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. (Begley)
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. (Fenbey) 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. (Stefamski)
Reflecting the increasingly ambiguous line between natural and manmade, I imagined the future versions of vegetation today. Conceptually and materially inspired by Patricia Piccinini, and employing methods of process designers: Studio Swine, Mischer Traxier, Studio Pasternak, the presentation composes of three sets. The first set looks like fused together elements of vegetables we commonly find on our dinner table, but mutated into a living creature. The second group tries to imitate the process of mass production, creating machine manufactured vegetables, and carries a designed unity: one can see formal consistency and minimalism in the repitition. The third group is composed of ceramic pieces tempting to defamiliarize the vegetables into merely textures – showcasing the randomness and uniqueness of organic surfaces that is difficult to be reproduced through any synthetic method. In all, the pieces are inspired by genetically modified crops multiplying and cloning into a propagation. 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 of 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.
Begley, Sarah. “The Future of Food: Experts Predict How Our Plates Will Change” Time. 9 Oct. 2014: n. pag. Web.
Fenbey, Jonathan. “Food scandals are undermining trust in China’s new regime” Guardian. 5 Dec. 2013: n. pag. Web.
Stefamski, Paul. “GMOs Are On Your Side–Why Aren’t You on Theirs?” Huffington Post. 22 May. 2015: n. pag. Web.
Worall, Simon. “Is Genetically Engineered Food A Fraud?” National Geographic. 22 Apr. 2015: n. pag. Web.