Week 5: Joel Arellano

In his post, Adam mentioned using the internet as a springboard rather than a place of isolation, and I think that’s a great way to summarize how LLC engages audiences. We have all been students at one time or another, and school lunches are hardly ever remembered as a glamorous affair, so the topic alone is a call to commiserate, which means spreading LLC’s content and message. This process is generative, which is why I like the term ‘open space documentary’, since it recalls  the space Cage and Rauschenberg’s left open for audiences to complete. With LLC, audiences do so by nostalgically recalling and sharing their own experiences with school lunches, and perhaps even trying to outdo one another with horror-stories.

Both school lunches and art can fail when they become impersonal, and so the solution is to recover that personal touch. Everyone’s familiar with the adage that homemade food tastes better, and through transitive association, helping students cultivate healthier foods via school gardens can lead them to appreciate the meaning and value behind healthier choices. And I’m sure being confronted with an ugly presentation of the real, usually-hidden contents of junk food would have the opposite effect. That won’t stop Cheetos from being delicious, but it will certainly make it harder to enjoy them casually or unthinkingly, and that may be enough to influence nutrition and exercise habits. Combined with healthier options available in schools, I think it’s fair to say LLC’s provided a complete vision for holistically addressing the problems of nutrition, awareness, and availability of quality foods.

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