• Atlantic Dialogue #4: Milk

Jackson, Melanie and Leslie, Esther, 2017, Conference or Workshop, Atlantic Dialogue #4: Milk at Atlantic Dialogue #4, Plymouth, UK, 5 Dec 2017.

Abstract or Description:

Milk is a primal substance. The first fluid to enter our mouths, it is essential to life from the very beginning. Indeed, the ‘milk of human kindness’ is fundamental to our existence as social animals. The land that flowed with milk and honey, in pre-Modern times, was imagined as a bountiful pasture that became the model for a life fulfilled. Today, however, milk is an endlessly adaptable commodity, industrially produced in unimaginably vast quantities and re-formulated for every kind of flow that global consumerism demands. In an age dominated by a form of capital that despises ‘dependence’ yet thrives on ‘precarity’, our relation to milk embodies the contradictions of our times. One of the most technologized liquids on the planet, abstracted from its nurturing function, milk is at once a symbol of the bucolic and of the exploitation of nature. In order to produce cows’ milk for humans, the seasonal cycle related to gestation has been extended into the endless time of ever-increasing milk yields. This is the temporality of the market, of production and circulation. The mass industrialisation of milk also represents an abstraction from the female body, and thus its transformation into a de-gendered industrial commodity.

The Atlantic Dialogues are a series of public talks and interdisciplinary discussions, organized jointly by the Atlantic Project and Plymouth University Fine Art.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Copyright Holders: Melanie Jackson, Esther Leslie
Funders: Arts Council England, University Plymouth
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 13:20
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:49
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3499
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