Lulled by Satiety
04 July 2020
Note! it is also the interest of recipients – something that everyone is fighting over today. Unfortunately, too often it focuses on the surface of the problem instead of on its causes, the understanding of which could help in finding solutions. Statistical data helps us uncover these causes.
Those of us who could afford it have spent the last few months in isolation. In the Hubei province, a butterfly fluttered its wings, sparking a global tornado. The pandemic quickly spread throughout the world. This is partially due to the world shrinking – at least for some.
We get used to wearing masks while shopping at the supermarket. We wonder how to queue and how long 2 metres actually is, but we’re still not surprised that we can buy tomatoes in the middle of winter. We have an appetite that we can satisfy easily, comfortably, and most importantly – without hesitation.
Note! This may change in the coming years, because an increasing part of the food market is controlled by locust companies1. For them, profit is the most important thing, so they colonize places where they can squeeze the most out at the least cost. As soon as intensive cultivation has cleared the land, they move elsewhere2. The problem is that land does not exist without a horizon and cannot be exploited indefinitely. Therefore, the hidden costs of our growing appetites are increasingly affecting not only them there, but they are increasingly affecting us here.
Note! – the theme of this year's festival does not necessarily mean raising an alarm, which causes fear and paralyzes our work. Note! it is also the interest of recipients – something that everyone is fighting over today. Unfortunately, too often it focuses on the surface of the problem instead of on its causes, the understanding of which could help in finding solutions. Statistical data helps us uncover these causes. However, raw numbers are not very intuitively understood. This is why one of the many tasks of designers – whether we are talking about industrial, graphic or other designing – is the challenge to direct the attention of recipients to numerical data, that is, to reveal to them the real mechanisms behind the various phenomena.
There are many ways to talk about data and increase the awareness of recipients. Designers translate raw data into a language that is attractive to users, which helps raise awareness of current problems in the food industry.
It is estimated that between 30 and 50% of food produced globally ends up as waste. In tonnes it is 1.2-2 billion a year. A large part of this waste is edible food. The "Winnow Vision" waste container design shows how data analysis using deep learning helps minimise food waste in restaurants. Using a neural network analysing the image, the waste container recognises discarded products, weighs them and calculates their approximate cost. After each use of the waste container, the user sees how much the food he has thrown away was worth. Instant feedback increases the awareness of those working in the kitchen, who know exactly how much they throw away, which in turn helps optimise the operation of the restaurant and minimises excess consumption.
In turn, the "Pink Chicken Project" analysing statistics, draws attention to the problems of industrial animal husbandry. 70% of all birds living in the world are farmed birds, mainly chickens. We kill over 60 billion of these birds annually. That's enough to leave a trail in the rock layers. Therefore, the heritage of our civilization will be petrified chicken bones. The Nonhuman Nonsense collective decided to draw our attention to these data. Artists propose the use of CRISPR technology to introduce into the domestic poultry genotype the genes of a cochineal – an insect that produces the red dye commonly used in the food industry. As a result, in a few years the entire Gallus Gallus Domesticus species would become pink. Thus, a layer of fossil chicken bones left in the earth's crust identifying Anthropocene for future generations would also be pink. Using an imaginative, seemingly absurd idea, the project draws attention to the scale of changes that the food industry has made in the world.
Many people wonder what the food industry will look like once the pandemic is over. Some are afraid, others speculate. Some, anticipating price increases, have already managed to get rich by buying shares in companies producing vegetable meat substitutes. In my opinion, you can’t eat money so I am in the process of transforming my flat into a self-sufficient farm. The windows are covered by a system of tubes that pump nutrients for algae, along the walls I put plastic containers with cockroaches. It's hard to get used to their hissing, but nutritional independence comes at a price.