Exploring the evolution of material-based food marketing media to immaterial digital representations of food (better known as Food Porn or Gastroporn), our introduction begins with three overarching themes:
Food, Media and Materiality.
In this exhibition, these themes were chosen to represent the contrast between 'traditional' food marketing mediums premised on interactions with the material food world and the dematerialized content of digital food known aesthetically and anesthetically as "food porn".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Food porn is a provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex. "Food porn" specifically refers to food photography and styling that presents food glamorously or provocatively, as in glamour photography or pornographic photography (Wikipedia "Food Porn").
Traditional food marketing mediums (through mainly visual representations) in discussion are external modes by which food communicated its most basic purposes and interactions: growing, manufacturing, cooking, eating, drinking, buying, selling, etc. From the beginning, food marketing and advertising is premised on the existence of an actual food to consume. Each of the listed actions is solely tied to the materiality that food has an actual object in society. Food in its past marketing forms can serve as a material medium and the first half of the collection displayed above in the "Food Porn & Materiality" time-line is assimilated into this media artifact(pseudo-representative of food media archeology) .
As a contrast, the current digital forms of food media and ‘food porn’ has amputated itself from its material heritage. Using McLuhan’s "The Gadget Lover: Narcissus as Narcosis" as a primary source of research, we'll try to discover why we've become so detached that now all that remains is food media making media for media's sake. In turn, we ourselves have become numb and disconnected from the original purpose of the media. The new food media is a dematerialized media, often manufactured digitally only to be consumed digitally. This exhibit's food blog-like structure is to mirror that argument. As McLuhan puts it in "The Gadget Lover", we are numb to its effects because the media merely reflects onto itself (McLuhan 63). Within this exhibit, we also touch on multi-modal research topics of media materiality such as aesthetics, mass production, the senses, and cultural symbols.
Why food media materiality and not just food materiality?
I chose this research application because whereas food/calories cannot be simultaneously shared between two people and its often perishable, the marketing mediums have higher longevity and bigger cultural implications.