Alexandra Baumgartner



































bread eaters
2020 –
Transcending geographical, cultural, and temporal boundaries, bread connects us to a multitude of past and future generations. The different tastes, shapes, food habits and values associated with the many types of bread being eaten around the world, are defined by its main ingredient: wheat.

We, the bread eaters, have coevolved with this crop. We have shaped its trajectory, as much as it has influenced our lives. From largely inedible grass, wheat evolved to sustain the rise whole civilisations. Its messy domestication history is still being debated by taxonomists. Today, wheat is a global commodity and one of the most important subsistence foods.

Challenging the perception of crop plants as inanimate resource, bread eaters explores wheat in its constant process of becoming1. Choosing from distinct moments of encounter between the crop plant and humans, the fluid research project suggests a non-linear telling of the history of bread/wheat, shifting between observations on different scales and traveling through time and space.

The project is divided into 4 chapters. While each chapter provides a different viewpoint on the subject, some elements loop back to previous chapters, or pop up in following episodes of the journey that bread eaters presents.



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︎︎︎ 1    The fluid research project evolves around what Jessica Barnes defines as the social worlds of wheat, the ‘the multiple ways in which the plant becomes entangled with human lives, in ways that are both derivative and constitutive’ (Jessica Barnes, „Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: The Social Worlds of Wheat“, in Environment and Society, Vol. 7 (2016): p.90).






Alexandra Baumgartner

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