Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Research - Real Food Fake Food

In Real Food, Fake Food, food journalist Larry Olmsted has researched various food products, making us re-evalute both assumptions and mythology regarding the quality of our food.

According to Kirkus Reviews, it is “an enlightening but frequently disturbing culinary journey. While providing fascinating insights into where and how some of the most delicious food products are produced, the author also reveals how often these are imitated to detrimental effect…A provocative yet grounded look at the U.S. food industry.”

Research - Nadia Berenstein blog

A scholar of flavor technology, Nadia Berenstein, has amassed a wealth of information regarding all things flavorful, imitation and natural, on her thoughtful blog. Some history and ideas from numerous posts:
“…the role of the flavor chemist in a flavor company, [is] negotiating between the sensory possibilities of chemicals and the sensual desires of consumers…. The successful flavor also must reflect consumer tastes, expectations, and, especially, fashions.”
“…the flavorist is in a fashion business, and must constantly produce novel sensations, new variations for a public hungry for untasted fruits, unsampled pleasures, both low delights and high ones.”
“The real creative flavor maker appreciates the inevitable fact that the world eventually tires of perfection itself. There is no perfect. There is only the pluripotent new, perpetually refreshed by the stream of newly discovered synthetic organic chemicals. ...notes. It's all aroma, there's very little actual "taste" to it, but the aroma is masterfully constructed,….”
‘The real creative flavor maker appreciates the inevitable fact that the world eventually tires of perfection itself. There is no perfect. There is only the pluripotent new, perpetually refreshed by the stream of newly discovered synthetic organic chemicals. ...notes. It's all aroma, there's very little actual "taste" to it, but the aroma is masterfully constructed…”
Berenstein also  works as a freelance writer. Among her articles is one from Popular Science, reviewing  food writer Bee Wilson’s new book, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat.

“Eating is something we must learn how to do, but it is not something we learn once and for all. The mistake is to assume that our appetites are inborn and indisputable, and our habits are immutable. This is why the most important lesson of this book is this: pleasure matters. And what we find pleasurable can change, a process that she calls a "hedonic shift." We can't expect to eat better, if we don't like what we eat. “

Wilson is know for her first book, Consider the Fork, a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of everyday objects we often take for granted.

Research - Food Marketing Wall of Shame

The Food Marketing Workgroup is a network of more than 225 organizations and academic experts who are concerned about the proliferation of marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages that targets children and adolescents. This national network, convened by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), is dedicated to eliminating harmful food marketing — particularly marketing aimed at those who are most vulnerable to obesity and other nutrition-related diseases — by actively identifying, investigating, and advocating changes to marketing practices that undermine health.
Food Marketing Workgroup WALL OF SHAME

The FMW fosters ideas and momentum around national, state, and local strategies. It serves as a forum for researchers and advocates to share information, support one another’s work, and identify priorities for research and action. The FMW shares what it learns with parents, the public, and policymakers. It also appeals directly to companies to improve their marketing practices.

Research - Flavor Technology - Ted Talks

TED Talks, a favorite clearinghouse of ideas, has compiled a few talks for their radio hour specificially addressing current food concerns, ideas, marketing, and the future of the planet:

The Food We Eat

Food is more than nourishment. It's a source of pleasure — and guilt — and an agent of change. TED speakers explore our deep connection to food, and where it's headed:
Mark Bittman: How Has The American Diet Changed Over Time?
Pam Warhurst: How Does Food Become A Tool For Connection?
Robert Lustig: How Worried Should We Be About Sugar?
Charles Spence: What Defines The Perfect Meal?
Marcel Dicke: Are Insects The Future Of Food?

