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Los Angeles conceptual artist Chris Burden died over the weekend in his Topanga home. We look back at his work and life with LACMA director Michael Govan and art critic Jerry Saltz. Next, we hear from the author of the new book The Gluten Lie, which debunks popular myths about which foods are universally bad for us. And finally, with university tuition higher than ever, we have a discussion about whether college these days is worth the cost.

Banner Image: Urban Light by daylight as seen from Wilshire Blvd.

Chris Burden 12 MIN, 7 SEC

Los Angeles conceptual artist Chris Burden died over the weekend in his Topanga home. He was 69. Burden is best known for his piece “Urban Light,” the collection of street lights in front of LACMA that look like the Parthenon. But he began his career as an outrageous performance artist. For his master’s thesis at UC Irvine, Burden shut himself into a two-by-three foot school locker for five days. In 1975, at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, he lay completely still for 45 hours under a sheet of glass and next to a ticking clock. But the piece that caused the biggest uproar at the time was titled “Shoot.” In it he had himself shot in the arm by a friend with a rifle. We look back at Burden’s life and work.

You can revisit KCRW's interview with Chris Burden for Design and Architecture here.

Michael Govan, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (@LACMA)
Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic, New York Magazine, Vulture.com (@jerrysaltz)

'The Gluten Lie' 16 MIN, 47 SEC

We recently received a basket of fruit here at KCRW. It looked like orange cherry tomatoes. The press release that came with the fruits said they’re an “antioxidant-packed superfruit” called “Pichuberries.” It seems like a product aimed directly at us here in L.A., where detoxing is a team sport and yoga teachers are as likely to be the source of diet advice as doctors. But, are antioxidants really all that good for you? And what is a superfruit, anyway? We hear from an author who’s written a book about popular food myths, including cautionary tales about gluten, sugar, fat and salt.

Alan Levinovitz, author, 'The Gluten Lie' (@top_philosopher)

The Gluten Lie

Alan Levinovitz

The End of College? 12 MIN, 3 SEC

College, long considered the golden ticket to success, is losing its luster. Tuition at public schools has quadrupled in the past 35 years. National student debt now tops $1 trillion. And simply having a degree doesn’t guarantee a job to pay off those loans. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been floating debt-free college plans. But in the meantime, many are questioning whether college is worth it anymore.

Michael Gibson, Thiel Foundation (@william_blake)
David Leonhardt, New York Times (@DLeonhardt)

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