GhostFood

Installation and performance with synthetic scents, 3D printed scent device, custom designed foods, actor-servers and traveling food trailer. 2013, commissioned by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for “Marfa Dialogues/NY”

GhostFood explores eating in a possible future – one marked by food scarcity and biodiversity loss brought about by climate change. Engaging the public via a customized food truck and trained food servers, GhostFood serves scent-food pairings that simulate the taste experiences of foods threatened with extinction due to the effects of climate change.

The efficacy of the simulations comes from carefully combining a facsimile food with a custom-designed synthetic smell. A wearable device, inspired by insect antennae, holds the scent under the nose, inserting direct olfactory stimulation into the eating experience. Thus far, chocolate, peanuts and codfish have been included in the GhostFood experience.

Ghostfood has been performed in New York, Newark, and Philadelphia, subtly encouraging diverse publics to engage both their senses and their critical sensibilities.  The project has led to on-site conversations related to a range of topics, including memory, family, the future availability and cost of food, the connection of smell and taste, climate change, species survival, and our impact on a changing environment.

Ghostfood was conceived and produced in partnership with Miriam Simun, who has created a video showing footage from several performances. The video has been chosen for The Human Impact Institute’s 2014 Creative Climate Awards.

Commissioned by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for the multi-site exhibition Marfa Dialogues/NY, with additional support provided by Takasago, NextFab Studios and Whole Foods. Marfa Dialogues/NY is a collaboration between the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation. GhostFood was presented by Gallery Aferro in Newark and by SteamWorkPhilly in Philadelphia. Thank you Holly Gressley, Corrie Van Sice, Monell Chemical Senses Center and Olivia Bransbourg.