If you can tear yourself away from the cheese counter at the new Mission Cheese long enough, start your weekend at the Berkeley Art Museum and Film Archive's Ferment[cheese] event this Friday, which gets really nerdy–in a good way, duh!–about milk's epic journey from its liquid form into full-fledged cheesehood.

In a one-of-a-kind look at one of our favorite foods that combines science and art and food, the after-hours FERMENT starts at 6 pm, where you can taste different kinds of cow and goat milk, curds, and aged cheese so your tongue can understand the miraculous transformations taking place. The night-long tasting is accompanied by sound artist Chris Kallmyer's field recordings and video projections of cheese being fermented, aged and wrapped up for store-readiness, all recorded at Bay Area dairies.

Now, for the icing on the cake: at 7:30 pm, local cheese superstar Sue Conley, founder of Cowgirl Creamery will give a coveted cheese-making demonstration and talk about the sustainable virtues of farmstead agriculture. This lesson in cheese mastery and fermentation will inspire spontaneously-composed music by Kallmyer and LA-based improvisational ensemble TempWerks, performed on a smattering of instruments like violin, accordion, saxophone, laptop, (appropriately) cowbells, and more.

When you go back to your normal cheese-eating ways, you'll know exactly how and why the stuff is so dazzling, and obviously never look at it the same way again.

FERMENT[cheese], April 29, 6-9 pm. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant Avenue #2250, Berkeley, 510-642-0808. Get tickets here.