Bioneering: Hybrid Investigations of Food
A gathering of artists, scientists, scholars, activists and community organizers sharing their work
concerning food production, consumption & distribution.

Deena Capparelli

Deena Capparelli, an artist and educator, has taught full-time at Pasadena City College for 18 years, initiating numerous multi-disciplinary programs involving art, design, and science. Capparelli is co-coordinator of the MOISTURE project in the Mojave Desert and has just completed work on the Invisible Trajectories: Passing Through the Inland Empire project for the California Story Fund. Her interests range from sculptural installation to ecological/native plant design.

Beatriz da Costa

Beatriz da Costa is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher. She is dedicated to a participatory practice and interactions with non-academic publics represent a key component of her work. Beatriz is a former collaborator of Critical Art Ensemble and a co-founder of Preemptive Media, an arts, activism and technology group. Beatriz is an Assistant Professor of Arts, Computation, Engineering at the University of California.

Melanie DuPuis

Melanie DuPuis’ work melds political economy and cultural perspectives in the study of consumption, food, agriculture, development, environment, technology, justice and social change. Her methods include social history, policy analysis, discourse analysis and geography. Her book, Nature’s Perfect Food, brought together these disciplines to understand the invention of milk as a commodity in the United States. Her most recent book, Smoke and Mirrors, brought together a group of urban environmental historians, economists, political scientists, and sociologists to look specifically at air pollution as a cultural and political phenomenon. Her position in the Sociology Department at UCSC has brought her into contact with some of the best U.S. social theorists of race, a major influence in her formulation of the Eating Cultures project. DuPuis studied the political economy of development at Cornell University (Ph.D. 1991) and supplemented this with a post-doc in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic University in 1992.

Sheila Fennoy
Shiela Fennoy currently teaches biology at Santa Monica College. She began her career with a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Physiology from UC Berkeley and enjoys developing sustainable systems in landscapes & ecosystems, permaculture and biking.

Dan Froot

Dan Froot has performed his dance, music and theater work throughout the U.S. and overseas since 1983. Awards include a 1991 Bessie (NY Dance and Performance Award) and a 2000 C.O.L.A. (City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship). Dan has worked with artists as diverse as Yoshiko Chuma, Ping Chong, David Dorfman, Mabou Mines, Dan Hurlin, Ralph Lemon, Guy Klucevsek and Victoria Marks. Thanks to the City of West Hollywood for supporting the creation of "Who's Hungry?"

Fritz Haeg

Like a system of crop rotation, Fritz Haeg works between his architecture &design practice Fritz Haeg Studio, the happenings & gatherings of Sundown Salon, the ecology initiatives of Gardenlab and his work as a college educator. Each initiative is a direct response to an observed need. Collectively they seek to support innovative art and design, cultivate and nurture communities, improve the natural-human environment and to make connections and relationships between people and places that have been isolated or ignored by contemporary society. Recent projects have included the "Edible Estates" initiative to replace suburban front lawns with edible landscapes, the Bernardi Residence in the Silver Lake hills of Los Angeles, and Sundown Schoolhouse, the gently radical non-disciplinary educational environment initiated in autumn 2006 in Haeg's geodesic dome residence. He studied architecture at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his B.Arch in 1992. He has been a faculty member in the furniture and product design department at Parsons School of Design in New York, the U.S.C. School of Architecture, the environmental design department at Art Center College of Design, the U.S.C. School of Art and CalArts in Valencia, California. His work has been presented at the MAK Center in Los Angeles, the I.C.A. in Philadelphia, the Whitney Museum in New York, Mass MOCA in North Adams, MA and the Wattis Institute in San Francisco among others.

Pearl Ho

Pearl Ho's background is in engineering and designing biomedical instrumentation and devices. She likes to consider her current work as a critical practice of engineering. By using engineering methods in creating artwork, she hopes to introduce self-reflexivity and criticality to the industry.

Roman Jaster

Roman is a graphic designer currently completing his studies at the California Institute of the Arts. He is interested in compassionate and responsible design that carries the intention for positive change. He curated and designed the book “Reclaim+Recover,” which catalogs interventionist artist projects (such as Rebar’s “Parking Day” and Heavy Trash’s “Aqua Line”) that aim to transform urban ecologies. Roman has also explored how graphic design can be employed as a medium for social intervention. The piece “Please Re-use Me” was designed to encourage shoppers to reduce waste. In front of a Ralph’s supermarket in Valencia, California, 150 modified grocery bags were handed out. The bags were overprinted with information regarding grocery bag waste and shoppers were urged to reuse their bags.

Roman was raised in northeastern Germany, but moved to California in 1998. He enjoys gardening, cooking, taking long walks with audio books, and listening to KCRW’s “Left, Right and Center.” He lives with his wife Natalia in Valencia.

Grant Kester

Grant Kester is an art historian and critic whose research focuses on socially-engaged art practice, the visual culture of American reform movements, and aesthetic theory. He received a BFA in photography from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and an MA and PhD from the Visual and Cultural Studies program at the University of Rochester, where his dissertation examined the relationship between aesthetic and political philosophy in eighteenth-century English culture. Grant currently teaches at UCSD in the Department of Visual Arts.

Martha L. Orozco-Cardenas

Martha L. Orozco-Cardenas is the director of the Plant Transformation Research Center at the University of California – Riverside. She began her scientific career in the USA in 1991, working with Professor C. A. Ryan at the Institute of Biological Chemistry of WSU. She conducted studies on the signaling pathway components of plant defense responses, using tomato plants as a model system. The results of her research have been published in very prestigious scientific journals. Dr. Orozco-Cardenas has also been a visiting scientist on collaborative research projects with the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc. (Ithaca, NY), and the Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. The aim of her current research is focused on the application of plant tissue culture, molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques to study gene function, to enhance plant protection, and the improvement of crop productivity.

Claire Pentecost

Claire Pentecost is an artist and writer, engaging a variety of media to interrogate the imaginative and institutional structures that organize divisions of knowledge. Building on a long-term inquiry into the conceptual distinctions of artificial and natural, many recent projects concentrate on industrial and bioengineered agriculture, and their alternatives. Pentecost is Associate Professor, Photography Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Claude Willey

Claude Willey is an artist, urbanist and educator, teaching courses on city growth, development, and environmental systems in the Urban Studies and Planning Department at California State University, Northridge and at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Willey is co-coordinator of the MOISTURE project in the Mojave Desert and has just completed work in the Inland Empire on the Invisible Trajectories project for the CCH/California Story Fund. Willey’s activities have merged ecology, renewable-energy technologies, and urban transportation history. His defines himself as a professional bicycle commuter, clocking 230 miles per week on the roads of L.A. County.

Stephen Vines

Reverend Stephen Vines currently serves as associate minister of the New Hope Missionary Church in San Bernardino, California. In alliance with Hickman Farms and as co-founder of the Anne Shirrells Garden he helps to bring fresh organic produce to West San Bernardino. He has recently organized the San Bernardino Community Development Corporation, has served as president of the NAACP (San Luis Obispo County Chapter), and has worked as an educational change activist in Toledo, Ohio, among other projects. As an organizer and activist, Reverend Vines brings together government, business, non-profit and ecclesiastical entities to improve the quality of life in his community. He is a Transformationalist and Co-creator of the Interactive Discipline management Platform ( The Motion of Change).

For more information or registration, please email Lisa Tucker at

Generously supported by the Bren Foundation, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UCDarNet, UCHRI and UCIRA