‘Food for Thought’ is an interactive, environmental, visual art installation.
About the project
‘Food for thought’ is an interactive art installation aimed at stimulating conversation around personal and societal consumption and waste of fresh produce – food. We are Art-ologists creatively collecting data and creating encounters with objects, artifacts and people that provoke conversations about the human connection to nature, more specifically to the food that sustains us.
With a 5m x 5m footprint, the installation consists of a configuration of 7 sculptural pods, swaying in the breeze and glowing through the night. These pods are not only visually entrancing. They are designed to shed light on food practices and capture food consumption and waste practices through data collection by simple interactions (i.e. press button, record interaction).
Every pod is unique a work of art and asks the rainbow family (festival goers) to reflect on where their fresh food comes from (their food steps) and then, towards the end of the walking meditation studded with the pods, how do they deal with their organic waste. As a creative data mapping process the artwork will document and raise awareness about our consumption and waste patterns through collaboration of the rainbow family.
About the installation
The Food for Thought installation is set deeply sympathetic to the site. Natural and found objects are used to construct a walking maze that is studded with 6 pods representing the different sites of fresh food purchase and waste disposal commonly used by people and an earth pod bring it all together. In the earth pod, you’ll find four common consumption profiles that you can match your own FoodPrint to.
Each pod is visually appealing, sculptural and practical artefact, signalling either a supermarket or a vegetable garden for example. By interacting with the installation, contributing information about their food consumption and waste practices, this food mapping installation seeks to provoke and make conscious questions about food consumption and our relationship with the natural world.
How is it interactive?
These pods are also educative data collection tools. We are gathering information on the collective FoodPrints of communities. The punter can learn about their own FoodPrint through sticking their head into the belly of each pod and gaining a few party-friendly facts about the food cycle, from consumption to waste.
Through the installation, we ask, what is your FoodPrint?
Where do you by your veggies from and where do you put the waste?
The pods act like doorways to map the pathway from supermarket to rubbish bin – inside each of the doorways you’ll find information about how far you food has travelled to get to you and then information in each of the waste pods about what happens to the waste.
How do we collect the data?
In each pod there is a simple gate clicker that, when pressed, keeps track of how many people have encounter that food consumption or waste pod. The participants poke their heads into the pods to read the info about consumption and waste practices, click the clicker and get their symbol. Data is collected each time a person goes into the ‘doorway’ and clicks the button to say they have regularly used that pod option (i.e. bought veggies at a supermarket). We will also be using ethnographic techniques to observe and record the types of conversations, awareness and experiences that festival goers have in relation to their FoodPrint.
What are the pods made from?
We kept it clean and simple. The pod has ribs made from marine grade ply, a middle hoop and a mesh fabric skin. Pods are designed to hang down from a structure, like a tree. Each pod contains internal organs of data collection and presence electronics, including an internal LED light providing glow and a simple clicker to record how many times people select the supermarket (for example) versus the organic or local farmers market for purchasing fresh produce.