process + art

Out of Soil: How much land is in your food?

OutofSoil_cropped_web

Out of Soil is a performative project by Myriel Milicevic and prozessagenten and brings to attention the correlation of land use, farmers’ rights and the question ‘How much land is in your food?’.

Our soil is under pressure. Growing consumption and demand for resources take a toll on the soil — urbanisation, intensive farming, erosion and land grabbing are only some of the manifold consequences. Soil as matter is as much affected as the lives of people who have farmed for generations. Out of Soil examines these different aspects in a playful action.
Out of Soil: made from soil / not having soil.

Out of Soil Stamps
Each visitor gets Soils Stamps, which are printed at the Soil Press Station with self-made soil paint. The Soil Stamps resemble food stamps, thus reminding us that food can only be produced in exchange for other resources. When a visitor consumes food or beverages, we stamp the Soil Stamps accordingly.

Out of Soil Map
The Out of Soil Map illustrates the issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies and governments. These transactions have long-lasting consequences for the local and regional agriculture and ecosystems, for farmers and the provision of the local population. We will stamp the Out of Soil Map, depending on what the visitors consume.

Soil Profile
Upon entrance the visitors are questioned regarding their relation to soil. Thereupon each visitor gets a sticker that displays his or her personal Soil Profile. The stickers are to be worn on the clothing. They might serve as a starting point for conversations among the visitors.

The project was developed for the International Week of Justice 2015 at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. The project takes place at Haus 2 on April 21 – 23 from 17:30 to the end of the talks. Program flyer

About the artist:
Myriel Milicevic explores the hidden connections between people and their natural, social, and technical environments. These explorations are mostly of a participatory and playful nature and stimulate thinking about possible alternative systems.
neighbourhoodsatellites.com

open data workshop

Data Cuisine workshop and buffet in Berlin

data cuisine - MiCT - food slides - 1024.007_LR

For the fist time Data Cuisine was invited by a an organisation — MiCT — instead of an art institution, with the goal to develop a unique flying data buffet for a special event: the organisation’s 11th anniversary and the Open Eye Award ceremony. Media experts from MiCT, the chefs Sebastian Becker und Maximilian Haxel from bestecklos FingerFood Berlin, Moritz Stefaner and Susanne Jaschko (prozessagenten) collaborated on creating a flying Data Cuisine buffet that translates media related data of some of the countries where MiCT works into a culinary experience. It was a truly challenging assignment.


We started with a brainstorming in order to identify some of the areas that MiCT wanted to focus on. The second part of the workshop was about whirling around ideas, casting them away, picking them up again and getting our hands dirty and — after all of this — ending up with something that is not only edible but also tells a data story.
Each of the dishes represents another surprising set of data — each tells a story or poses interesting questions about the media use and the media landscape in North Africa, the Near East or Cuba. On the night of the event 200 guests experienced the seven data dishes and and were surprised not only by the facts and stories but also the unusual method of data representation.


The image above shows a visualisation of the percentage of internet users that use Facebook. The amount of Facebook users is visualised by the amount of blue sprinkles.
In Tunisia, the number of Facebook users is very high, whereas in Egypt it’s much lower. These numbers makes us wonder whether there is indeed a connection between the use of Facebook and the results of the Arab Spring. In Tunisia, the Arab Spring had a sustainable impact on the democratisation of society, very much in contrast to the situation in Egypt, that fell back under totalitarian leadership.


Two further examples:
data cuisine - MiCT - food slides - 1024.002_LR

An omelet spiced with cumin and pepper, that’s popular in Syria. It comes with three different cremes: one based on mayonnaise, one being a yoghurt-creme with mint, and a mango-curry-creme based on white cheese. With these three cremes, the workshop participants Majid, Christine and Marketa tried to bring to our attention the somewhat surprising fact that support for Islamic State among Arabic-speaking social media users in Belgium are greater than in the militant group’s heartlands of Syria for example. In Syria, ISIS appears to be dramatically losing the battle for support with more than 92% of tweets, blogs and forum comments hostile to the militants. But the jihadist militants are successful at spreading their message and their efforts appear to be having an effect: outside Syria, support for Isis rises significantly. One can taste the grade of the ISIS support in the cremes. According to the numbers, red pepper was added to them.

data cuisine - MiCT - food slides - 1024.006_LRThis dish combines two variations of potato and compares the numbers of employees in state media in Tunisia, Iraq, Egypt and Iran. In Egypt there are 57.000 people employed in state media, which is quite a big number — whereas in Tunisia it’s only a thousand. This dominance of state media of course influences the public sphere and seems to go hand in hand with the authoritarian rule in Iran and Egypt. Interestingly enough, in Iraq the number of employees is comparably low, and that speaks for a more liberal society than we might think or than we are told. To be discussed.
In order to express this feeling of dominance of state media, Anja and Maral came up with the idea to represent it by a piece of potato, that per se is dense and a bit one-dimensional when it comes to taste. In contrast, the potato espuma — representing a higher grade of liberality and variety of media — feels light on the tongue and is definitely more colourful.