Food Matters
A cornucopia about food: growing it, cooking it, consuming it and making sure there's enough for everyone.
Carolyn Steel: How Does Food Shape Cities?
Cary Fowler And Ann Cooper: Can We Protect Food's Future And Improve School Lunch?
Dan Barber: Does Good Flavor Equal Sustainability?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Exhibition - Trump travels to Vermont

We will be sending our Trump card to Vermont Center to Photography for their "Postage Required: A Mail Art Exhibition"

StrantMag - An Election Eve Message

Shaun H. Kelley shared this bilious and insightful admonition with his readers at

An Election Eve Message: Junk Food is Bad for Your Health
For this Election Day Eve Family, Faith, Food contributors Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman have produced this portrait of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for your consumption consideration. If you’ve ever eaten an entire canister of Pringles at one sitting, the last powdered doughnut after you ate the fourth, third, and second to last powdered doughnut — then perhaps this portrait resonates. Perhaps you know the bloated feeling, greasy fingers, and sugar breath. The guilt of indulgence. Red 40 Lake? Yellow 6 Lake? Blue 1 Lake? Make America great again? Fox News Health reported in 2013 that “there aren’t many compliments to pay processed food, but even we’ll admit: The stuff sure can be colorful.” The report went on to state that “the blue dyes can seep into the bloodstream when the skin’s barrier is impaired … or when the dyes are exposed to the mucous membrane of the tongue.” Perhaps that’s just it. Some of us have been impaired by ignorance–an orange film residue on your tongue. What you thought was justified cynicism is actually artificial coloring. Fortunately the report concludes with a solution: read the nutritional labels and educate yourself before you vote eat.

Exhibition - Forged Worlds

Exhibition - Forged Worlds   September 2016-17     Curated by Sam Barzillay

Adams Street, Plymouth Street, and Anchorage Place /Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, 

DUMBO Brooklyn, New York
September Through July 24, 2017
 Processed Views is part of a large-scale outdoor group exhibition presented by:
United Photo Industries (UPI), in partnership with the 
DUMBO Business Improvement District and the New ork City Department of Transportation.

Honored  to be showing with other landscape constructivists
Lori Nix (New York, NY) — The City
Bill Finger (Seattle, WA) — Ground Control
Julia Fullerton-Batten (London, UK) — Teenage Stories
Nadine Boughton (Gloucester, MA) — True Adventures in Better Homes
Justin Bettman (New York, NY) — Set in the Street
Jie Ling He (New York, NY) — Microland


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Exhibition - Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Processed Views  by Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman
Exhibition Dates: October 14 – November 26, 2016
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
3636 Chestnut Place, Denver 80216
Saturday, October 15  Opening Reception and Panel Discussion

While at Fotofest in Houston this spring, we ran into fellow photographer, Samantha Johnston, who was there reviewing in her capacity as Director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver’s RiNo Arts District.  She invited us to show Processed Views in November. With a generous grant from the Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Fund, we were able to include our most recent work, Enhanced Varieties and Sugar Geology, as well as attend the opening.

We planned a full schedule to take advantage of sharing our work with a new audience:

Thursday  Dined with  former CPAC director, Nigel and Christina at the home of local painter and educator, Lanny DeVuono
Friday a.m.  We presented our work to 2 local high school art classes, discussing artwork, art-making and ideas. Students were guided through a “flavor excursion” comparing natural and manufactured flavors.
p.m.  CPAC trustees and friends reception on Friday 10/13 for in-depth and informal discussion of the work. 
Latest specimens from our project "Sugar Geology"
Saturday a.m. Excursion to visit exhibitions at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO. Extensive discussion with the Director Hamida Glasgow about Colorado photography activities. Hike at  Reservoir Ridge Natural Area/Lory State Park

p.m.  In conjunction with the CPAC opening reception, a panel with the artists and four members of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council discussed issues that the artists’ work evoked.  Speakers included Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Fellow, Eric Kornacki representing Re:Vision; Mya Bea, Director of Liberation Sequence Gardens; Asia Dorsey from Five Points Fermentation Co.; and Shannon Spurlock, Denver Urban Gardens. The conversation was part of CPAC’s ongoing Developing Dialogues series.

