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Dinner T.V.

Joe Yorty and John Brady

Limited exhibition: October 2013–September 2015

In this art installation, the artists focus on the iconic symbol of the dining room table and capture the messy and joyous process of discovering new foods and learning to feed oneself.

Located: Lower Level

Key Materials: video projectors, original and contributed videos, and custom tablecloth

What is it?

A video screening room hidden under an oversized dining room table.

Joe Yorty and John Brady have created a playfully large dining table covered by a custom-designed tablecloth. Underneath the table is a hidden screening room where you can watch entertaining home videos of children eating. The projected videos have been sourced from popular Internet sharing sites, such as YouTube, as well as from Museum visitors.

What will I do when I get there?

  • Watch humorous videos of children eating. What foods are being eaten in the videos?
  • See if you recognize anyone in the videos. Who makes the biggest mess?
  • Upload a photograph or video of your children eating to add to the image collection here.

Who made this?

Joe Yorty and John Brady are San Diego-based artists who share a fascination for thrift stores and incorporate second-hand objects in their artwork as a means of capturing a collective portrait of the American family. Joe and John take advantage of how objects found in second-hand stores trigger personal memories of similar objects from one’s own past. The artists emphasize how these objects translate into a larger collective memory of home and domestic space.

Joe Yorty earned his B.F.A. from the University of San Diego (USD) in 2002 and his M.F.A. from the University of California San Diego in 2012. He is currently the Art Studio Technician in the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History at USD. Joe frequently collaborates with San Diego artist-run spaces and has exhibited at venues such as Higher Pictures, New York, the San Diego Museum of Art, New Wright Gallery at UCLA and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

John Brady grew up in Buffalo, NY with eight brothers and sisters where dinner was served at the same time every evening and where the family gathered to talk about their day. Since then he has lived in San Francisco, Washington DC, both coasts of Florida, and now lives in San Diego. John is a self-taught artist whose curiosities have allowed him to develop skills in a wide range of materials and processes including ceramics, painting, interior design, and furniture design and he believes that playing with your food is not a bad thing. In 1973, John came in second place in a cherry pie eating contest at Crystal Beach Amusement Park in Ontario, Canada.

Artist Website: http://www.joeyorty.com/

What can I do at home?

To extend your museum experience, try the following activities at home.

Creative Action

  • Make and submit a video of yourself and/or your children eating. Send your one minute video to thinkplaycreate.org
  • Ask your parents or grandparents to find pictures of themselves as children eating. Ask them questions about their photographs to learn more about them like, what were you eating? How old were you? Where were you living? 

Creative Play

  • Create a secret hideaway under your kitchen or dining room table. What other spaces in your house can you transform or use in a different way than originally designed?