Find all images and dishes on Data Cuisine.

Image credits: Photographs by Uli Holz, graphics by Moritz Stefaner

 

process + design

We suggest: a catalytic data dinner

Folio article

The press response was unbelievably positive after the last Data Cuisine workshop at Sonar/Big Bang Data Exhibition in Barcelona. We got covered by a lot of international design blogs like Trendhunter, Citylab, Core77, Fastcodesign, We Make Money Not Art, CNet, Desingbook etc and print magazines (Folio/Mexico, Page /Germany), and we even made it into the major Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion and Forbes Online. So what’s coming next for Data Cuisine?

We aim for a few more editions of the workshop, in order to continue to explore the medium for data representation in conjunction with local cuisines. We are also considering varying the format in the future. Next to the current model — a workshop — we are sure that a high-end data dinner would work well.

We found that the consumption of the food at the end of the workshops could have more emphasis or almost be developed as a separate event. A data dinner would not focus on the collaborative workshop process, but on the dining experience, in which the represented data would provide the topic for analysis and debate.

A data dinner could have any topic that is represented statistically, i.e. society, economics, science, culture and politics. Imagine a group of politicians, managers or scientists that is served several courses of a data dinner representing main issues in their respective field in such a sensual and surprising way. We believe that experience would stir a very inspirational debate opening up new perspectives and lines of thought.

When served the data dishes are not legible without explanation. Some look like ordinary dishes that reveal their meaning only by eating them. Others are very graphic and visual, but in general one has to be told what data they represent. In this way the dishes generate curiosity, which is already the ideal starting point for a discussion about the story and data ‘behind the dish’.

In its article on Data Cuisine, PAGE magazine recommended to anyone interested in it to request a workshop for his or her city. We add: any company, government or organisation that could imagine having a data dinner, please get in touch, too.

For the whole link list of press articles go to the project site.

open data workshop

What’s the taste of data? The Data Cuisine workshop in Barcelona

How does a tortilla taste whose recipe is based on well-being data in Spain? Would you rather like the cake based on the science funding 2005 or in 2013? Can you imagine how a fish dish can represent the emigrants from Spain to countries across the world?


The second Data Cuisine workshop took place in Barcelona on June 10-13, 2014 as part of the Big Bang Data exhibition at CCCB, and in coordination with Sonar.
For the culinary side of the project, we collaborated with Sebastian Velilla, a fantastic chef who has worked for the Alicia Foundation and is currently involved in the activities of the Torribera Food and Nutrition Campus of the University of Barcelona.datacuisine_BCN1
On four afternoons, twelve participants explored data of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with culinary means.
The first two afternoons were about getting into the methodology and coming up with quick ideas how to represent topics and data with dishes. We got some inspiration from our exclusive visit to Ferran Adria’s BullipediaLab, an emerging space dedicated to the research of food creativity.
datacuisine_BCN2We spent the second half of the workshop in the kitchen, where the participants refined their recipes and made first tests and prototypes. On the last day, the participants, of which many worked in groups of two or three, produced their final dishes. The workshop ended with a presentation and tasting of all data dishes.
datacuisine_BCN3
Thanks go to Jose Luis de Vicente and Olga Subiros for bringing us over, and our fantastic participants, especially Luis Fraguada, who brought a food printer, which we will surely hear more of in the future.
All results of the Barcelona workshop and more images can be found on the Data Cuisine website. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter
. The Data Cuisine workshops are led by prozessagent Susanne Jaschko and Moritz Stefaner.


 

book process + art

Autopsy of an Island Currency published and available online

MoneyLab-digiflyer

Autopsy of an Island Currency was launched last weekend at Camp Pixelache in Helsinki. The book documents and reflects on the Suomenlinna Money Lab project — an artistic research project that tried to create an experimental local currency for the small island of Suomenlinna near Helsinki.

You can download the free PDF of the book here.

The general aim of the Money Lab was to engage with the specifics of a local setting by working with local people and creating a project that would generate interesting research and be beneficial to local dynamics. It was an ambitious attempt to explore and affect a unique place and its social dynamics through participatory art and design practice. The project was initiated by Susanne Jaschko / prozessagenten and produced by Pixelache, a cultural organisation in Helsinki, who together invited artist Christian Nold to develop a project for Helsinki.

The book describes the project’s process in detail trough a combination of first-person narration and ‘artefacts’, a wide selection of documented materials in the form of emails, notes, sketches, announcements and reflections. The publication also analyses the project’s challenges, such as the internal social dynamics and power structures of the island, which the Suomenlinna Money Lab project rendered visible. In addition, commissioned essays by authors Jaromil, Chris Lee, Pekko Koskinen, Antti Jauhiainen and Suzana Milevska contextualise the project and discuss subjects such as the challenges of participatory art, the value and hybrid nature of participatory projects, and the potentials of alternative money systems. The book is aimed at practitioners who work at the intersection of art, research and social action. It should be particularly useful for people working on alternative money models or on participatory projects that request a high degree of people’s commitment.