Our work was covered in two articles in Westword the  local newspaper with more than 1.6 million monthly active viewers
10/14/16  Processed Views Meshing Junk Food and American Landscape
10/15/16   Artists Make Donald Trump from Junk Food  
and in High Country News

10/31/16 Famous Western Landscapes, recreated with processed food

Sunday   Denver Botanical Gardens - Denver Art Museum exhibitions viewed - On Desert Time: Timothy O’Sullivan & William Bell, The Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance, Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design l980s- 90s and collection highlights with a finale at Acorn Restaurant
Monday   Excursion South to Garden of the Gods, Denver Botanical Museum, Manitou Springs Cliff Dwelling. Hilarious dinner with three photography colleagues from Colorado College and UC-CS in Colorado Springs: Heather Oelklaus, Carol Dass and Emma Powell
Tuesday  A quick swing to the Trump Rally in Colorado Springs before we left golden Colorado

As seen in The New Yorker, BBC, CNN, and at the FotoFest 2016 Biennial, Processed Views presents iconic American landscapes recreated with manufactured food. Created by longtime collaborators Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, the project explores the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. (Pictured above: Fruit Loops Landscape, courtesy of the artists.)
Both artists will be present to discuss their work at an opening reception on Saturday, October 15 from 6-9 pm at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Guests from the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council will also join the conversation as part of CPAC’s ongoing Developing Dialogues series. FREE.

In the Artists’ Words  “As Midwesterners, we saw the landscape transformed as the family farm gave way to agricultural industry. This was not exclusive to the heartland, as Big Ag and food processing facilities eventually spread across the country. In earlier work, we photographed the American West, observing how human interventions altered the land in accord with ideas of progress and new trends in consumption. In Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape, we revisit the landscape, this time at the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and food technology.

We came to Processed Views from a previous project about the nurturing aspect of food. In those photographs, we traced the emotional and physical energy that flows through the intimate act of preparing and sharing food. The flip side of mealtime in America, however, is the complex, impersonal system of industrial agriculture, food processing, and marketing. As our country moves further away from traditional sources of food, we enter uncharted territory with its myriad unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.
Throughout our collaboration, we have turned to history as a source of inspiration. We reference here the work of Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), whose iconic photographs honored nature and documented development on the frontier. His images were made at a critical time in the ongoing oppositional relationship between American industrial development and conservation. We are at another such historical moment today.
Processed Views presents a provocative encounter with the average American diet. We ask ourselves and our viewers to reevaluate this supposed utopia. Have we oversold our technological ability to bend the forces of nature, whether to fulfill fantasies of a fun food diet or to meet heroic expectations of feeding the world? We hope this work serves as a cautionary tale, where we can extract lessons from the past and pause to consider the consequences of our choices.”

Barbara Ciurej is a Chicago-based photographer and graphic designer. She has a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications from the Institute of Design+Illinois Institute of Technology. Ever looking to the art historical past to invoke order and harmony, her search for narratives to explain the plight of how we got here has fueled 30+ years of making pictures.

Lindsay Lochman is a Milwaukee-based photographer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin / Milwaukee. She received her Master of Science in Visual Communications at the Institute of Design + Illinois Institute of Technology. In her quest to organize the natural world, she is inspired by the intersection of science, history, and the unconscious.

Research - GMOs - Doubts about the Promised Bounty

After 20 years, studies show some unsubstantiated results for feeding the world. This  New York Times article by environmental reporter, Danny Hakim compares the facts with the promises of technological intervention in food production.
"The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides. .....Since genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States two decades ago for crops like corn, cotton and soybeans, the use of toxins that kill insects and fungi has fallen by a third, but the spraying of herbicides, which are used in much higher volumes, has risen by 21 percent."
 A quick view of two decades of performance

Not to worry Monsanto-Bayer monolith, the creation of new markets is a established technique-- "feeding the world" with high tech is so righteous.
“G.M.O. acceptance is exceptionally low in Europe,” said Liam Condon, the head of Bayer’s crop science division, in an interview the day the Monsanto deal was announced. He added: “But there are many geographies around the world where the need is much higher and where G.M.O. is accepted. We will go where the market and the customers demand our technology.”

