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e-flux Food and Agriculture Reader

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-08-08
  • Publisher: Sternberg Press

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Maybe it’s time to see how the sausage is made.

Chances are that in the last couple years, your life has been turned upside down by a pandemic, a war, an economic meltdown, or some combination of these. And you may feel that whatever you were lucky enough to avoid may already be on its way to you. As the coming years are sure to bring more uncertainty, maybe it’s time to prepare? Let’s try to consider how our basic needs are met, as the individual and collective bodies that we are.

Many of us have grown accustomed to an era in which a global logistical orchestra serves our needs and whims, bringing food to our mouths with surgical precision. Especially for cosmopolitan urbanites used to traveling, sampling exotic cuisine, or spending money freely, these delivery mechanisms may appear to have created the ultimate hostage situation. Is it time to bite the invisible hand that feeds us? This fragile political ecosystem has something in common with the fragility of the natural ecosystem when forced to supply illusions of abundance. Maybe it’s time to see how the sausage is made.

In e-flux Food and Agriculture Reader, authors from around the world reflect on food and agriculture as foundational expressions of life—as sociality, history, and entanglement. By attending closely to something that is the bedrock of security and survival, a world emerges where power over production and consumption can be organized less like a hegemonic system and more like a daily routine. Attending more closely to systems of survival opens the door to another kind of abundance, one that always evades scarcity. Food is absolutely political, but food is also fundamentally pleasurable and social. Hannah Arendt allegedly asked her students about the difference between love and desire. She then answered her own question: If you desire strawberries, you eat them. If you love strawberries, you grow them yourself.

Autonomous farming collectives, Genaro Amaro Altamirano, Mary Walling Blackburn, Carolina Caycedo, Sophie Chao, Lia Dostlieva, Alix Guibert, Mythri Jegathesan, Ou Ning, Christian Nyampeta, Elizabeth Povinelli, Enrique Del Risco, Martha Rosler, Vivien Sansour, Pelin Tan, Rachel Vaughn, and others. 

Copublished by e-flux journal

Author Biography

Julieta Aranda is a conceptual artist living and in Berlin and New York City. Her explorations span installation, video, and print media, with a special interest in the creation and manipulation of artistic exchange and the subversion of traditional notions of commerce through art making.

Kaye Cain-Nielsen is editor-in-chief of e-flux journal. She was managing and special issues editor for Guernica—A Global Magazine of Art & Politics, among other publications. She remains a periodical writer and musician living in Queens, New York.

Anton Vidokle is an artist, born in Moscow and living in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13, Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale, and at Tate Modern, among others. He is a founder of e-flux.

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer and editor based in New York. In 2008 he initiated e-flux journal with Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda, along with a series of readers in collaboration with Sternberg Press. In 2010, he edited Selected Maria Lind Writing. His writing has appeared in Bidoun, CAC Interviu, Paletten, e-flux journal, and various artist-initiated platforms and publications.

Supplemental Materials

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