Thursday, April 8, 2010

In the last update for my Blackberry I got Social Beat. I usually check it late at night after I've turned off my computer and I'm about to go to sleep. On Tuesday night I saw a link to this article about people who photograph their food and post the pictures on line. I forgot about it until late on Wednesday when I skimmed it. Finally got around to reading it today.
I remember years ago I found a blog on which a guy was posting pictures and descriptions of his lunch. It wasn't beautiful or unusual food but I liked the blog. It was fun to see the plastic containers he used. He was very good at compartmentalizing.
This guy seems to eat a lot of cottage cheese, bananas and what looks like some kind of cereal. He has 9000 pictures on line. I'm not sure what I think about that. It's also kind of fun. But how many pictures of popcorn does anyone need? I could argue for and against the project with equal fervor. I wish I knew more about why it's a trend. The guy with the 9000 pictures says it keeps him honest. So I guess he doesn't want any one to know if he eats cake. That, of course, makes me roll my eyes.
Another woman from the article is motivated by taking pretty pictures of good food. I get that.
I don't think of myself as a photographer. I don't even have a camera. I'm using my Blackberry. I almost took a picture of some potato leek soup that I made the other day and had for dinner twice this week. It was visually appealing. It was chunky. I dunno. I looked at it and thought about taking the picture but I didn't have anything to say about it. And I was hungry.
I just had a late lunch/early dinner of brie, pineapple, toast and cold green tea. I took a picture because I'm thinking about the article but it doesn't look particularly beautiful or say anything about me. I bought the brie to use on a pizza with leeks and crimini mushrooms. But the leeks ended up in soup and I have some Fontina to use with the mushrooms. I was trying to stay out of the kitchen because I wanted to mop the floor. If you look carefully in the photo you can see why.
The floor is mopped. The plate is clean. I'm still jumping around on blogs from the article. It's very interesting.
I guess I think food can be boring. Pictures of food can be boring. On the other hand and I'm not sure why, simple pictures of food can sometimes be so beautiful. People have been painting pictures of food for a long time.
I've always liked Thiebaud's paintings. And in some ways all those pictures of bowls of cottage cheese, bananas and cereal have a similar aesthetic. Except the project isn't about beauty or a love of form. It's about using the fear of public disapproval as a way to not eat a jar of peanut butter.
Like so many times I feel myself wandering around in a value structure, not sure where I stand. The article quotes Brillat-Savarin. “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are. I like that but I'm also aware that it's like any other way of assigning meaning. My bias about food makes it hard for me to understand people who aren't open and willing to try things. But I do know people who aren't that into food and I like them. I don't think badly of them.
The Internet is curiouser and curiouser.

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