Week 2: Golden Rice and Bt Corn

     After seeing Haytham Nawar’s “Collective Bread Diaries” in class and reading through his own analysis of the project and its importance in highlighting the intercultural commonality of bread, I began to think more about the other important starch crops of the world. While wheat, the main ingredient in bread, has been consumed widely throughout history in areas such as Europe and the Middle East, it is not the only cereal eaten around the world.

Week 2: A Recap of Week 1 Workshops and Staples of Food

     To start off this blog, I will first summarize the workshop held week one, centered around Linda Weintraub's book What’s Next?: Eco-Materialism and Contemporary Art. Overall, the workshops served to introduce what our class is meant to teach us; the combination of science and art in an effort to make a message or statement about our current state of being. In the workshops, the main message that was focused on was the treatment of our planet Earth.

Week 3: Sourdough Bread is an Art and a Science

From this week’s lesson, I found bread to be a perfect example of art and science coming together. Browsing the bread aisle in the grocery store we forget how complex bread is. From a few basic ingredients, we can bake many different types of bread by tweaking various aspects of the process (Rubin). Great bakers learn to fine tune their ingredients and methods to perfect their bread. This process of trial and error to produce a great loaf of bread is surprisingly similar to the scientific method of trial and error.

Week 2: Lavishing Love on Lavash

Anyone that knows me knows that bread is one of my favorite things in the world. That may seem like an exaggeration, but very few things compare to the excitement in my eyes when I walk into a bakery and smell freshly baked bread. I don’t discriminate against any types of bread, but there is a special place in my heart for Armenian breads.The bread documentary from Netflix’s Cooked series shown in class shined light on the idea that bread is a “product of civilization and an enabler of civilization”(Polan).

Week 1: Art as a Bridge Between Society and Nature

Last week I attended artist and author Linda Weintraub’s keynote lecture about eco-materialism and some of her workshops which demonstrate concepts from her new book What’s Next? Eco-Materialism and Contemporary Art. Weintraub proposes a new movement in art that involves interacting with materials and mediums in new ways. Human society nowadays is disconnected from nature, and Weintraub argues that this disconnect causes the divide is detrimental to our relation to nature.

Week 1: Eco Materialism Workshops

Last week, I attended Understanding Arts Based Research: Workshops: Work Out/ Tune-Up/ Turn On, hosted by the UCLA Art Sci Center and the department of Design Media Arts in Experimental Digital Arts in the Broad Arts Center. These series of workshop were curated by Linda Weintraub and based on chapters in her book titled “What’s Next? – Eco Materialism and Contemporary Art”.

Week 1: Cooking, Disease, and Human Evolution

            In trying to describe the events I attended last Friday, somehow the word “workshops” seems to fall short of properly explaining the experience. Possibly because it implies that someone interprets or demonstrates some topic for others, usually with hands-on activities. This is essentially what happened on Friday, but the discussion felt more like that of a sermon. It was an exchange of personal ideals.

Week 2: Biotech+Art and All The Feels

I was excited that we were able to have Terence Koh come talk to us. I’m familiar with Koh from living in New York City; from what I understand, he’s pretty controversial, which I tend to gravitate toward... at least initially. Terence spoke for quite a while in a stream of consciousness and over time, I noticed a growing feeling of discomfort in me. Koh waxed poetic about love; that most people don’t think about what love really is, that love is light and God, that he knows what love is, over and over again. After a while, I began to feel skeptical about him because to me, it felt like his words were hollow. Anyone could (and many people have) said such things about love. Love equated to light and God is so common and in my opinion, barely scratches the surface of what it really is. ​

Week 1: Biotech, Art, and Cancer

Despite the differing individual topics, the workshops seemed to share a common theme of transformation of the human body into a machine; underlying this idea is a desire to reassert the utility of the body, something that is often overlooked especially as technologies improve and take over more of the functions in our lives. Whether through converting our own carbon dioxide to inflate tubes or using the microbiomes we harbor on our hands to ferment, Weintraub’s workshops proved that our bodies could function similar to machines in accomplishing work.

Week 1: Soil as Art

Ever since I was a child I have always been interested in plants and gardens. My grandparents had 5 acres of land up in Northern California where I grew up. They planted tons of fruit and nut trees and had a garden every year. I loved going over and seeing how big the tomato plants had got. It gave me so much joy I eventually decided to grow my own garden.

Eco Materialism Workshops

Last Thursday, I attended the symposium, where Linda Weintraub discussed her new book What’s Next? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art. I had never heard of this subject before, and so it was very interesting for me to learn about it and see Ms. Weintraub’s comments and opinions regarding this subject. She discussed her story with the land she had bought in uptown New York and how that influenced her so much. She explained how the land was “so beautiful” and then thought about how she could contribute back to the land.


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