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Consuming the Unique: Food, Art and the Globalizing Infrastructures of Value

The CEU Campus
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 9:00 am – Friday, May 10, 2019, 7:00 pm

The Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology,
in cooperation with the Center for Policy Studies

Consuming the Unique:
Food, Art and the Globalizing Infrastructures of Value

Date: 9-10 May 2019,
Venue: Popper room, Nador utca 9

This conference brings together anthropologists, sociologists, and historians of food and art from Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Both food and art are quintessential fields of valuation, in which value is situationally un/made in uneven, increasingly globalized value chains. Here, competition is not about price alone, but also about sometimes incommensurable singular qualities often glossed as ‘taste’ and ‘quality’. We propose to disentangle the similarities and differences of valuation and taste in both fields through the innovative lens of infrastructure studies. Infrastructures have multiple effects. First, infrastructures are the material conduits that allow complex value processes to unfold. Second, the materiality of infrastructures is also affective: it can promote trust in transparency, linking products to distant (often exoticized) locations, or inspire fear, disgust and anxiety. Finally, infrastructures materially inscribe historical power relations into contemporary processes of valuation.

Some infrastructures perform their work visibly – like quality standards in the case of the GIs (geographic indications) or AOC (Appellation d’origine controlée) – but many infrastructures are hidden, and their “upstream” histories are generally “black-boxed”. We therefore discuss how studying both the techno-politics and the contestations of infrastructures allows significant new insights into the history, present, and possible futures of valuation in the globalizing value chains of food and art.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

19.00 Drinks and informal get-together in Ruin pub “Potkulcs” (Csengery utca 65/b, 1067 Budapest)

Thursday, 9 May 2019

9.00 Registration

9.30 Opening remarks: Daniel Monterescu and Andre Thiemann

9.45 Keynote Lecture I: Anne Meneley (Trent University, CAN)
Seeds, Plants, and Possibilities of Regeneration

10.45 Coffee break

11.15 Session 1: Spatializing Value (Moderator: Guntra Aistara, CEU)
Sarah Sippel (Leipzig, GER)
Determining Land’s Value: The Social Practice of Farmland Valuation in Australia
Christof Lammer (Klagenfurt, AUT)
Knowing Quality Food: Certification and People as Globalizing Infrastructures of Value in China
Daniel Monterescu (CEU)
The Quest for the Holy Grail: Indigenous Wines, Science and the Colonial Politics of the Local

13.15 Rooftop Lunch

15.00 Session 2: Consuming the Unique (Moderator: Alex Kowalski, CEU)
Emília Barna (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
The Creation of Value through Music Export Programs and Music Industry Showcase Events: A Semi-Peripheral Perspective on the Global Music Economy
Oscar Kruger (Kent, UK)
Message in a Bottle
York Kautt (Giessen, GER)
Mediatization, Scarcities and the Art of Valorisation of Food

17.00 Coffee break

17.30 Keynote Lecture II: Jean-Louis-Fabiani (CEU)
Live at the Village Vanguard: The Paradox of Recorded Presence

Friday, 10 May 2019
9.00 Registration

9.30 Keynote Lecture III: Claudio E. Benzecry (Northwestern University, USA)
The World at Her Fit: Scale-Making, Uniqueness and Standardization

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Session 3: The Politics of Valuation (Moderator: Anne Meneley)
Yulia Karpova (OSA Budapest)
Banishing the Potter from the Exhibition Hall: Leningrad Studio Ceramics in Search of Non-Consumer Values
Yael Raviv (New York University)
Breaking Bread: Performing National Identity in Israel and Palestine at the Intersection of Food & Art

12.30 Rooftop Lunch

14.00 Session 4: The Labours of Value (Moderator: Andrew Cartwright, CEU)
Milan Škobić (Northeastern University, USA)
Food Cultivation and Normalization of Exploitation: The Case of Southern Banat
Daniela Ana (MPI Halle, GER)
Soils, Yeasts and Other Wine Things: Re-creating Value in a Moldovan winery
Andre Thiemann (CEU)
Infrastructuring Raspberries: The Politics and Poetics of Creating Serbia’s Vital Capital

16.00 Coffee break

16.30 Session 5: Travelling Taste (Moderator: Claudio E. Benzecry)
Balázs Gosztonyi (Corvinus, Budapest)
Bricolage Valuation: Valuation of Second-Hand steel bicycles (Vintage Bikes) in Hungary
Elizabeth Saleh (American University Beirut, LBN)
Cooking Without Mother: Syrian Underage Waste Pickers and the Reconfiguration of House-holding in Beirut

18.00 Concluding Plenary Debate

20.00 Informal Drinks at Aurora (Aurora utca 11, 1084 Budapest)