From the Intimate to the Urban


Seth Weiner

We eat; and through this process we destroy. Not only out of necessity do we eat (sustenance), but also for the pure pleasure of it (hedonism). Both the production surrounding eating and the act itself are erotic, erosive and immensely aesthetic. We hold forks, knives, chopsticks and pieces of bread according to the codes we have constructed and inherited, bending them on occasion for the sake of politeness. We position these utensils with a syntactical precision not dissimilar from how our tongues absorb and perform location within culture and class; memorializing and dispelling the histories from which they were bred with each successive act of swallowing, speaking and shitting.

Table manners are instructive only insofar as how they shape our conduct and point to ceremonial rituals. However strict these collective rituals may be, each individual eater expresses a degree of political and aesthetic autonomy bite after bite: when they push their rice into the corner of a plate, segregate sauce from meat and vegetable, form isolationist islands of whipped potatoes, peel individual noodles from their bowl-shaped communities, or use the ends of a french fry to excavate cavities from carefully drawn pools of ketchup.

While this act of fleeting aestheticism is an intimate and individualized process, its residue is urban in scale. Eating’s aftermath— including all aspects of its assembly—is excreted into a collective trash bin that is simultaneously air, earth and sea. This aftermath has become both the nightmare of the Anthropocene as well as its muse.

Using food as a material to model experience with, this Küchenkonversatorien explores the potential of both the plate and palette to serve as a site of intervention. By approaching the digestive and aesthetic rituals of eating from different scales of relation, the plate is treated as a political stage for the choreography, proportioning, and consumption of meaning to be performed upon.

– 15 03 17 (post-ritual edit)


14 03 2017 Raum & Design Strategien
Kunstuniversität Linz
4040 Linz, Reindlstrasse 16-18