Ayhan Aydin is a meal ecologist. His interdisciplinary practice consists of projects that consider art, science and food. He is interested in creating stories through meals and challenging the idea of what a meal is. As a cook, he likes to take ordinary food items and creates something unexpected but still familiar. He is one of the founders of Nordisk Matutveckling AB (Nordic Food Development), a company that creates new food products from Nordic ingredients, applying various culinary traditions to existing foods in order to utilize and repurpose them. His artistic work includes collaborations with OPENrestuarnt, a theater play called “Restaurang Allemansrätten” (the Restaurant Right of Commons) featuring a meal as a central part of the story, and several conceptual dinners. In this episode, Ayhan talks with Devon about making tempeh from Swedish fava beans, what it means to create something new from very old food traditions, and drawing on the richness of immigrant food traditions.
In this episode, Chelsea meets up with Amanda Eicher at Southern Exposure in San Francisco to talk about food and eating in the context of art and activism; about the OPENrestaurant project, and her long-term community-based art project in rural El Salvador.
Amanda’s projects investigate the roles artists play in development processes; the ways groups engage in creative thinking; and intersections between traditional community-based art practices and contemporary approaches to social engagement in art, relational aesthetics, and dialogic practices. Her work often touches food, especially in the OPENrestaurant project, which experiments with the daily activities of food and restaurant workers in art spaces.
Her work has been shown and/or supported by SFMOMA, Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley's Arts Research Center and the UC Futures Working Group, the Botkyrka Konsthall in Tumba, Sweden and their residence in Fittja, the Fittja Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, in projects at CCA's Wattis Center for Contemporary Art, and in an upcoming residency at the Di Rosa Preserve and Stag's Leap Winery in 2015.