Monday, October 31, 2016

Political Step-by-Step - The Trump Card

Inspired by the media accounts of the fair-haired-Cheeto-headed candidate, we felt obliged to turn our industrial food skills to the art of portraiture...
He is a lover of diner fare and fast food grub, of overcooked steaks (“It would rock on the plate, it was so well done,” his longtime butler once observed) and the bland nourishment of Americana. He prefers burgers and meatloaf, Caesar salads and spaghetti, See’s Candies and Diet Coke. And he shuns tea, coffee and alcohol.   - New York Times
Donald Trump says he likes fast food because "at least you know what they are putting in it."Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, made the comment Wednesday [September 14, 2016] during a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show," where he discussed the results of a recent physical examination.   - The Hill
Step 1 - Quality Materials
Step 2 - Quick Sketch
Step 3 - Preparatory Drawing

Step 4 - Studio Lighting and Final Portrait
What this candidate is made of
Flour Tortillas: Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine
Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Shortning (Soybean Oil and Hydrogenated
Soybean Oil), Contains 2% or less of Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum
Sulfate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate), Dough Conditioners(mono- and Diglycerides,
Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes, L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride), Vital Wheat Gluten, Sodium
Propionate (Perservative), Fumaric Acid, Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative),
Cornstarch, Soy Flour, Cellulose Gum, Wheat Starch, Canola Oil, Xanthan Gum
Microcrystaliline Cellulose.
Pik-Nik Original Shoestring Potatoes: Fresh Potatoes, Pure Vegetable Oil (Contains
one or more of the following: Palm Olein Oil, Safflower Oil), Sea Salt. No Preservatives.
Pringles: Dried Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following: Corn Oil,
Cottonseed Oil, Soybean Oil, and/or Sunflower oOil), Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour,
Cornstarch, Rice Flour, Maltodextrin, Mono, and Diglyerides, contains 2% or less of Salt,
Wheat Dextrose. Contains Wheat Ingredients.
Hostess Donettes (powdered): Enriched Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron
(Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose,
Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, contains 2% or less of each of the following:
Nonfat Milk, Defatted Soy Flour, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Sodium
Aluminum Phosphate, Egg Yolks, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil,
Artificial Color, Sorbic Acid and Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (to retain
freshness), Mono and Diglycerides, Dextrin, Soy Sechithin, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum,
Karaya Gum, Annato and Turmeric (color), Wheat Flour, Enzymes, Glicerin, Citric Acid,
Natamycin, contains Wheat, Soy, Milk, Egg.
Baken-Ets Chicarrones Hot ‘N Spicy Fried Pork Skins: Fried Pork Skins, Salt,
Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Torula Yeast, Dextrose,
Onion Powder, Paprika, Natural Flavors, Garlic Powder, Artificial Color (Red 40 Lake,
Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake), and Paprika Extract.
CHEETOS brand Puffs Double Cheddar Flavored Snacks: Enriched Corn Meal 

(Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil
(Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower), Double Cheddar Seasoning (Cheddar Cheese [Milk,
Cheese Cultures, Salt Enzymes], Whey, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Salt,
Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Color [Yellow 6], Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Artificial
Flavor), and Salt. Contains Milk Ingredients.
CHEETOS brand Grid-Shaped Nacho Cheese Flavored Snacks: Enriched Corn Meal
(Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid),
Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Nacho Cheese Seasoning
(Maltodextrin [made from corn], Salt, Whey, Canola Oil, Monosodium Glutamate,
Buttermilk, Romano Cheese [cow’s milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes], Cheddar
Cheese [milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes] Onion Powder, Natural and Artificial
Flavors, Dextrose, Artificial Color [red 40 lake yellow 6, yellow 6 lake, yellow 5] Tomato
Powder Spices, Sodium Caseinate, Lactose, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sugar, Garlic
Powder, Red and Green Bell Pepper Powder, and Skim Milk. Contains Milk Ingredients.
CHEETOS brand Mini Puffs Parmesan Flavored Snacks: Enriched Corn Meal (Corn
Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil
(Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Parmesan Seasoning (Whey, Parmesan Cheese
[Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Salt, Maltodextrin [Made From Corn],
Skim Milk, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural Flavors, Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese
[Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Yeast Extract, Blue Cheese [Milk, Cheese
Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Lactose, Lactic Acid, Spice,
Buttermilk, Artificial Color [Yellow 5 Lake] and Garlic Powder). Contains Milk Ingredients.
Australian Style Gourmet Black Licorice: Cane Syrup, Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat
Flour, Niacin, Iron, THiamin, Riboflavin and Folic Acid), Cane Molasses, Water, Corn
Syrup, Sugar, Food Starch Modified (Corn), Licorice Extract, Palm Oil, Caramel Color,
Glycerin, Soy Mono, and Digyceride, Potassium Sorbate Preservative, Anise Extract,
Salt. Contains Wheat and Soy Ingredients.
Chester’s Puffcorn Butter: Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin,
Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola and/or
Sunflower Oil), Cheese Seasoning (Whey, Cheddar Cheese [Milk Cheese Cultures, Salt,
Enzymes}, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn] Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate,
Monosodium Glutamate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Artificial
Color [Yellow6] and Salt.

