Free(ing) Lunch

Phylogenetic or evolutionary trees are branching diagrams that articulate evolutionary connections or relationships between various biological species. Allison Kudla’s moss mural, Free Lunch, applies phylogenetic diagrams to the exploration of evolutionary relationships found in food. Situated above the food carts at the Capitol Hill Block Party, 2012, the work playfully traces the origins of the food chain, from the photosynthesizing free lunch of the plant kingdom, to our species’ demand and desire for ever new and nuanced ‘selectively-bred’ food selections. The mural is one part of a larger project to create an interactive software application that applies non-standard data sets to evolutionary tree diagrams. The next iteration of this concept appears in “Actuals Create New Adjacent Possibles.”

This work was curated and made possible by Laurie Kearney of Ghost Gallery.

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