This seminar explores how institutions, power relations and practices shape not only the production and distribution of food but especially its - often implicit - symbolic qualities. Additional to its more or less strong nutritional qualities food is a item that also possesses specific medial dimensions, which are culturally constructed, strategically designed or appropriated, for example as counter-narratives in artworks. Cookbooks, magazines, packaging, coffeehouses as well as online-advertising are all part of the visual culture of food. Similarly, the for of social interactions or public performances may be influences by food items and conceptions towards particular food practices.
Foodways critically investigates the intersections between food and culture and the role of art and design in its communication and representation. As food is produced, distributed, consumed and disposed it undergoes symbolic as well as material and economic transformations. We will investigate the origins and dynamics of the expanding global food network, the cultural and ethical ramifications of contemporary food traditions and practices and examine the concerns raised for designers and artists. Topics include design for a small planet, social and relational art practices, feminist approaches towards economic justice, food and agriculture, care work, animal politics, health and bodies, queer ecologies and human rights.