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The Problem With “Food Porn”

The Problem With “Food Porn”
culture

An art installment challenges our near erotic obsession with gourmet cuisine in light of impending food shortages.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 25 april 2011

Concerns over mounting food shortages as a result of climate change have experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats questioning our near-pornographic obsession with gourmet cuisine in a moment where even basic sustenance will be in question. The popularity of food programming like No Reservations and Iron Chef offer Keats evidence that our priorities in the global community have gone awry.  And just as pornography satisfies an unequivocal fantasy, our most exotic and revered delicacies may soon exist only in fantasies from years past. Keats vision:

“There has always been an erotic quality to fine dining, but gawking at footage of luscious chocolate cakes served up on television is biologically perverse. The patent artificiality of the situation only adds to its appeal, because the experience is one of unequivocal fantasy, which is of course the trick of pornography. But gourmet cuisine, while perverse in its own right, is often counterproductive in terms of basic nutrition, much as eroticism is often counterproductive in terms of sexual reproduction.”

Keat’s response is an installment of concept art featuring a photosynthetic restaurant that serves sunlight to plants. By filtering sunlight and mixing the wavelengths delivered to the plants, Keats lends attention to the flora he feels we have been neglecting in recent years. A critique on our hyper-consuming culture and quest for superior cuisine, Keats is reminded by agriculturalist Lester Brown that the most basic notions of food distribution that have the potential to uproot our way of life entirely. The exhibit is a space for contemplation.

The Photosynthetic Restaurant: Gourmet Sunlight for Plants as Catered by Jonathon Keats will be open daily from 16 April to 17 July at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.

The Photosynthetic Restaurant: Gourmet Sunlight for Plants as Catered by Jonathon Keats

[via Wired UK]

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