The museum of Decorative Art in Berlin has openend the by Dr. Claudia Banz curated show Food Revolution 5.0 on May 18, 2018. Themes such as food in the future, dwindling resources or climate change make nutrition to a hot political issue. What scenarios develop artists for the food of tomorrow? Miriam Bers met the curator of Food Revolution 5.0 and the Museum for Decorative Arts.
MB: Food Revolution 5.0 has already been shown at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. There, the participating artists had developed commissioned works. Will you exhibit the same pieces in Berlin?
CB: Yes, more or less but we could enlarge the show by other new important contributions. So also an exhibition is an open project. In Berlin, we work much more in the outer space. In the ‘Piazzetta’ comes an “Urbane Streuobstwiese” (urban meadow orchard) into being, a project of the Dutch city planner and designer Ton Matton. On an up to now unused terrace of the museum the Planwerkstatt of the Technical University of Berlin in cooperation with the landscape architect Katrin Bohn realizes “Essbare Gärten” (eatable gardens). Particularly for this exhibition Silke Riechert has developed the participative installation ”Störung im Schlaraffenland” (disruption in paradise), a critical look at the food industry but at the same time a nutritional knowledge transfer for school children. Susanna Soares and Andrew Folkes show their project “Insects au Gratin”, here researching future food in the context of insects, nutrients and 3 D prints. Chmara.rosinske participate with their work “Mobile Gastfreundschaften” (mobile hospitalities) and the Center for Genomic Gastronomy present their latest project “ To flavor our teares”.
MB: Food is more and more important and in our western world and became a prior lifestyle topic. Thus, it has lots of exciting societal and aesthetical components, health aspects, then again ecological and political meaning and its downside: lack of food, disappearance of resources and famine. The Austrian Klaus Pichler for example works in a critical and at the same time very aesthetical way on the subject ‘food in abundance’. According to statistics, about one third of the worldwide foodstuffs are discarded. Most of it in industrialized countries. In contrast, 925 Million people are threatened by hunger. What is the message of the exhibition, does it offer alternatives?
CB: Yes, this subject plays a major role in the work of Pichler, as well as in the ones of Kosuke Araki, who designs plates and dishes by food waste, thereby demonstrating that it can be a valuable resource. Our consumption is so important, the respectful treatment of resources. Subtext of most of the works is consumption as a question of attitude and responsibility.
MB: What are you referring to with the title Food Revolution 5.0? How is your vision for future food?
CB: The title resulted by beforehand researches: I think in the meantime it has arrived in the center of society that our nutrition system is the main cause of the climate change and that it needs to be changed radically. 5.0 stands for a wise use of technology, connected with traditional cultural techniques and agriculture, handcraft knowledge and DIY, preserving and further specifics of farming. At the same time it stands for degrowth and the idea of commons. The earth’s resources belong to all humans and not only to a few large companies. Accordingly, all men shall have equal access to it.
MB: Are the designers’ works applicable or rather reflections and utopia of future food?
CB: We show best practice examples like an indoor farm growing salad or a mobile beehive for the urban space from the ‘Beecollective’. You will also see a tomato-fish project operating according to the principle of an aquaponic, and a seaweed farm for the building façade. But there are also speculative works such as “Digital Food” from Martí Guixé creating a vision of a customized nutrition. On the other side Johanna Schmeer with her piece “Bioplastic Phantastic” studying possibilities to use bio– and nanotechnological knowledge for the future food production.
MB: Would you tell us something about the concepts of Werner Aisslingers or Marije Vogelzang, what is the Sharing Dinner?
CB: Especially for this project Werner Aisslinger developed a communal cooking landscape. It is a hybrid of an archetype hob, arena/steps functioning as a symbiosis of analogue cooking and social aspect of a shared cooking, eating and communication. Marije Vogelzang in “Volumes” presents a possibility to change our eating habits positively.
MB: Berlin is a good example for a city, where creative minds deal with the issue sustainability. Successful urban gardening projects, an increasing number of restaurants and chefs cooking with local ingredients, organic supermarkets, the Berliner Tafel, distributing foodstuffs to deprived persons and last but not least inhouse farming/vertical planting. How do you see this development, do we have a lead role?
CB: yes, absolutely. There is an unbelievable density of different players dealing with the food subject and an interesting start up scene for innovative and sustainable food products and its useful distribution. Besides, Berlin is the first city having a Nutrition Council, based on the Anglo-Saxon model. This is important to create awareness in politics. And there are also lots of exciting art and design projects being seen by an international audience. Berlins art- and design universities deal with this issue.
MB: Do you like cooking, which are your criteria?
CB: I like cooking and in the meantime check out where products come from. Local and regional ones are very important for me. I go shopping more frequently to reduce my food waste. It is a pity that there are still few stores offering food without packaging – even organic supermarkets use as much as the others.
MB: A recipe idea?
CB: in the meantime, there are also recipe books for insects, within others from the Suisse designer Andrea Staudacher, participating in the show as well. I would spend more time with insects used as food and try different recipes not least due to the new European law permitting insects as aliments.
Food Revolution 5.0
Gestaltung für die Gesellschaft von Morgen
May 18th – September 30th, 2018