A Political Intervention by Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman

Publication QZ magazine June 2016

Quartz Magazine

Featured Processed Views in their online venue on June 16, 2016
"Junk food, in the name of art. Two US photographers are filling their carts with sugar-laden cereals, processed meat and fizzy drinks to create a new kind of American landscape photography: the “food desert,” literally. Inspired by black and white landscapes shot by 1860s photographer Carleton Watkins, Chicago-based duo Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman have created historic vistas out of 21st century materials. Their series Processed Views: Surveying the industrial landscape offers a Blue Mountain of Cake, a Cola Sea, a Fruit Loops River." (Cheng).

Publications - Processed Views 2016

Following the exhibition of our work at the Houston FotoFest Biennial in March, and the great people we met while doing the reviews at FotoFest, Processed Views was published in:

Changing Circumstances: Looking at the Future of the Planet  
This powerful book about climate change motivates new ways of thinking about our role within the natural environment and our connection   with the rest of the planet. Published by Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam and available from real and online bookshops.

The New Yorker Photo Booth
"For their project “Processed Views,” which is currently on view in the exhibit “Changing Circumstances” at the FotoFest 2016 Biennial, the collaborators Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman have produced cheeky dioramas that pull Watkins’s iconic images brashly into the industrial modern world. Using all manner of highly processed foods—Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Coca-Cola, marshmallows, fleshy stacks of bologna—they recreated the photographer’s famous landscapes from Yosemite and other California sites as garish candy lands. A photo of the Albion River in Mendocino, California, becomes a milky pool snaking through rainbowed mountains of Froot Loops; the imposing face of Cathedral Rock, at Yosemite, is reconstructed as a heaping pile of white bread. Ciurej and Lochman first met at the I.I.T. Institute of Design, in Chicago, and have been creating work together for three decades, including previous projects that explore the intersection of the human and natural worlds. (For their project “Ponder Food as Love,” they made sensuous closeup portraits of fruits and vegetables nestled among human body parts: a cluster of grapes perched along the curves of a back; a plump fig resting on top of an eye.) They’ve said that “Processed Views” is intended as a “cautionary tale,” highlighting the cost of America’s industrial food production and “the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology.” (The New Yorker)


Discover Society Special Issue with special guest curator Geof Rayner    

We contributed an essay to Imaging/Imagining Anthropocene


ZoneZero: In Search of Lost Innocence: Landscape as Metaphor and Stage

We met Alejandro Malo at FotoFest and he featured Processed Views in ZoneZero’s beautiful blog from Mexico City along with the stunning work of:

Alejandro Malo (Director of ZoneZero): In Search of Lost Innocence

Rasel Chowdhury: Desperate Urbanization 

Marcus DeSieno: Surveillance Landscapes

Liz Hickok: Ground Waters 

Ellie Davis: Stars 

Abelardo Morell: Tent Camera 

Rebecca Reeve: Marjory's World

Jamey Stillings: Changing Perspectives


Family Faith Food

Family Faith Food is a culmination of three online issues from Strant Magazine published over the course of 2015. Each issue considered family, faith, and food individually. Family Faith Food coalesces the three online issue into one print publication and reconsiders how the three topics inform one another.
Featured is the work of 27 photographers along with essays,
photo book discussions, and interviews.
Contributors: Saleem Ahmed, Sophie Barbasch, Samantha Belden, Aaron Canipe, Evelyn Cervantes, Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman, Sara Clarken, William W. Douglas, Jon Feinstein, Makenzie Goodman, Maury Gortemiller, Amanda Greene, Jesse Groves, Samantha Harthoorn, Dave Hebb, Shaun H. Kelly, Johnathon Kelso, Natalie Krick, Ian Mahathey, Michael McCraw, John & Emily O’Connor, Nathan Pearce, Bradley Peters, Anacleto Rapping, Aaron Turner, Milly West, Kay Westhues, Joel Whitaker, Brooke White, Tara Wray

