompanied by Popeye’s fried chicken (more about that soon) but most important were the Old Fashioned and Thunder Cheese, the real smoothers at the compound.

Dawn DeDeaux

Old Fashioned is the first cocktail Joris and I ever drank in New Orleans. Dawn’s specific Old Fashioned recipe: whiskey, oranges, bitters, maraschino cherries and some magic that none of us campers will ever match.

On to the Thunder Cheese, another magic snack that is so overwhelming in taste that once your mouth has come in contact with it, t, this seductive devil keeps you on your seat craving for more and more and more.

Thunder Cheese is one of the simplest snacks you can imagine but like Dawn’s Old Fashioned’s, this cheese trickster uses magic in its combination of ingredients. Sharp Cheddar, Montery Jack, pecans, dash of mayonaise and a royal amount of red chili pepper flakes create heaven and kicks in like Thunder: Boom!

Thunder Cheese has a dubious history and is not easy to find. We keep its origins close to the city and belong to the group that believes its a true New Orleans recipe. Even though the recipe is online it is a tough one to find in stores around town. There is basically only one good supplier that keeps its secret pretty well hidden. Once you know it and taste it, you won’t share this source with everyone. I will also not do this here but am very happy to share some with you when back in New Orleans. Myths around its origin are conflicted. It might come from the first contacts between the Brits and the Tabasco family. More clear is the history of a few ingredients; the pecan from New Orleans / Louisiana, the red chilli pepper from the Tabasco farms, and the sharp cheddar from British cheddar that accidentally aged during the long trip from the UK to Avery Island. The more dubious ingredients are the Montery Jack cheese, which is already a mix between the spicy South and the cheesy Nnorth, and also the mayonaise (Spanish origins but the French made it the popular sauce) which basically is the basic lubricant in too many good dishes. Maybe the amount of mayo is where the magic of the taste and texture lies.
So if Thunder Cheese is born from the clash between different cultures, the lightning that comes with thunder could be the enlightened conversations that follow after eating this beloved and addictive snack.

thunder cheese

In the last months Thunder Cheese has proven to be the holy snack, that combined with misses Dawn’s Old Fashioned’s brings the best in all of us. It serves as the starter for wonderful conversations, heated discussions, artistic projects, juicy stories, pole dancing contests and sometimes even out of world experiences. Thunder Cheese is the true binder of exquisite tastes and our newly found god. We welcome our artists with Thunder Cheese and when the days are too sunny or too rainy, we bring a visit to our supplier to keep the campers calm and happy.

We thank you Thunder Cheese

The Thing

I do a lot of driving. My hometown isn’t far enough to take a plane, but close enough for the expectation of regular visits. So I drive a lot.

I drove our resident, Jacob, to Jean Lafitte’s Nature Preserve recently. We both had never been. I felt ashamed of this having lived in New Orleans for five years. Both of us had heard about it from others. Jacob heard that it wasn’t worth it. I had heard that it was. But, still, I was skeptical. Being from Louisiana, I take the swamp for granted. As this heavy, very recognizable thing. My mistake is thinking recognition translates into knowing.

We arrive at Jean Laffite’s. “Parking lot closes at 5pm,” read a sign. We begin the first trail and it takes us some time. Jacob is filming the swamp and I am photographing Jacob. The raised wooden path is about three and a half feet wide. I’m wearing the wrong shoes. Sandals with a little wedge. We are alone mostly and we chat about the scene. Still, I’m photographing Jacob filming the swamp.

Jacob Dwyer

We finish that trail and Jacob wants to continue on to another one. We won’t make it back in time for closing if we both go so I walk back the way we came to get the car while he continues on.

I trip a little on the trail and take off my shoes for the walk back. Being barefoot feels electric like I’m really close to what holds me in this space but always never touching. I become increasingly aware of the atmosphere around me. Everything feels very familiar, shapes and colors I grew up with. But now they are enveloping and I realize just how unfamiliar they are. There is another feeling heavy in my awareness. I’m afraid of water. No, that isn’t it. It’s the thing that formed the fear. It’s the swamp. And I find myself immersed.

So what am I afraid of? The unknowable?


It has recently become clear to me that in this day and age the only non pretentious function of books is to keep your hat flat.


In the past the book on the top of the pile (written AD 523) had another function… it was the mantra by which the fictional character Ignatius J Reilly lived and understood his life in John Kennedy Tooles novel A Confederacy of Dunces (written 1963). Through the outsider Ignatius we spiral through New Orleans to the will of Fortuna: “Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel”. I’m here searching for that wheel. Maybe I can get into its slipstream.

