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David Szanto

David Szanto takes an experimental approach to gastronomy through design, ecology, and performance. Past projects include meal performances focusing on urban foodscapes, collaborations with sensory and music artists, and performance-installations about memory, death, and the microbiome. He has taught about food, performance, and communications at several universities in Canada and Europe, and has published widely in both scholarly and general-audience outlets.

Orchestrer la perte/Perpetual Demotion

A machine nourishes its humans. Stardust or cyborg, social or technical, all things feed and are fed. “Orchestrer la perte / Perpetual Demotion,” a shiny feeding robot, perpetuates patterns of nurturing and domination. It is hybrid, a human-food-technology system. People approach it; an attendant sits nearby; a spoon will soon approach a mouth. Will it open? Will the eater submit? Will the robot accept? The human chews, swallows, and processes. Microbes rearrange and stabilize tissue. The machine resets, the cycle repeats. In these movements, bodies gain just as they lose control—eating, determining, and orchestrating their own demotion.