Our sense of identity and belonging to a place and a culture includes the smell of home: the familiar background odour that we only notice when it disappears or changes. A background odour includes the odour of the natural and man-made environment and also reflects nutrition and socio-economic climate.
Toward the Mean references government fiscal policies, the Phillips Curve and the balance between the promise of a wage adjusted to inflation and the power to consume. The twenty three tin cans filled with fragranced soil indicate data points on the graph of the Expectations-Augmented Phillips curve which describes a relationship between inflation and unemployment. The Phillips curve remains the NZ Reserve Bank's core model of the economy (the Forecasting and Policy System or FPS). The fiscal forecasts are prepared on the basis of underlying economic forecasts. Such forecasts are critical for determining revenue and expense estimates. 
The Expectation Augmented Philips curve takes into account future inflation expectations. This implies the curve becomes a horizontal line at a certain point, indicated by the mechanism of the piece. 

The data point fragrances reference D. Merrit’s poem:
Curious diets of the poor, down trodden and the so-called mentally ill
Large pepsi max and big tins of tuna
Listerine and caramello chocolate
Free range eggs, oranges and heroin
Pork bones and basmati rice
Single malt whiskey with ripple cut sour cream potato chips
Hastily microwaved steak and cheese pies with bournvita
Curiously strong peppermints and 2 minute noodles
Over boiled cabbage on extra thick white bread toast
Tetrapak custard, chocolate fish and pineapple lumps
Cans of fruit salad and low alchohol beer
Fried white flour and water mix, topped with strawberry jam
Roasted mutton flap with low calorie spearmint chewing gum
Hydroponic skunk marijuana and budget tinned spaghetti
Lime flavoured dairy food and malt biscuits
Hot water, soy sauce, sugar and marmite
Badly mashed potato mixed with more badly mashed potato
Instant macaroni mix and yesterdays left over muffins
Stewed cooking apples and edible wax birthday candles.

Many thanks to Fragrances International Flavours and Fragrances ( IFF NZ), Formula Foods and Flairoma who generously supplied the fragrances

Exhibition catalogue:

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