Food-Biotechnology-Biocoloniality (FBB) is an interdisciplinary cooperative network that aims in providing a platform for research, debate, praxis and exchange. Through the employment of artistic and scientific practices, the platform seeks to address the topic of food-economy as a space of political and cultural praxis, critique, innovation and reflexion.
The aim of the project is to stimulate a learning and debating platform producing neu models of interaction of consume and production of food , which will focus on the relations among A) knowledge / cultural identity / intellectual property, B) biopolitics, C)biotechnology, D) economy, E) environment and F) migration / coloniality / modernity. The platform intends to promote ‘Food as cultural heritage’.
The activities of FBB are characterized by a trans- and interdisciplinary approach through artistic practice, theory and scientific research methodologies.
The motto “Eating as a political act”, as well as the cultural and economic relations between Food and Society are the focal points of the project.
In this context, for each meeting, workshop, conference etc. we will invite people, who origina-
te from various artistic and scientific disciplines and whose work focuses on Food, Process and
Society. We are aiming to ‘review’ and develop the contributions of all project participants to the
subject matters and the activities of the project, in order to present the results at the final exhibiti-
on, and to release a publication. The activities aim to tackle local as well as transnational issues relating to gastronomy and its economic and cultural processes.
The pivot of the project is the cooperation between a fixed team of the different cooperation and
associated partners that are organizing the project and their continuous exchange with invited
artists, scientists, students and other related participants.
The project consists of 7 different formats. According to these formats artists and scientists will be discussing collaboratively the subject of Food with focus on specific ‘meta-subejcts’. Finally they will develop their works that will take different form. The 7 formats are:
1- Laboratories (Artists’ Residences and Workshops)
2- Day Activities/Interventions (Guided Tours, Interventions in Public Space, Talks)
5- Series of exhibitions
6- Publication (Book Release)
Laboratories (Artists Residences and Workshops)
These laboratories will last from 1 up to 2 weeks. At least one experts from the arts and 1 expert from the sciences will be invited. The outcomes of each laboratory will be shown in a presentation open to the public. Accommodation, working space as well as an exhibition space will be available for each laboratory. The exhibition space will function as the place, where all the exchange and collaborative work between artists and scientists will take place and will be presented. The focal point of each laboratory will be the collaboration between artists and scientists.
The locality of each laboratory will function as a place for experimentation and exchange. The spatiality of each place will also be questioned; as a kitchen (a traditionally feminized space, often invisible and connected to the family and private space), as a space of production (local production and consumption), as an academy (a place of exchange, interaction and research), as a field of research and as a laboratories for amateur and scientific experimentation.
Two exemplary schemes for this format are the working processes of the artist’s collective Subrosa and the artists’ group Bureau d‘études. Some samples of work and thematic with the Line of the Project is for example the artist Uli Westphal, which are interested in participating at the project. As well the Network of collectives working about the theme Aesthetics and Nature .
Day Activities/Interventions (DIY Workshops, City Tours, Interventions in Public Space, Talks) The day activities refer to events that will last from 1 up to 3 days. On the one hand, there will be thematic “Do it yourself!” workshops, that will take place in cooperation with associated partners like for example the scientists’ association “Biotinerking-Berlin e.V.i.G.” Day events that will relate to urban agriculture will be organized with other urban initiatives, such as the Prinzessinnengarten Berlin and exchange with social initiatives for example. On the other hand there will be guided-tours and artists’ interventions in the public space. These actions will be organized together with the invited artists/scientists.
Some examples of these activities are workshops, Interventions in the Public Space, walking tours…
A conference should be planned. A variety of experts from the arts and sciences and “key-participants” will be selected to participate. Through this conference we will seek to constitute the theoretical framework for the form and content of the upcoming publication.
The documentation and process of all activities will be continuously documented on the web. This will function as a communication platform between the fixed team and the exhibitors and as a documentation of activities and research in form of essays and audiovisual Material. On the web platform we will also publish contributions of participants that logistically will not be able to be presented elsewhere. The web will constitute as a field for the continuously presentation of interactive/multimedia works as well as texts, which provide a potential long term impact of the project besides the interventions in public space, the publication and the network itself. The website will be supported as well through the active promotion work in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Soundcloud.
