Course Spotlight: Food & Art

Carmel Beer and Michal Evyatar  will be co-teaching MET ML 672 Food and Art for the Spring 2023 semester. 

Course Description:
Many rituals in diverse parts of the globe were created to gather people around food and eating. For example, the “Sagra” in Italy to celebrate the local seasonal yield, the Bougoule festival that celebrates the first vintage and the Jewish Passover Seder feast, to commemorate the people of Israel’s journey in the desert. Food and Art is a course that explores the ingredients of food and eating “experiences” and channels it through the five senses. In this class we will unpack personal and communal experiences through food and eating and their environments, thereby invoking both past and present. By creating immersive experiences, we aspire to deconstruct the mechanism of eating and to expose the patterns and norms involved. The course will culminate with a communal event, wherein the students will present their research outcomes and insights as installations.

The course will begin as Professor Beer and Professor Evyatar introduce the students to their own work with Mela studio where they create multi-sensory events with installations and performances that blend the culinary, performance, and visual arts.

Students will be taught to create art that is not only visible but able to touch all the senses. The five senses will be explored individually, with a few classes spent on each.

Here are a few examples of how the class will dive in:

  • Sight- examine food represented in art, consider translation from a work of art to a dish, interpret paintings and translate that to something that can be consumed
  • Touch- design eating tools that create a choreography with the body and the eater, consider how eating postures, textures, and temperatures impact experience
  • Smell- make a smell diary as a part of a journey to focus more on this sense and develop a smell vocabulary
  • Taste- view taste as a cultural detector and learn about cultures through their food with a specific focus on Israel
  • Hearing- explore sound in performance pieces, hear music inspired by food, see how food varies when we hear different sounds

Class format will combine theoretical and hand-on learning as students participate, learn from each other, and get feedback in order to shape their own interpretations of the material.

The course will culminate in a public event where students will feature their own performance or installation that combines elements learned throughout the term.

There is no specific background required for the course although a fascination with food and art is recommended. Because it will be very art driven it will suit those who have a connection to visual or performance art. Students will learn to consider food as a symbol for culture, not focus on technique, restaurants, or specific dishes.
As Professor Beer put it, “The food we use exists in the art world.”


MET ML 672 Food and Art will meet in-person Tuesdays 6:00-8:45 pm for the Spring 2023 semester.

The course is open to graduate students and upper-level undergraduates who may register via the Student Link.
Non-degree seeking students can find registration information here.

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