After Eating | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
248 pages
December 2023

After Eating

Metabolizing the Arts

Author(s): Lindsay Kelley

Food appears everywhere in the arts. But what happens after viewers carry food away in the intestinal networks activated by social practice art, the same way digestion turns food into a body? Exploring the emerging field of metabolic arts, After Eating claims digestion and metabolism as key cultural, creative, and political processes that demand attention. Taking an artist-centered approach to nutrition, Lindsay Kelley cultivates a neglected middle ground between the everyday and the scientific, using metabolism as a lens through which to read and write about art.

Divided into two parts and full of playful chapter titles such as “Food Babies” and “Poop Circus,” After Eating investigates multiple facets of the sociocultural implications of body image and body process in body art from the 1970s to the present. By engaging the notion of “after” as an artistic homage or tribute, metabolism moves beyond the cell to transform into a method for responding to the most difficult cultural, philosophical, and political challenges of the contemporary moment. Metabolic reading rethinks feminist, queer, bioart, installation, and performance projects, providing artists, students, and teachers with new pathways into art theory.