The Colour Out Of Space

PARSE NOLA is proud to present The Colour Out Of Space curated by Deltaworkers (Maaike Gouwenberg and Joris Lindhout). The exhibition includes three films and three events with international and local artists. The exhibition opens on Friday, October 16th with a presentation from 6 to 7:30pm, followed by a reception. Additional events will be held on October 23rd and November 13th (details below). The exhibition runs through November 21st and gallery hours throughout the exhibition are noon to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Still from Night Soil by Melanie Bonajo Still from Night Soil by Melanie Bonajo

Film works by Melanie Bonajo (The Netherlands), Pauline Boudry (Switzerland) & Renate Lorenz (Germany) and Terence Nance (U.S.) form the starting point of a rotating exhibition. The focus from one film to the next will shift throughout the exhibition, allowing each to shine and gain additional meaning through engagement with local artists and theorists, including Red Vaughan Tremmel, Ashley Teamer & Local Honey, Brad Benischek and Dave Greber amongst others.

For the exhibition, The Colour Out of Space, curators Gouwenberg and Lindhout focus on motifs like rituals and technology, gender politics, and Southern mythology. They find these themes of importance within the international art scene, but also vividly present within the cultural soil of New Orleans. The artists and theorists involved with the exhibition all work within the range of things unknown in the visible spectrum and they do so using colors. From out of space.

The Colour Out Of Space is a short story written by H.P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft in 1927. Drawing inspiration from a number of sources describing the extremely limited senses of humans, his aim was to create something entirely outside of the human experience: a truly alien entity. The story tells of the problems that arise after a meteorite crashes onto someone’s land. After its discovery the meteorite begins shrinking and local scientists are unable to discern its origins. As the stone shrinks, it leaves behind globules of color that are referred to “only by analogy” as they do not fall within the range of anything known in the visible spectrum.

PARSE is an art space and curatorial residency in New Orleans’ Central Business District that serves as a platform for critical dialog about contemporary art. This program hosts three to four visiting curators annually. During extended stays in the city, curators are encouraged to engage in studio visits with local artists, conduct research in the area, and utilize the PARSE facilities to experiment with the boundaries and possibilities of curatorial practice.

Schedule of events:
October 16 at 6pm:
Screening of Swimming In Your Skin Again by Terence Nance
Lecture on Southern Mythology by Deltaworkers (Maaike Gouwenberg & Joris Lindhout)
Zine by Brad Benischek

October 23 at 8pm:
Screening of Night Soil / Fake Paradise by Melanie Bonajo
Lecture / panel on ethnobotany, rituals and technology with Christopher Brown
Performance by Vanessa Centeno
Contribution by Dave Greber

November 13 at 8pm:
Screening of Opaque by Renate Lorentz & Pauline Boudry
Panel on gender politics by Red Vaughan Tremmel and Ashley Teamer
Performance by Local Honey & Ashley Teamer 


Supported by:

All three filmmakers in the exhibition have been shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Thanks to May Gallery, Prospect and David Sullivan for lending us some equipment!

What the night brings & Sofia B. didn’t sleep well

Sunday October 11th at 7:30PM, Screening by Léa Triboulet, at Antenna Gallery.

Deltaworkers presents their second resident artist for its fall program 2015. Léa Triboulet (1987) studied scenography at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, where she started to make shorts films and received her masters degree with honours in 2010. In 2013 she joined the Film Factory, an international program lead by the Hungarian director Béla Tarr in Sarajevo.

She has a poetic and contemplative approach to cinema; a cinema of contrasts, silence, empty spaces, waiting and loneliness but also of hope, movements and contradictory feelings. In New Orleans she will specifically focus on mixing fiction with documentary whilst investigating how to deal with affection in a cinematic form.

At Antenna Gallery Triboulet will present two films and talk more about her research in New Orleans.

What the night brings, 20′ (Film Factory, Bosnia Herzegovina)
with Maja Izetbegovic, Bojan Dimitrijevic and Adnan Omerovic.

Ina’s everyday life is regulated by sessions of posing for her companion, a painter. They live together with his younger brother in an old apartment.

What the night brings 2

Sofia B. didn’t sleep well, 20′ (25 films, France)
with Koralie François-Schwartz, Mireille Perrier and Iljir Selimoski.

Sofia runs away from boarding school with the address of her grandmother in her pocket whom she does not know.


Supported by:


Performance by Jacob Dwyer

Dwyer is Deltaworkers’ first resident artist in our fall program for 2015. Dwyer has a background in Fine Arts and experimental film. One of the positions he takes as an artist is that of the “outsider” and the subsequent possibilities of mobilization within the audience when engaging with this position. At Deltaworkers Dwyer will investigate the character Ignatius J Reilly of John Kennedy Toole’s famous New Orleans novel ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ alongside the methodologies used by illegal tour guides that show tourists around the many famed graveyards of New Orleans.