MFA Thesis Exhibition: Foodscapes

Foodscapes, Front

Join me for “Foodscapes: From Seed to Mouth” at UF University Gallery March 14-24.

Opening Reception: Thursday March 16, 5:30 -7:30 PM
Artist Talk: Friday March 17, 12-1 PM

This thesis presents gardening, picking food and eating as enjoyable steps towards the reclamation of the food system.

Participants will select and harvest food from the tile based vertical garden with my aid. We will then prepare the items together at the preparation station, talking about the food before us and food in general. Lastly, the participant will choose a plate and sit to dine. These steps are such as to implicate the viewer in a seasonal garden landscape, the labour and bodily engagement of cooking, and a community connection in eating.

Plants, soils and seeds have been dug up from UF Organic Garden Co-OPField and Fork Farm and Gardens ,Swallowtail FarmAlachua County Feed & Seed and my home garden.


Foodscapes Back


Film: Tampopo

Tampopo (タンポポ Tanpopo?, literally “dandelion”) is a 1985 Japanese comedy film by director Juzo Itami, starring Tsutomu Yamazaki,Nobuko Miyamoto, Kōji Yakusho, and Ken Watanabe. The publicity for the film calls it the first “ramen western”, a play on the termSpaghetti Western (films about the American Old West made by Italian production studios).


I am really excited about this  Chicago exhibition from 2012 Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. 

“Since the 1930s, numerous artists have used the simple act of sharing food and drink to advance aesthetic goals and to foster critical engagement with the culture of their moment.

These artist-orchestrated meals can offer a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience, using the meal as a means to shift perceptions and spark encounters that aren’t always possible in a fast-moving and segmented society.

Feast surveys this practice for the first time, presenting the work of more than thirty artists and artist groups who have transformed the shared meal into a compelling artistic medium. The exhibition examines the history of the artist-orchestrated meal, assessing its roots in early-twentieth century European avant-garde art, its development over the past decades within Western art, and its current global ubiquity.

Through a presentation within the Smart Museum and new commissions in public spaces, the exhibition will introduce new artists and contextualize their work in relation to other influential artists, from the Italian Futurists and Gordon Matta-Clark to Marina Abramović and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Feast addresses the radical hospitality embodied by these artists and the social, commercial, and political structures that surround the experience of eating together.”

Mella Jaarsma, I Eat You Eat Me, 2002, Photographic documentation of a performance in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Courtesy of the artist.

Mella Jaarsma, I Eat You Eat Me, 2002, Photographic documentation of a performance in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Courtesy of the artist.


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There is a fabulous blog that with videos and interviews from the exhibition:

One feature for today is Enemy Kitchen by Michael Rakowitz.

“The dinner must make a decision and perform their ethics.”

Michael Rakowitz talks about serving dinner on flatware looted from the palace of Saddam Hussein.  Paper replicas of these plates are being used by the Enemy Kitchen food truck, now serving Iraqi cuisine on the streets of Chicago.


Read/Listen: Food, A Love Story/

I am enjoying this account of Jim and Food. Real and insightful and totally relatable.

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“What are my qualifications to write this book? None really. So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book.”

Bacon. McDonalds. Cinnabon. Hot Pockets. Kale. Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet (“choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover”) and decrying the worst offenders (“kale is the early morning of foods”). Fans flocked to his New York Times bestselling book Dad is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave—hundreds of pages of his thoughts on all things culinary(ish). Insights such as: why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, why pretzel bread is #3 on his most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question “which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger?”

Food as health and the American ideal of skinny is skwed and endless. We must be body positive and happy America has to change. Listen to this episode.

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Artist: ken + julia yonetani

People use food to great effect. Is food for them the material or the subject, or both?

Check out this cast salt.

Having made molds this whole last month and seen paper cast and made apple juice ice cubes out of cardboard molds- what if food material is cast to another ends? What of bread? What of rice balls? What of jello molds? Pineapple upside down cake?

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ken + julia yonetani


The Last Supper, 2014

Material: Murray River Salt

Dimensions: 9 meters (length) x 0.72 m (width) x 1.22 m (height)

“Da Vinci coupled the Last Supper with an image of salt representing a bad omen. Ken + Julia Yonetani created their Last Supper, an image of a large banquet, a feast before entering the afterlife, out of salt, itself another bad omen – foreshadowing the death of the ecosystem”Megan Fizell

The Yonetani’s first began working with salt in 2010 during a Synapse art-science residency awarded by the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) which resulted in a three month collaboration with scientists at the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre and Sunrise 21 in Mildura (as part of Mildura Palimpsest). During this residency, they developed a technique that enabled them to work with salt in such a way that it could be poured into moulds and then cured to produce objects. The resulting work was Still Life: The Food Bowl, a small scale installation featuring one table laden with produce from the Mildura region.

The Last Supper, a nine metre long banquet table sculpted entirely from more than one tonne of Murray River salt, is a continuation of this project on a much larger scale. The work points to concerns arising from increasing salinity levels in Australia and unsustainable agricultural practices. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, the massive banquet of luxurious foodstuffs also becomes a larger visualisation of the problems of food security and safety in an increasingly toxic world.

The salt used in the work is a small portion of the 550 tonnes of groundwater salt from the Murray Darling basin that is pumped out of the ground each year to try and stem the increasing rise of highly saline groundwater in an area that produces up to ninety per cent of Australia’s domestically grown fresh food.

