Liz Flyntz & Byron Rich
Epicurean Endocrinology is concerned with how food is gendered and how it is sexed. Historically, food has taken on gendered attributes in its production, presentation, and consumption. In many cultural contexts, certain foods are associated with masculinity and virility, or femininity and fecundity. This constellation of meanings function differently within specific spiritual and healing traditions. In the western capitalist tradition of food-as-product, foods are marketed to help consumers attain their culture’s gender ideals. Epicurean Endocrinology uses the apparatus and techniques of the bio-lab to test foods for endocrine disruptors while using the domestic space of the kitchen and the culture of food, food marketing, and eating as a familiar platform for conversation and engagement, allowing participants to draw the connections between food and biology, kitchen and laboratory. Flyntz and Rich plan to produce an at-home citizen science endocrine-disruptor testing kit and continue to produce performances centering around the kitchen-as-lab and lab-as-kitchen.
The project is a collaboration between Liz Flyntz and bio-artist Byron Rich. Epicurean Endocrinology posits cooking as a medium, citizen bio-science as a performance, and product design as activism. Flyntz and Rich’s independent research converged on food systems, food marketing, and endocrine disruptor proliferation, engaging with scientific literacy, public policy, regulatory systems and the performative nature of both the kitchen and the lab. As an artist and an information architect, Flyntz works to combine product design and citizen science education in order to promote conversations about the subtle, nuanced, and often spiritual place of food and gender in culture.