Series of exhibitions
Based on the presentations and exhibitions of each laboratory (methodology 1) there will be a cross-cutting exhibition that will take place. Each space will elaborate on one of the “Meta-subjects” of the project and it will be developed in cooperation with the rest of the Berlin exhibition space that are involved.
Finally, we are planning to turn the project into a publication, which will reflect on process, theory and practice and will document the exhibitions. The publication will also function as an art-book apart from it being a source of information. We will also publish “artists” laporellos. The making of Leporellos will also be taught at the DIY workshops.
Along the process of the project every activity will be documented. Videoclips (interviews, statements) will be used as dissemination material. Eventually there will be a Film as conclusion of the project. Focus and guideline is food and diversity, cultural heritage, cultural exchange, ethics and technology.
The nature of the project is interdisciplinary, since it focuses on the participation of different universities, organizations and individuals with scientific and artistic backgrounds. The immaterial culture of places and their contexts, where the activities will take place, will focus on the subject of “Gastronomy as cultural heritage”. The term cultural heritage, as transferred from generation to generation, but also as transferred through seeds, will be reviewed by reference to the subtopic of consumption evolution, “preproduction”, production and production’s canals of foods as collective property and knowledge system. The participants will be mainly people, who are involved in the fields of art and design, also there will be individuals and groups that are from different scientific disciplines interested in exploring genetics, ethnology (Dr. Sanna Schondelmayer) and cultural production (Wolfgang Knapp). Alongside the activities, participants will exchange their personal and experimental experience through exchange and direct collaboration. Throughout the project, special attention will be paid to the interactive participation of cultural and scientific works. Parallel to the activities we are seeking to achieve interdisciplinary and cultural exchange on a professional level.
Below, we are elucidating the project’s “meta-subjects” with references to the work of artists, theorists and scientists.
Knowledge / cultural identity / intellectual property
According to artist and writer Claire Pentecost, seeds are the oldest open-source knowledge-system in history, making them an essential part of the human commons. Collected from people and transferred across generations, seeds can constitute a material form of collective knowledge. In this sense, food incorporates the idea of knowledge as a commonweal, as something collective, social and horizontal, whose public domain and source-code stays constantly open, evolves and is interpreted and infinitely adapted.
Biopolitics / Biocoloniality. Migration / coloniality / modernity
With the term biopolitics Michael Foucault described during the 70s, the control of society over individuals, not only through the subconscious or through ideology, but also directly through the human body. Through the term “biopolitics” a new discussion about politics and the human life was opened up. Linking the term Coloniality we are aiming to approach poscolonial topics incorporating theories of the group Coloniality/Modernity or Papers like Coloniality of Power.
It is difficult to imagine life and civilization without critiquing human activity in relation to food. The history of gastronomy and of food-production is simultaneously a history of civilization and migration. The evolution of culinary cultures is linked to the evolution of human perception. The effect of global economy on the altering of trading canals and the specifications of the global market on local consumption and production is directly visible on the idea of safety of local food. Thus, the concepts of postcolonial territories and coloniality/modernity are central subjects to the project, which aims to render them with reference to food distribution and food commerce. The focal points of the project will be processed in relation to the concepts of modernity/coloniality and food.
Over the course of time, the debates relating to the aims and the negative effects of specific applications of biotechnology on food, ethnic borders of genetic technology and GMOs, as well as laws of patents on life seem to be polarized.
Industry and agriculture
For this meta-subject there are emerging debates on bio-diversity, local economies and gastronomic cultural diversity opposed the rise of the monopoly of food-industries and agriculture, the growth of mono-cultures, standardized production and mass-cultivation.
The transformation of existing consumption habits and production, distribution and consumption modernism, and encouraged new alternatives. These subject-matters are closely related to questions of diversity, food-safety, socio-economic balance, environment and sustainability.
The entanglements of these topics, issues, and questions will be explored with students, organizations and experts at the laboratories through artistic and scientific means.
Ethics (Anthropocene, Patents/Open Source, Monopolies, Biopolitics, Coloniality-Modernity, Colonialty of power, Market…), Decentralized systems (Energy, self-sufficiency, alternatives, post apocalyptical Scenarios…) Biotechnologie