Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Bioneering: Hybrid Investigations of Food
Lisa Tucker
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Fine Arts
Number of Pages
University of California, Irvine
Thesis Supervisor
Antoinette LaFarge
Supervisor e-mail
alafarge AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Studio Art
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
social practices, socially engaged art, art/science collaboration, post-disciplinary practice
Abstract: 200-500 words
Socially engaged art or social practices receives a mixed reception by academia and the “art world”. Part of the difficulty in finding a place for this work is the complexity in defining or critiquing it using the traditional theoretical tools. Evaluation and the need for a new lexicon to discuss this type of work are discussed; its transformative, aesthetic qualities; and a new collaborative process, as artists take on the role of expert-amateur in a hybrid practice of art making. There has been a good deal of attention and struggle to define this new genre in art schools and universities as evidenced by new programs and courses offered within the last few years at the California College of the Arts, University of Arizona, Washington State University and SUNY at Buffalo to name a few. Descriptions of courses and the programs at these institutions demonstrate the diversity of definitions attributed to social practice. Bioneering: Hybrid Investigations of Food probes the post-disciplinary nature of this type of work beginning in the virtual world of LambdaMOO, later relocating to Anne E. Shirrells Park in the community of Westside San Bernardino, California. The public art intervention expands into a symposium, film screening, tour, exhibition, website and catalog. Each component investigates our food system, offering alternatives to current forms of production. Artists, scientists, scholars and activists in a variety of venues employ novel uses of materials, from desktop computing technologies to organic community gardening. Contributors include faculty from four University of California campuses, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Birmingham, UK, as well as community activists and experts in the private sector. Although not all who participate are artists, questions arise regarding how art is produced and experienced. Each event is organized to observe socially engaged art in different contexts in order to analyze the process and outcomes. The complete symposium proceedings and other event documentation can be found at