Historically, salt has significant cultural and religious properties. The title of the work, The Last Supper,  also references the idea of a last supper on the eve before death – a feast before entering the afterlife – and immediately brings to mind Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece,The Last Supper (1494–1498), which depicts Christ and the twelve disciples sharing a last meal before the crucifixion. However, the relationship between Da Vinci’s work and the Yonetani’s is drawn even closer when considering the significance of salt to both works. In Da Vinci’s The Last Supper close inspection of the work shows Judas Iscariot knocking over the salt cellar and spilling it onto the table. Salt is often considered to be a symbol of trust and friendship because of its lasting quality and the spilling of salt was thought to be an omen associated with treachery and lies. This work was commissioned by Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, curated by Carrie Kibbler.

Research Log: Food Globalization

The globalization of food is an immensely confusing topic. Trying to trace where a single item came from, let alone, how it was  handled, shipped and grown by whom and the monitory, ecological, cultural and political ripples created by you buying it is mind boggling. Not to mention the personal effects of consumption social, metaphysical and bodily effects in eating that a holistic eater can’t shun. How can we begin to navigate such a complicated global way of eating? This book is a good start.

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The Globalization of Food (review)

From: Technology and Culture
Volume 52, Number 1, January 2011
pp. 210-211 | 10.1353/tech.2011.0013

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Food, it turns out, is a particularly fruitful topic for exploring the meaning of globalization, not because it leads to any simple explanation but because it exposes the complexities of a process popularly described in simple terms. Deeply embedded in local culture but made portable by technology, food is both necessity and symbol. It is tied to economic developments and ecology, political policy and religion, taste and tradition. And, in the modern era, it has been subject to rapid change. The twenty-one essays in this volume show in multiple ways that globalization is not just recent, that it does not produce only homogenization, and that it is much more than an economic phenomenon. David Inglis and Debra Gimlin begin the volume with a wide-ranging comment on what is now a very extensive literature. They insist on considering globalizations in the plural, and the essays that follow illustrate the point.

The local and global, it turns out, are not always easily distinguished. Reaction against globalization is itself an aspect of the global encounter, as Alison Letich demonstrates in a fine study of the slow-food movement in Italy, which began as an ideological denunciation of the power of international corporations and has grown into an international campaign promoting local foods. A number of subsequent chapters treat the spread of “foreign” foods, as well as the resulting reconsiderations of food as a marker of identity. Conceptions of the local differ, of course (Michaela DeSoucey and Isabelle Téchoueyres compare France and the United States), and international measures of what constitutes local food prove controversial (Marianne Elisabeth Lien on Atlantic salmon raised in Tasmania); in fact, even the very concept of local versus foreign food is doubtful (Branden Born and Mark Purcell). Similarly, fair trade in food means different things (Caroline Wright), and standards of quality not only differ but are often frankly subjective (Stefano Ponte on wine).

Questions about genetically modified seeds and attitudes toward cosmopolitanism and identity (discussed by Richard Wilt) all complicate questions of taste, as shown in American writing on food (Josée Johnston, Shyon Baumann, and Kate Cairns). Ideas of global citizenship (Danielle Gallegos) are reflected in responses to Indian cooking in New York (Krisnendu Ray) and produce different responses in Britain and France (Alan Warde) and among Chicanos in the United States (Carole Counihan). Many essays note the impact of economic and social structures on what people eat, none more dramatically than in a comparison of Tanzania and India (Pat Caplan).

Despite the emphasis on variation, some common themes emerge. The impacts of American tastes, agricultural production, and the corporate food industry recur throughout, for example, and obesity as a product of globalization (Jeffery Sobal and William Alex McIntosh) has become a famous concern. Health and diet, like the environment, have become matters of global discourse and policymaking. Most of the authors in this volume are anthropologists or sociologists, and they display the characteristics of their disciplines: ethnological immersion in the particular provides the core of some essays; in others the sociological burden of defining terms and method at times outweighs the available data. The major issues addressed in this volume have been elaborately studied, as evidenced by the extensive and valuable bibliographies that accompany each chapter. If there are few surprises in these chapters, the well-informed authors provide much to ponder regarding the nature of globalization and the role of food as an indicator of cultural, social, and economic trends in the contemporary world.


On another food globalization note- history is food. Yale has a online quick history for some foods that might serve to contextualize some of our current tastes.

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Question: The Food Experience Survey!

We’re having a dinner party tonight and asking people to use these questions as prompts. It would mean so much if you would answer and talk about them too.

Email your answers to

The Food Experience Survey

What is your biggest concern about food? ( production, consumption, value, taste, anything at all!)

Tell us the best food story you know.

What do you love most about food? What do you hate most about food?

Are you a vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, carnivore, freegan? How did that happen? Why?

What did you eat for dinner last Tuesday? What made you remember?

How many times a week do you eat at a dinner table with more than one person?

Do you currently own handmade or manufactured dishware?

What types of food do you eat at home?

What types of food do you eat out?

Would you sit at a communal dining table at a restaurant with other parties you don’t know?

Did your family have and/or use China dishes?

Do you like to share dishes? (as in eat family style)

What was your favorite family meal growing up?

What is one ingredient you could not live without?

If you tried eating something new and didn’t like it, would you try it again? Give us an example!

Are table manners important to you, and if so, which?