Abstract draft 2

Emma Statement 0603

“The highly processed junk that dominates our diet takes advantage of the way we grow

and process crops and turns them into food-like substances that to many people taste

good, provide enough calories, and are cheap and familiar enough to tolerate, but they

barely sustain basic nutrition.” (The Future of Food: Experts Predict How Our Plates Will


What are we putting onto our plates? There is now an immense potential to alter

genetics and fabricate nature in a way that is most profitable to us. Buns made of

chopped cardboard, rat meat dressed up as lamb – endless food scandals are

increasing the world’s anxiety about food safety. To make the most profit out of the

least amount of resources, bioengineering is used to create genetically “better”

produce using hormones to blow up the volume, producing industrialized food

produced as low-cost as possible. Food it is now a product of mass

consumption, some imagine a future where we no longer grow organic produce

through a natural process, such as 3D printing. While on the other hand, a group of

experts are calling on that all these lab synthesized foods might not just be bad news

– genetically modified food is said to be safe, might allow us to feed the starving.

(GMO is on your side, why aren’t you on its side? – Guardian)

Reflecting the increasingly ambiguous line between natural and manmade, I

imagined the future versions of vegetation today. Conceptually inspired by Patricia

Piccinini, and employing methods of process designers: Studio Swine, Mischer

Traxier, Studio Pasternak, these forms look like fused together elements of

vegetables we commonly find on our dinner table, but mutated into a living creature.

The repetition however forms a sort of three-dimensional pattern, somewhat pleasing

to the eye, defamiliarizing the organic vegetables as merely surface patterns.  I was

interested in the contrast of making identical duplicates of organic foods, which we

once believe cannot fabricate using technology – organisms that are meant to be

individually unique. The process reproducing through casting is associated with mass

production, wax is the material used to make lifelike imitations of humans, also a

malleable material able to be made to any artificial shape.

By presenting these forms I am not criticizing nor promoting the idea, but perhaps I

am projecting my anxiety of what scientists cook up in laboratories, which may end

up on my plate.

Yushi Cheng

Is Genetically Engineered Food A Fraud? – by Simon Worrall, National Geographic

Food scandals are undermining trust in China’s new regime – by Jonathan Fenby, Guardian

The Future of Food: Experts Predict How Our Plates Will Change – by Sarah Begley, Time

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