5


Open invitation to the big final 5th event!

The art and food event series ‘5 – The dish’ comes to an end with this big final event: an open invitation to the artist’s house! Welcome to bring as many friends as you want. The only thing I ask from everybody is to bring old bread – either from your own kitchen, salvaged from the supermarket waste bin, hunted for in a bakery, or from elsewhere – be creative! We will pile up the ‘waste bread’ and turn them into delicious ‘Knödels’.

This event is a chance to meet new and known faces, build up new networks, think of new projects, and reflect upon past, present, and things to come…

Date: December 5th 2010 (this week’s Sunday)

Location: at my home, on Big Mama’s 5th floor (where I share a flat with two girls). Iso Roobertinkatu 26 A 14, 00120 Helsinki

Time: starting from 5 pm onwards. Open end.

Looking forward to seeing you!


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eating white
November 1, 2010, 7:24 am
Filed under: Art, Design, Food, Good to know | Tags: , , ,

Some white vegetables

About two weeks ago, my flatmates Samara and Ilona and me sat together in the kitchen, complaining about the long Finnish winter standing right on the porch, knocking quite heavily on the door. Dark mornings, dark nights, and no real joy in the veggie shelves of the supermarket. But… what about the white things, that brighten up the winter? Such as snow? And when it comes to food, there is loads of delicious white edibles, that are actually white, because they rather grow in the dark or under the surface of the earth, and don’t get much light to see.

So the result of our discussion was: the plan of having a white-party (Forces of light), just before Halloween. White food, white drinks, white dresses. I know, it has been sort of done before. But it really gets your creativity going when you limit your choice of ingredients for a dish to solely one colour. You start adjusting known recipes and inventing new ones, and start seeing only the white things everywhere you go. According to popular lore in Italy, eating white (‘mangiare in bianco’) is recommended when you have digestional problems or a stomach flu. It basically means to cut out the sauces, eat plain, nothing fried and too fatty. Most white foods are not as acid and high in histamins likemany red foods, for example.

Marije Vogelzang, the Dutch eating designer I mentioned in an earlier post, actually graduated with a work about only white food that she designed for funerals. According to her, in many cultures, the colour white symbolizes death, unlike in western society. White is, of all ‘colours’, most rich in metaphores and meanings.



Food and identity
October 27, 2010, 10:11 am
Filed under: Bread, Food, Good to know, Theories | Tags: , ,

Cover image of the book ‘CrEATe – Eating, Design and Future Food’

You are what you eat – how true is this saying? From my experience of working at the cashier of a supermarket, I have to admit that I cannot withstand making up profiles of the customers, imagining their different ways of living while scanning their groceries. Like all products we buy, consume, and wear, food especially is an expression of how we live and who we are. Of all products, food is the one that gets closest to your body. By eating food, it actually becomes part of our system. It affects our health, our well-being, and the way we look and act. It affects emotions and can arouse memories. In her book ‘Eat love’, eating designer Marije Vogelzang describes eight different dimensions of food, that she provides as an inspiring starting point for people working with food:

– the senses – nature – culture – society – technique – psychology – science – action

Looking back in food history, certain foods obtained specific roles in a nutritional class hierachy and cultural data base, so that eating certain foods distinguished one group from another. To cultivate food and shape it into man-made products such as bread and wine was looked at as an indication of civilitas – Roman and Greek writers such as Procopius wondered e.g. about Lapps, who only lived off hunted animals, without cultivating any food from the earth. Pride of the nutritional and cultural identity, and maybe also the lack of understanding for other food cultures characterized all groups.

Rather than having a  ‘plant of cultivation’ such as corn in America, rice in Asia, and wheat in the Greek and Latin worlds, Celts and Germanics were characterized with an animal, namely the pig. Similarily, Germanic mythology often used pigs as a symbol of the origin of life, whereas Greek and Latin writers valued above all all the fruits of the earth, an earth that would give food as a result of human labour. ‘It is from [bread] that the whole world begins’, did Pythargoras write. It was bread that, together with wine, allowed the savage man to become civilized, as can be read in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest testimonies of Mediterrean culture. What is the definition of civilization, what is the true meaning of culture?

Source: The culture of food//Massimo Montanari; Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Oxford 1996



No garden, no balcony, no terrace? Start windowfarming!

Just came back from the Hub which is hosting a three-day-workshop about windowfarming, a vertical growing-system for growing greens in your own urban dwelling. The project was started by artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray in February, 2009 through an artist’s residency in New York. The idea came out of the simple will to grow own vegetables in Britta’s Brooklyn flat, which does not, like most urban housing, have access to dirt. Since then, it has found an incredible fast-growing worldwide acclaim. The internet and social media has allowed the project to be developped further by all sorts of people with different backgrounds around the globe, building the system themselves and sharing their experiences on the open source community blog of the project, http://our.windowfarms.org/. And here the link to the “official” website of the project.

Detail of a bottle with some beautiful greens

Windowfarms installation in New York

The system has also been installed in Finland in a bigger scale (81 bottles) during the Pixelache festival 2010 by Mikko Laajola, Andrew Paterson and Niko Punin with the help of many volunteers in Helsinki’s contemporary art museum Kiasma. One third of the materials went to the Hub Helsinki, so that the windowfarming could be continued in a semi-public location in the city.

Here is a link to the Facebook-event, taking place tomorrow and the day after (24./24.08.2010, starting from 6 pm-8 pm). It is not too late to participate yet! Tomorrow, the planning and material retrievement will be discussed and adjusted to Finnish conditions, and on Wednesday, we will build a windowfarm to the Hub! This project is a beautiful example of how open source, collaboration, participatory design, social media, and a simple and great idea can make the world a better place.

I am really thrilled about this, since I am famous for my rather black thumb, but still always wanted to grow something at home. Never really had the possibility because of the lack of a garden or a balcony. In Finnish conditions, this system even gives the possibility to grow food all year through, and, by adding a light system like the Kiasma-crew did, even throughout the dark Finnish winter. Anxious to learn more by trying it out!



Archie meets Simon
August 22, 2010, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Good to know, Helsinki, Making of, Network, Press, Workshop | Tags: , , , ,

Check this out, a feature article on Simon’s clayoven blog about Archie and the project! Once more: hurray to the internet!

http://clayoven.wordpress.com/



Oven workshop photo gallery online!
August 11, 2010, 8:40 am
Filed under: Design, Foraging, Good to know, Helsinki, Making of, Uncategorized, Workshop

http://picasaweb.google.de/105277324473045859094

Enjoy!



day 2 – sun/sand/bricks/circles/coffee/music/1-min-decisions/2-min-reactions/thunderstorms/rain dance/container parties/tea/candles/warm food/sleep!

If you want to have a most wonderful weekend full of fun and surprises, I can recommend: build a cob oven with a group of strangers. You will end up having lots of fun, start to believe in the power of cob ovens to save the world, and make great new friends. I shot about 700 pictures this weekend, so I need to make a bigger gallery, which I will put on a public photo gallery in the net. I will publish the link as soon as it is done. Here just one pic of how the building on Sunday night ended, right on time after finishing the second layer – the thunderstorm Helsinki has been waiting for since the whole summer finally arrived!!! (and the oven survived!) Curious to see more?