Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Claire Pentecost
ART: Since the late ’90s, Pentecost, along with a number of artists such as those associated with the Critical Art Ensemble, have sought to use art to politicize and create public knowledge around the production, distribution, and consumption of food. This long term research project engages what Pentecost calls the “Public Amateur,” whereby artists inhabit the position of amateurs and hobbyists in order to make visible our everyday relationships with techno-scientific processes. The advantage of the amateur, for Pentecost and others, is that one can enter specialized discourses in order both to reveal how those discourses function (that is, to demystify them) and to empower others to think about how science and technology function in their daily lives and in the public sphere at large. What’s more, since the amateur is not inside the discourses of techno science, but rather an intruder into those forms of knowledge production, they may possibly see more clearly a series of relationships between corporations, public and private institutions, governmental agencies, and the everyday practices of consumers, producers, and citizens.