Flavor University - Studies in Food Technology

We attended Flavor University on October 3 - 4, 2016. Flavor 101 was a professional introductory class designed to give all flavor enthusiasts a taste excursion into the food future. Impeccably presented and very thorough, we acquired baseline from which we could launch further research into the world of food technology after our projects, Enhanced Varieties and Sugar Geology. The class was designed and presented at FONA International, "where experts, teamwork and technology deliver a competitive advantage to you and your products. A place where honesty, transparency and confidentiality build trusting, long-term partnerships. A place where you are the focus of everything we do.

our textbook

our syllabus

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Publication - Discover Society Magazine online

Thanks to Geof Raynor for an invitation to contribute to Discover Society Magazine online

Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape
 August 02, 2016 
2016, Articles, Issue 35 
Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman 

Growing up in the fertile agricultural center of the United States, we have witnessed great swaths of America transformed from an aggregation of small family farms to a vast agricultural industry. Today large-scale agribusiness and farming technology dominate the heartland. Home-grown and natural are no longer descriptors of our diet, they are marketing jargon.
In Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape, we revisit the landscape to interpret the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and food technology.
Throughout our collaborative work, we have turned to history as a source of inspiration to anchor and inform our research. Our constructed views look back 150 years, referencing the work of Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), whose iconic photographs honoured pristine nature and also documented industrial development on the frontier.
Watkins’ photographs from the 1860’s through the 1880’s record a critical time in the ongoing American debate between progress and conservation. His commissions for the nascent mining, timber, railroad and agricultural industries are classic documents of frontier exploitation. Yet his iconic and masterfully framed photographs of Yosemite Valley honoured unsullied nature and inspired the legislation creating the first National Parks. Referencing this work also acknowledges the persuasive role that photography plays in the formation of our historical beliefs.
The notion of Manifest Destiny, the belief that by special virtue, the American people were destined to redeem and remake all lands westward to the Pacific coast, informed the mindset of Watkins’ time. This widely held view gave license to the voracious use of resources and the imposition of industry onto the land. Historian Frederick Merk stated that Manifest Destiny was born out of, “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example…[and] generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven.” Unfortunately, from our present vantage point, redemption looks like a relentless drive for expansion, which has left indelible scars on our landscape.
Fast forward to the 21st century—we are pushing into another frontier. As our country moves further away from traditional sources of food, we are heading into uncharted territory with consequences for the environment and for our health. We came to Processed Views from a previous project about the emotional and physical energy flowing through the intimate act of preparing and sharing meals. The flip-side is how food consumption in America is now dominated by a complex, impersonal system of industrial agriculture, food processing and relentless marketing.
The ten photographs in Processed Views reflect components of America’s highly addicting, low nutrition, manufactured food diet: high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, saturated fat, preservatives, artificial flavors and food dyes. We used manufactured commodities as our building materials, creating landscapes based on Watkins’ views. The carefully engineered colour palettes entice viewers into these bite-size landscapes.
While we have made great strides in “feeding the world,” we now recognize that despite increased production, there is enormous waste due to broken or illogical food distribution networks. There is clear evidence of the exhaustion and poisoning of the soil. Fast, cheap food has not made us healthier. The effects on the most vulnerable members of our society, those compromised by economic hardship, are evidenced in increasing obesity and chronic disease.
Have we oversold our technological commitment to bend the forces of nature in order to fulfill fantasies of a fun-food diet and our heroic expectations of feeding the world? We hope this work serves as a cautionary tale, encouraging us to re-evaluate our man-made utopia, extract lessons from the past, and pause to consider the consequences of our choices.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Exhibition - Rick Wester Fine Art

