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Announcement
October 21, 2022

Cocina CoLaboratorio: The Metabolism of Transdisciplinary Agencies

Transart Institute

Images care of Mariana Martínez Balvanera and Cocina CoLaborotorio

A talk by Mariana Martínez Balvanera.

We warmly invite you to join us for a virtual talk about creative practice's role in bringing different knowledges together around the kitchen table—a process which is crucial for understanding and transforming our food systems. This talk will share the story of the Cocina CoLaboratorio project, some tools, experiences, and concepts that the transdisciplinary team works with, touching upon some examples from recent work.

Mariana Martínez Balvanera is a spatial and social designer based in Amsterdam and Mexico City, working in the realm of community led urban and rural placemaking projects within the critical spatial practice approach. She graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from CENTRO in Mexico City 2011, and holds a Master in Narrative Environments from Central St Martins (UAL), London. With diplomas in “Curatorial practice for public spaces" (GIM) and "Where Art Meets Design" (ELISAVA School of Design Barcelona). Among others, she has collaborated to create the Mediamatic Biotoop, a space for bioarts and urban agriculture in Amsterdam; with Estudio Teddy Cruz, designing socio-spatial interventions to rethink post-war housing schemes in London; with Cascoland, creating performatic participation and collaboration tools in public spaces; and is currently resident artist at Pollinaria, space for art in the rural. Her collective projects have received awards such as What Design Can Do's "Climate Action Challenge" and the MUAC's William Bullock Prize for Critical Museology. She is tutor and guest lecturer at arts and design universities CENTRO, ENAP, UAM (Mexico City), Royal Academy of Art (The Hague) and The Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam). In 2018 Mariana co-founded Cocina Colaboratorio where ever since she has been leading creative programming in public space aimed at environmental and social sustainability, using food as main common ground.

Cocina CoLaboratorio (CoLaboratory Kitchen) is a transdisciplinary collective that gathers creatives (artists, designers, architects), farmer communities, scientists and chefs around the kitchen table to exchange knowledge, design and take action towards sustainable food futures. A test ground for ideas that conciliate land restoration, food production and better livelihood in rural and urban areas.

This platform regards the kitchen as a co-creative space where people are connected through growing, cooking, tasting, sharing and experimenting. Aspirations and actions are shared and undertaken around the kitchen, mixing world views, knowledge, practices and produce through different activities and programs catered to specific sites and cultures. Since 2018 the project establishes long and short term arts+research+practice collaborations within three sites in Mexico: Xochimilco in Mexico City, Santo Domingo Tomaltepec in Oaxaca, and Marqués de Comillas in Chiapas.

Cocina CoLaboratorio is composed in its core team by Emilio Hernández (social designer), Adriana Cadena (anthropologist/cultural manager), Elizabeth Guerrero (artist/semiologist), Diego Hernández (agroecologist), Reyna Domínguez (biologist), Gabriela Morales (farmer), Lucía Pérez (biologist/cook), Patricia Balvanera (ecologist), and Mariana Martinez (designer/artist). The collective expands, contracts and takes different shapes depending on the project structures, actions and specific sites.

Cocina CoLaboratorio is part of the Food Art Research Network and the Green Art Lab Alliance.

Saturday, October 29: 3–3:45 UTC. Register here.

About Transart
Since 2004 Transart Institute for Creative Research has been the foremost developer of low-residency, interdisciplinary, international creative research programs. Designed and run entirely by artists, the Institute offers practice-based PhD and MFA programs, generating space for creativity, experimentation and radical thinking in every form. We champion self-directed, curious, flexible and socially engaged creative researchers working independently or collectively.

Accreditation
The MFA and PhD are offered in partnership with and validated by our renowned and esteemed UK academic partner, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), founded in 1823.

Admissions
September 1–November 15: Early application (with scholarship) deadline.
February 1: Three-month pre-flight scholarships commence.

Inquiries
MFA: Susie Quillinan, Head of Masters Studies, [email protected]transart.org or book a conversation with her here.
PhD: Dr Michael Bowdidge, Head of Doctoral Studies, [email protected]transart.org or book a conversation with him here.

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