Monday, October 21, 2013

Food, Art Are Topics Talks at Lafayette College This Week

Showing off the beet crop are students Julia Kripas '15
and Peter Todaro '16, among others, who harvest
and clean produce at LaFarm, Lafayette's Organic
Garden near the Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex.
Sarah Edmonds (not shown), Metzgar Environmental
project coordinator and Community Garden Working
Farm manager, guides them and helps them deliver
the produce to Bon Appetite Food Service.
Photo courtesy of Lafayette College
 Lafayette College will host several talks this week in celebration of National Food Day and during the artist residency of photographer Debbie Grossman. All events listed are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, October 22, environmental ethicist and technology scholar Wyatt Galusky will present "Technology as Responsibility: Failure, Food Animals, and Lab-grown Meat" at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights auditorium, room 104.

Galusky will discuss our problematic relationship with animals in agriculture and our attempts to fix those problems. One potential solution, in vitro (or lab-grown) meat, embodies all the hope of the technological fix — inventing the problem away by changing the nature of what we eat so that we can keep eating it without requiring any change from us. Galusky argues that it’s the technological aspect itself that merits evaluation, because it is this aspect that reflects our orientation to the natural world. What do we expect nature to be in this context? Why do we have such expectations?

Earlier on Tuesday, at 12:15 p.m., also in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104, Lafayette students will host a lunchtime forum on food and culture. The event is a multidisciplinary roundtable discussion with perspectives from a historian of food, a classics scholar on food in the Roman world, a chemist speaking on sweeteners, and Lafayette’s own LaFarm manager providing the view of a hands-on practitioner.

Food Day is a celebration of healthy, affordable, sustainably produced food, and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It aims to help people cut back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. It’s a year-long, national effort that culminates on October 24.

An image from Debbie Grossman's "Pie Town" project.
Image provided by Lafayette College
Photographer and digital artist Debbie Grossman will visit Lafayette College this week for an artist’s residency and while on campus, she will give an artist talk on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at noon in Williams Center for the Arts, room 108.

Grossman's work incorporates elements of feminism, historical research, and a deft ability to manipulate archival photographs via digital means. In her "Pie Town" project, she has altered a series of Russell Lee photos of a rural town from the 1940s. In the photos she replaces the men with women, creating an imaginary all-female society. In her "Postmark" project, Grossman creates new letters from her deceased mother by rearranging her mother’s preexisting written notes in Photoshop.

Grossman is a senior editor at Popular Photography Magazine, where she is the resident expert on image editing software and technique. Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Jewish Museum, among others. She is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

To learn more about her work, visit

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