Exhibition - Rick Wester Fine Art  
June 2 –July 29, 2016 
Lost in Space: Contemporary Photographers and the New Landscape
Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, Christopher Colville, Molly Lamb, David Magnusson, Diana Matar, Lilly McElroy, Aaron Rothman
June 2 –July 29, 2016
Rick Wester Fine Art
526 W 26th St #417
New York, NY
This summer RWFA is presenting a group exhibition featuring the work of eight photographers abstractly exploring the classic subject of landscape. Photographing the landscape is as old as the medium itself. As a universal subject it reflects the aesthetics, approaches and attitudes of each era throughout history. For the majority of its first century of existence, photographic landscape relied on the Romantic tradition of the 19th century. In the 1960s and 70s this began to shift as Western culture, wrestling with profound cultural changes in the Post-War period, such as Pop Art, mass media, consumerism and the Cold War, altered how artists depicted the world at large. In photography, many point to a single exhibition in 1975 for its growing influence. New Topographics, Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape held at the (then) International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY included work by photographers who shared a similar disassociated, sly, sardonic and decidedly anti-Romantic aesthetic including Robert Adams, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal and Stephen Shore. Switching out the grand Western vistas of Watkins, O’Sullivan and Adams for urban sprawl and endless concrete, photographers began to radically redefine landscape just as Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour did for architecture in Learning from Las Vegas in 1972.

Today’s generation of photographers, while cognizant of this pedigree, hold their work to no such didactic method. Lost In Space is a group exhibition reflecting some of the current trends in landscape photography, ranging from the lyrical to the dissonant, from the personal to the disassociated. Interestingly, none follow the tradition of using the photographic document as a self-referential means to its own end. Instead, photography is employed to convey a personal point of view, to support the photographer’s overt social condition or place of self in the world. Process plays an important role in many of the photographers’ efforts, including the invented image and the constructed tableau. Landscape, as a concept is more implied and subverted than clearly stated. If Nicholas Nixon’s statement in the original New Topograghics catalogue “The world is infinitely more interesting than any opinions I might have of it”, defines his generation’s position then one might take Aaron Rothman’s artist statement as its correlative: Straight photographs can’t quite convey the increasingly porous border between the natural and the artificial, between the real and the virtual.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Exhibition - On Landscape - #3

Exhibition - Processed Views Book

May 28- June 12, 2016

Our book Processed Views is part of Landscape #3 on display at: 
Lower Hewood Farm
Hewood, Chard
Dorset TA20 4NRR
Other book artists: Minna Kantonen, Dafrna Talmor, Emma Weiselander, and special guest artist: James Ravilious.

Research for Enhanced Varieties - Jell-O Transformed

Floral Transformations of the Japanese:   Japanese Jell-O artists make floral desserts that include actual flowers suspended in gelatin, pictured is the  exceptional specimen of Bavarian Creme by Tokyo based Havaro’s.
Pansy Bavarian Creme

Architectural transformation:  By mixing just a few ingredients, it is now possible to build with and eat legos! Known from Youtube's DIY channel, The King Of Random, Grant Thompson demonstrates how to make these edible legos with just a few ingredients and materials in this tutorial video:

Sculptural Transformation:  Mirror Marble Cakes By Russian Confectioner Olga are GASP-worthy, using a secret gelatine-based icing, that has gone viral on social media  (350K instagram likes).

Ingredients: 20 g Gelatin Powder, 120 g Water, 300 g Glucose, 300 g Sugar, 150 g Water, 200 g Sweetened Condensed Milk, 300 g Chocolate (White, Milk, Dark or a combination), Food Coloring
1) Bloom the gelatin in the water

2) Boil the glucose, sugar & water

3) Remove from heat and add the gelatin
4) Add the condensed milk
5) Pour over chocolate and buerre mix to remove air bubbles
Use at 35C/95F.

Strant Magazine - Appetite Not to Scale

Featured work by Barbara Ciurej &Lindsay Lochman, Sara Clarken, Jon Feinstein, Amanda Greene, and Johnathon Kelso

"For those who understand photography as a language and therefore not capable of being an icon and a language simultaneously—for language is not usually considered a sign system—I would argue that photography is a branch of cognitive linguistics in that as a particular language it situates itself to a particular environment. The language of photography is the product of how photography is consumed"
Fruit Loops Landscape, from the series, Processed Views