The Huitlacoche Project
Unnatural Selection: Huitlacoche and the Human Quest for Control
by Alvaro Azcárraga
May 17th – 7:00pm
Torn Space Theater – 612 Fillmore Ave. Buffalo
Torn Space collaborates with University at Buffalo’s Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts, to present a performance by Mexican artist and researcher Alvaro Azcárraga, who explores the intersection of botanical organisms and the history of scientific colonialism.
Following the success of 水土Water/Soil Discontent不服 in 2022, Torn Space collaborates once again with University at Buffalo’s Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts, a hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies of the life sciences. This event involves a conference, a guided immersive exhibition within the theater and a curated tasting menu exploring the colonization of maize. This is a seated event with a presentation of fine art illustration, video projection, a designed soundscape, followed by an artist talk.
Featured Artist: Alvaro Azcárraga is a Mexican artist and researcher that works with plant-like organisms with a focus on the history of scientific colonialism. With a background in Molecular and Cellular Biology, he looks at how the micro relates to the human and beyond. His work also examines the post-natural, specifically looking at the artifice that is embedded within the term “natural.”
Tasting Menu developed in collaboration with Chef Juana Lomeli T.
Juana Lomeli T, also known as Juana Chiles, has dedicated her life to the investigation of Mexican cookery, from chiles, corn, herbs, spices, vegetables, etc. She worked as a consumer advocate and helped in investigations on Mexican eating habits. She has written books and articles in Mexico and the USA, including El Chile y otros Picantes, El Mundo de los Frijoles, and Guía del Tequila con Artes de Mexico. She has also collaborated with Kens Kitchen, Música y Cocina Mexicana, and National Geographic.
Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts is a hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies from the life sciences.
Coalesce Connects Disciplines
Coalesce is a center where artists, designers, and architects actively learn, use and create. With the shared medium of life sciences technologies, scientists explore new forms or broader cultural meanings of their work, and philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of life sciences. Coalesce encourages researchers and artists to challenge disciplinary labels and incubate hybrid creative practices.
Coalesce Responds to the Grand Challenge
From medicine to the environment, from stem cells to microbes, from genes to biomes, much of the US public is ill prepared to evaluate the most complex questions, challenges, and issues facing our society today. “What does it mean to design a living organism?” “What aspects of such an organism could be called an invention… or an artwork?” “How do we presently define life?” Coalesce complements UB’s expertise in the life sciences by addressing questions and issues vital to public understanding and participation, beyond the analytical constraints of most disciplines.