CosmicMegaBrain: Emily Candela's Krustapseudicals

The artist will be serving up edible crystals at the science-meets-art event

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‘Does Dark Matter?’ asks CosmicMegaBrain – the interdisciplinary science-meets-art event – this Saturday. They will play host to a range of artists, live performances and screenings (and an after party hosted by NTS), including science researcher and artisan Krustapseudicals chef, Emily Candela. London-based Candela is currently working on an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award across the RCA and the Science Museum. Dazed Digital spoke to Candela about her work with CosmicMegaBrain, the science club-night trend and London’s art scene.

These are edible crystals that contain materials like vitamins, minerals, proteins (harvested from my hair) and small edible amounts of skin and dental care products such as lip gloss and mouthwash

Dazed Digital: What have you produced for CosmicMegaBrain's event?
Emily Candela: Throughout the night I’ll be cooking and serving krustapseudicals. These are edible crystals that contain materials like vitamins, minerals, proteins (harvested from my hair) and small edible amounts of skin and dental care products such as lip gloss and mouthwash. The krustapseudicals are basically crystallisations of magazine articles offering beauty advice. The materials in them are chosen because they are advertised as offering bodily temporal freeze - the delay or reversal of wrinkles, the 'repair' of worn hair, or a return to the luminescent skin and teeth of youth. They are inspired in part by the trend for cosmetic pharmaceuticals, or 'cosmeceuticals', and their sister products, pills that claim to beautify the skin through their ingestion into your body - marketed by brands which previously only sold products like soap or skin creams. They are also jelly, so they wobble.

DD: How important is science to your work?
Emily Candela: The idea of science is important to my work. The image of expertise and authority, powers of manipulation, ‘meddling’ with nature, and the hype, hope and fear that come along with this.

DD: Your artwork is part science experiment and part performance - is accessibility of concept in art essential?
Emily Candela: I hope that there’s something accessible in what I make. That’s definitely part of my thinking behind making edible work. After all, what’s more easily absorbed than food? That being said, with some of these crystals you might end up with my hair in your mouth.

DD: Do you think, considering other events, like KXFS' Super Collider weekend, that science is becoming 'trendy'?
Emily Candela: ‘Trendy’ is the wrong word for it. Science is impinging on our lives in new ways, and a lot of the cultural production that deals with it is a productive way of thinking this through. And much of it reflects how science still cuts an ambiguous figure in culture today – both utopian and dystopian at the same time.

DD: What do you think of London's contemporary art scene?
Emily Candela: I think it’s an exciting time right now, with artists placing their work in new contexts – working in labs for instance or cutting across different fields like science, television production or music. Cosmicmegabrain really embody this expansive take, and I’m looking forward to all the work and performances on Saturday!

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