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LACMA on Sunday

6 Nov

If you come to the LACMA thing, feel free to radio in and connect, at the museum. I will have my gadget with me. It is typically the time of semester when people get kind of overwhelmed by various timings and commitments,  and don’t venture far from home. But if you do, holler!

Here is a program. It is hard to find on the site, but the LACMA director of education passed it on to me.


For EC, you would attend a minimum of 2-3 out of the 52 performances/events and write them up, in light of things we have discussed in class or read.

LACMA performance by Machine Project

3 Nov

Machine is well known for its combination of tech, education-as-whimsy and public access. This time they are doing an Electric Melon Drum Circle. See below:

…on Sunday, November 7th from 12-4pm, Machine will be at LACMA with the Fallen Fruit Collective for Let Them EAT LACMA. Over fifty artists will use food as a topic for interventions, performances and installations. We’ll be there with an electric melon soldering workshop, where you can learn to solder a contact microphone, install it in a melon, use your new electric melon in a drum circle, then eat it when you’re done.

Workshop is drop-in while supplies last, no advanced registration required. Drum circle or previous electric melon experience also not required. All participants will receive free soldering materials and one small melon, but we have limited quantities so get there early!



For people interested in the LACMA exhibition–topical debate

25 Oct

BP Grand entrance @ LACMA. Photo from

Some folks who do contemporary art in LA are aiming to think critically about the politics of large museums and big money in LA. Here is a very interesting piece by Robbie Herbst, “Social Art, Ambiguity, Oil, Critique, Compromise, and Los Angeles Art Museums,” which talks about some of the debates that are happening as LACMA engages local artists–most relevant to us, in the Nov 7 array of shows and performances, and one key event by Fallen Fruit. At issue is the 2007 $25 million donation by BP, and the dependence of local artists on (for the recent exhibitions under discussion, minimal ) funding for public art projects that actually critique environmental degradation and runaway corporate greed. Interesting to see people within the art community taking this on, as they think and articulate their relation to the “publics” in public art, and also make some connections to the corporatization of higher education…

A bit of reading before Tuesday’s talks–Michael Pollan

18 Oct

So, the organizer of Tuesday’s event told me that the basic theme of the 2 talks is the “industrial food structure.” It’s part of a series of talks on various kinds of infrastructure. Here is a chapter of Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, on industrial feedlots & ranching.It will give you a frame, or 3 frames, really, to customize it for OUR class and the questions we have been pursuing–

1) what industrial farming is, and how industrial ranching is part of that package;

2) how American his example is (or occasionally global), which may prompt you to reflect on what you have learned about Japanese contexts;

3) how our practice of local gardening differs in significant ways (magnitude, labor and skills, nutrition, variability, sustainability, social life, etc.) from this Hulk of an industrial model.


Eat LACMA events–Nov 7

15 Oct


'LACMA Score' 2010 Fallen FruitEATLACMA

A year-long investigation into food, art, culture & politics

Fusing the richness of LACMA‘s permanent collection with the ephemerality of food and the natural growth cycle, EATLACMA’s projects consider food as a common ground that explores the social role of art and ritual in community and human relationships.  EATLACMA unfolds seasonally, with artist’s gardens planted and harvested on the museum campus, hands-on public events, and a concurrent exhibition, Fallen Fruit Presents EATLACMA (June 27-November 7, 2010). It culminates in a day-long event (November 7, 2010) in which over fifty artists and collectives will activate, intervene, and re-imagine the entire museum’s campus and galleries. EATLACMA is curated by Fallen Fruit—David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young—and LACMA curators Michele Urton and Jose Luis Blondet.

See a map of several garden-related installations on the LACMA grounds here.

You can find the full info here.

College Commons food event (note: RSPV required)

12 Oct
October 19, 2010
The Infrastructural Human: Food Circuits
4 – 6 p.m.
Doheny Memorial Library 240
To secure your spot please RSVP to:

Part I of the Infrastructural Series

As individuals and as collectives, humans are – ever more so – deeply reliant on technological systems, or infrastructures, that serve to feed us, salve our thirst, carry away our waste, keep us warm, illuminate our nights, and connect us with others. The development and extension of these systems, in turn, is fundamental both to individual experience and to the capacity for collective action. Strangely, these complex, extensive and fragile infrastructures of living typically do not enter into discussions among humanists, social scientists and natural scientists about the nature of the human, about our ethics and our politics. This event will seek to address this gap, focusing on how our systems of food circulation shape us as individuals and as members of a collectivity.


  • Elizabeth Dunn, University of Colorado-Boulder, “The Pasteurized State: Raw Milk, Public Health, and the Making of Modern Governance.”
  • Christopher Otter, Ohio State University, “Planet of Cows: Livestock Farming, Meat Production and the Changing Western Diet”


  • Susanna Hecht, University of California, Los Angeles, focuses on political ecology but her results have major implications for climate change adaptation, mitigation and longer term rethinking of longer term resilience strategies.

For extra credit, you can:

1) ask a question during the Q and A.

2) write a 500-word summary of the talk, with your interpretations, observations, analysis, any insights you gained, or ways that the talk(s) helped you get a grip on larger questions, introduce new questions, or otherwise inform you.