In contemporary culture, images of food dominate advertisements and newsfeeds, manufacturing desire and inspiring trends. But what happens to our sense of taste when we look at food more than we eat it? This session of Optics looks at the sociocultural aspects of food porn, and why the universal need for nourishment has moved from the stomach to the mouth to the eye.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

Our ICP Museum–public program combination ticket grants $10 entry to the galleries starting at 4:30 PM to those attending the program. Tickets are only available online when you register for the program.

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About Optics: A New Way of Seeing Contemporary Culture

Hosted by artist and curator Reya Sehgal, this series invites critics, artists, and imagemakers to analyze the pictures that shape contemporary culture and current events. Optics considers the images, visual communications, and vision-related technologies that impact our times. In our current image-saturated society of 24-hour news cycles, social media, and memes, an understanding of the ways in which pictures are shaped, produced, distributed, remixed, and go viral is vital to an understanding of culture itself.


Reya Sehgal is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based in New York City. She has curated exhibitions and public programs at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Brown University, Queens Museum, Project for Empty Space, Knockdown Center, and BRIC. Her artistic work has been seen, and experienced, at the DUMBO Arts Festival, AS220, Distillery Gallery, RISD Museum, Arab American National Museum, Leslie Lohman Museum, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Sehgal is a member of the DIVERSITY FELLOWS! performance collaborative, and currently serves as the Postgraduate Fellow in Visual Culture at the International Center of Photography.


Image: © Jacque Donaldson