Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Finishing School
Friday, July 31, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

M.O.L.D. / Bioindicator Workshop

About the Salon
Finishing School will discuss their most recent project M.O.L.D. (2009), a performative installation that investigates critical issues related to the science, politics, and culture of food through the lens of decomposition. The salon audience will also participate in a workshop where they will build their own amateur bioindicators to assess food quality and safety.

About the Salon Participants
Formed in late 2001, Finishing School is a collective identity that investigates diverse social, political, and environmental issues. Their projects combine praxis, play, and activism and engage viewers through various participatory models. They have exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally.

Finishing School was recently the inaugural participants in MOCA's Engagement Party, an ongoing "artists residency" program at MOCA in Los Angeles where they presented three projects: Finding Joy (2008), The Drug Run (2008), and Executive Order Karaoke (2008). Other current projects include Little Pharma (2008), which investigates alternative medicines and lifestyles as a viable antidote to some of the drug industry's pathologies. Little Pharma consists of a series of workshops, roundtable meetings, lectures, weblog, community medicinal garden, and drug themed bike ride.

Past projects include Public Interaction Objects (2006), a series of low-tech participatory objects including meet/greet, a semi-autonomous drone designed to move through public spaces and greet individuals with multilingual salutations representing the six official languages of the United Nations; The Patriot Library (2003), a working library that provides access to books, periodicals, and other media considered "dangerous" by the United States government; and Saturday School (2001), a temporary, nomadic teaching institution offering multidisciplinary classes that dissect, question, and illuminate various aspects of everyday life.

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Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Jill Leovy
Friday, July 24, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

The Homicide Report

About the salon

Two or three homicides occur every day in Los Angeles County, but major newspapers report on only around 10% of these. Realizing that most of the stories went untold, LA Times crime reporter Jill Leovy committed to reporting each and every single murder.

Leovy initiated the blog the Homicide Report in 2007 with just 17 names received from the local coroner's office. A year later, the blog had documented every murder in Los Angeles County, 845 in all, something that had never been done before.

The Homicide Blog, "seeks to exploit the advantages of the web to eliminate selectivity in homicide coverage and give readers a more complete picture of who dies from homicide, where, and why -- thus conveying both the personal story and the statistical story with greater accuracy."

About the presenter

Jill Leovy is a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Click here to access the Homicide Report.

Photo: Pearl White sits near a vigil for her cousin, Dennis Joe Rodgers, Jr. who was shot and killed Wednesday night, 7.8.09.Credit: Ruben Vives/Los Angeles Times

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Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Douglas McCulloh and D.J. Waldie
Friday, July 17, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

Dream Street

About the Salon

The chaos in the global economy began at the end of Dream Street, just an ordinary street in a modest tract in Ontario. On Dream Street, cash-strapped builders cut corners, low-wage immigrant laborers worked in fear of La Migra, and sub-prime mortgages waited home buyers longing to have a piece of the dream. Douglas McCulloh, who named Dream Street in 1999, followed its development from strawberry patch to homes on the edge of suburbia. How and why those houses got there – and what building them has meant – will be explored with author/photographer Douglas McCulloh and essayist D. J. Waldie.

About the Salon Presenters

Douglas McCulloh creates conceptually-based photographic work. He exhibits widely in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and China, and is a three-time recipient of funding from the California Council for the Humanities.

D.J. Waldie is the author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir among other books. He is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times and a contributing writer at Los Angeles magazine.

Image courtesy Douglas McCulloh



Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Deborah Kane
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

A Facebook for Food as Local Goes Online:
Getting Regional Food to Market with FoodHub

About the Salon

Demand for local food is at an all-time high. As a result, larger-volume and institutional purchasers such as public schools, colleges, hospitals, retail grocery stores and many others are increasingly assigning geographic preference to their key purchase criteria along with long-standing cost, quality, quantity, and delivery requirements. Yet every year more American small- and medium-sized family farms go out of business, having not found a viable method for accessing this increased market demand for their products. This year in the Pacific Northwest the farmer with a fire sale on blueberries will have access to hundreds of online wholesale buyers through a new tool called FoodHub. Will it save the family farm? It just might. Come find out more. (see too

About the Salon Participant

Deborah Kane’s passion for promoting local and sustainable agriculture places her at that critical junction where the culinary arts and the sustainable agriculture movement intersect. A tireless advocate for sustainable agriculture and food-related industries, Kane currently serves as vice president of Food and Farms at Ecotrust, a Northwest-based conservation organization.

Under Kane's leadership, Oregon became the first state in the nation to institutionalize the notion of getting regionally produced food into public schools by creating full time ‘farm to school’ positions in both its Departments of Education and Agriculture. Kane is the publisher of Edible Portland, an award-winning quarterly magazine that celebrates the region’s bounty, season by delicious season.

FoodHub, Kane's latest project, is an online directory and marketplace designed to make it easy and efficient for buyers and sellers of regional food to find one another and conduct business. Kane looks forward to the day when supply chains are transparent and information flows readily so that questions such as “I wonder where I can sell these parsnips” and “Where can I get 120 pounds of wild salmon” are answered with the click of a button.

Photo: Chef John Toboada receives a delivery of local produce from farmer Laura Masterson. Foodhub makes it possible for local producers to find (hungry) buyers.

Photo courtesy Deborah Kane.

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