Facing MEAT (Discussion )

Sophia Efstathiou
40 min Presentation + 40 min Discussion
Olavshallen: Lille sal
"What is meat? How do animals come to be meat? Can meat be performed by vegetables? Jacques Derrida has characterised our current, modern era as marked by carnophallogocentrism: the consumption of other animals (carnivorism), the prominence of masculinist ideals such as virility, domination, and power (phallocratism), and the reign of reason, language and the measurable (logocentrism). What could a vegovagoaffectissshhh alternative look like? And can we or should we strive towards that? This talk collects transdisciplinary work pursued under the climate research and collaboration project MEATigation: Towards sustainable meat use in Norwegian food practices for climate mitigation (www.meatigation.no). Assuming that food is culture, the project joins academics in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts with business and cultural actors to explore reducing meat use for climate mitigation purposes in Norway. As part of our work, we have pursued artistic research using improvisational methods crossing music, philosophy, and performance as well as organising and, with the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Chicks on Speed, co-curating the exhibition MORE MEAT LESS MEAT MORE... (15 February – 1 May 2022, at Trondheim Art Museum). This talk reflects on our attempts to explore and shake current food culture from carnophallogocentric ideals and their performances by interjecting vegetal, feminist, affective and diffractive / transfigurative ideals into/as practices and performances. As part of the talk, we introduce the MEATigation project (5 mins), present key writings on 1) the use of “technologies of effacement” in meat production, and 2) understanding meat as performance (15 mins), and 3) how we explored and developed these through sound and performance (15 mins). We then discuss the articulation of these and more questions in our exhibition (5 mins) and offer conclusions and reflections regarding our methods and future research (5 mins).

Sophia Efstathiou

Sophia Efstathiou is a philosopher/performer working on the interfaces of science, art and everyday life at NTNU. Efstathiou is leading Climate Research collaboration project MEATigation: Towards sustainable meat-use in Norwegian food practices for climate mitigation (2020-2024) www.meatigation.no. Her research has received EU , RCN, NSF, Max Planck and White funding and supported by the Athens Biennale (2012, 2018), Ars Electronica (2020) and Cornell Biennial (2020). She holds an MPhys in Mathematics & Physics (Warwick 2000) and PhD in Philosophy and Science Studies (UC San Diego 2009).