Everything’s on the Table
The act of ‘dining around a table’ sets the stage for daily rituals of human metabolism. Steeped in social hierarchy and culinary traditions, contemporary dining tables are increasingly characterized as spaces where the divorce of food from its broader production and transformation ecology have become normalized. In response to such alienation
phenomena, the proposed installation expands the table as a site for participation within the broader food cycle, activating micro-rituals and custom culinary-ware beyond eating as the solitary contribution of humans to the metabolic process.
It is estimated that two-thirds of material stock grown for food is lost between the farm and our homes. Within the remaining third, only a fraction is deemed valuable for eating or use with a majority also discarded. The 12-foot long-table introduces the table as land where water, residual nutrients and seeds from domestic food processing and consumption are captured. New culinary-ware ranging from grow-ware to storage vessels are used to harvest and transform material by-products of cooking ranging from residual oils, plant stocks, grains, mycelia, and animal protein scraps.
Harvesting and short-to-long term transformation of food ingredients occurs on and off the table as well as above the table plane. Populated with test tubes, table planters, storage vessels, drying chambers and plates, dining at the table is reframed as a diverse practice, in which both soil, plant, human and other microbial communities share in a metabolic bounty.
Project Lead: Hayley Eber and Mae-Ling Lokko
Project Assistant: Dakota Pace
Cooper Union Students: Yunru Chen, Tilok Costa, Dov Diamond, Martina Duque Gonzalez, Foivos Geralis, Chia-Wei Hung, Yeji Kim, Pei-Ju Lin, Ahzin Nam, Frederick Rapp, Julia Penchaszadeh Robert, Tiam Schaper, Xinyi Xie, Shiman Xu, San Simeon Koizumi