Mars Made: Retroforms Cactus Garden Experience is a speculative futures exhibition of work from a Martian Artist Residency Program in the 23rd Century. This show is an artist’s reaction to
Connectivity_Café is an immersive space that engages human perception, stimulates conversation, and allows for “enchanted” interactions using everyday utensils. Objects and environment are designed to amplify commonplace gestures and behaviors into expressive instruments of improvised playfulness and spontaneous collaboration. The interaction that emerges between participants within this activated space, mediated by seemingly benign objects, emphasizes the dining event as a ceremony performed collectively. We believe that approaching dining as an experiential form gives us a platform for exploring ceremony and ritual as improvisatory events. Join us in the café to make some music with new friends!
“ArtKitchenFerment” is an interactive art environment that engages with the processes, creative results, and byproducts of food fermentation. Part art installation, part interactive workshop, “ArtKitchenFerment” invites participants of all ages to expand their notions of beauty, use, taste, and liveliness in common fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha. Put on your apron and participate in a cabbage-dye art demonstration, compose a bacteria-inspired recipe poem, and make a piece of kombucha “leather” jewelry. Cook some books in our fermentation library, or watch an interactive video installation as you ponder the magical microbes that make up our unruly world!
Mycelial threads, the root-like systems of mushrooms, are a hidden network that connects plants and trees in symbiotic relationships. Mushrooms are nature’s decomposer, breaking down not just trees, but also other cellulose-based materials, including cotton and linen. We are proposing the speculative use of mushrooms as a closed-loop solution to textile waste and food scarcity. Through a partnership with the fungal queendom, we can turn our unwanted clothes into a food source by training edible mushrooms to decompose cellulose-based fabrics. Our living and growing garment and fruiting closet blurs the lines between food, fashion, art, science, and technology.
Food security is a global concern, and a cross-species challenge. Even the most successful survival strategies may lose effectiveness in the radically altered environmental conditions of the Anthropocene. For photosynthetic organisms, food security depends on the availability of sunlight, which could be significantly diminished by factors including air pollution and solar radiation management. At Emerge, experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats will address these challenges by developing alternative energy sources for Arizona succulents, ranging from wind to nuclear power. A practical exploration of technologies that might benefit plants, his project is also a provocation to rethink our approach to the present environmental crisis.
Meals for Mars explores our food impact on Earth by investigating what it would be like to “Eat Like A Martian.” The exhibit considers what Martian food might be like when we first settle the Red Planet. Dr. Sian Proctor lived for four months in a Mars simulation funded by NASA to investigate food strategies for long-duration spaceflight. She wants to inspire people to leverage space-food technologies in order to be more sustainable and food-savvy here on Earth.
Shared food, shared land is an opportunity to reconnect to the food cultures present on this land. There are traditions that are part of the long history of O’odham people, as well as the traditions of migrant communities. The session will occur 3-4 times throughout the day and invites participants to engage in a sensorial experience and food exchange with local food makers and storytellers.
The Arizona Cancer Evolution Center examines the iconic hot dog and considers all of the things that it means to people. After all, food is not just food; it represents myriad ideas that can be unpacked and investigated. Class, memory, health, disease, ritual, and family can all be explored through the hot dog.
Is the hot dog an emblem of Fourth of July picnics? Cancer? Food insecurity? Baseball?
This installation invites you to add your own thoughts and ideas. We want to know: what does a hot dog mean to you?
Visit “The Great Sunflower Project” to learn about how you can participate as a citizen scientist in real research about the health of pollinators, from hummingbirds and bats to bees and flies. These tireless animals are key to our world’s food supply! Plus, find out about our other citizen science kits that you can check out from participating local libraries, and about ways to celebrate Citizen Science Month in April 2020! We’ll have activities for all ages, and while supplies last, we’ll be distributing seeds for the Lemon Queen sunflower, a tall, branching variety that is particularly attractive to bees!
Epicurean Endocrinology is concerned with how food is gendered and sexed. We use food and cooking to examine the intersections of food systems, endocrine disruptors, corporate influence, and cultural ideology. We investigate and represent how food affects notions of gender and entrenches gender norms, and how corporations, institutions, and entrenched systems influence and alter bodies and hormones. Epicurean Endocrinology exposes and emphasizes the performative similarities and gendered cultural associations between kitchens and laboratories. “Kitchen/Lab” is a mobile performance and workshop space that doubles as a gallery exhibition, with DIY tools for endocrine disruptor detection and extraction.
“Party of—” is an interactive performance installation exploring what it means to eat by asking: how do/are you consume/d? At whose expense does consumption happen? Can one avoid being consumed by what one consumes—that is, “becoming what you eat”? What are the structures that uphold oppressive systems of consumption?
Using dance, theatre, and spoken word, the performers will portray consuming, being consumed, and the different actions we all take along that spectrum in order to survive. Anchoring the performance space is a table with several multi-sensory place settings adorned with packaging, scraps of material, photographs, and bottled scents.
A machine nourishes its humans. Stardust or cyborg, social or technical, all things feed and are fed. “Orchestrer la perte / Perpetual Demotion,” a shiny feeding robot, perpetuates patterns of nurturing and domination. It is hybrid, a human-food-technology system. People approach it; an attendant sits nearby; a spoon will soon approach a mouth. Will it open? Will the eater submit? Will the robot accept? The human chews, swallows, and processes. Microbes rearrange and stabilize tissue. The machine resets, the cycle repeats. In these movements, bodies gain just as they lose control—eating, determining, and orchestrating their own demotion.
Imagine a late-capitalist dystopian future in which individuals are held personally responsible for the climate crisis. Imagine a future where ubiquitous surveillance of individuals becomes the preferred method for curbing carbon emissions, where non-compliance results in serious penalties. The Food Carbon Footprint Index (FCFI) imagines just that vision of the future. FCFI invites participants to make meal decisions via a web application. The app will calculate each meal’s carbon footprint and index this “score” against other participants. Scores will be broadcasted at Emerge 2020 for public scrutiny and collective shaming and musing.
GastroGrub3d is asking the question: Can combining a novel food production process (3D printing) and a novel food base (powdered insects) take us beyond novelty and create beautiful, nutrient-rich, customizable snacks that meet the diverse dietary needs of the U.S. population? Our current animal-protein food industry is not sustainable for a growing world, but initiating a massive cultural shift away from American food staples will take innovation and creativity. Join us for this technological and culinary adventure with an open mind and an empty stomach!
“Manna From Psyche,” an augmented-reality public art installation by William T. Ayton, depicts the asteroid Psyche, rotating above and showering spectators with the metaphorical fruits of investigating the cosmos.
The art is viewable via free iOS and Android apps, as well as printed media and on-site screens.
“Manna from Psyche” presents space exploration as food for thought and human nourishment, incorporating Arizona landscape tones, textured with Ayton’s original paintings interpreting local petroglyphs, especially spirals alluding to Fibonacci’s sequence. Connecting technological and natural environments, “Manna From Psyche” offers insight on science, art, and sustenance for human advancement and survival.