Future Festivals and Celebrations: Workshop

June 1, 2017

In March this year the Cat and Zack from the Center ran a workshop with art and design students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and culinary students from Kendall College.

Even in dark times, people find ways and reasons to celebrate. It is very easy to imagine dystopian speculative futures these days, but at the center we thought it might be productive to imagine positive futures. Hence we prompted the culinary students and art+design students to collaborate to imagine future festivals and celebrations. All celebrations are made up at some point, and if repeated enough, become culture. We wanted to think about and imagine what will be worth celebrating in the future.

After 3 days of working together brainstorming, planning and testing, the students presented their work to staff and students from both colleges. It was very enjoyable having the art+design and culinary students working together, and we think they learnt a lot from each other’s processes, ways of working and even how they talk about their ideas and work. 

We worked closely with the wonderful Elaine Sikorski from Kendall College who expertly guided the students through the culinary development of their projects, making sure all the dishes not only looked good, but tasted delicious! See below for the results.



This team imagined a festival called “Balancing Act” and developed three dishes that highlighted and aimed to counteract damage done to local ecosystems, looking at land, water and air.



This team imagined a future holiday that celebrates forests, taking inspiration from the circular aspects of forest ecosystems and encouraging farming to de-industrialize. 



This team imagined a dirt day holiday that reconnects diners with the living aspects of soil in a future where hydroponics and aeroponics have come to dominate agriculture.


During their presentations both SAIC and Kendall college students and staff were present to taste and ask questions about the future festivals the students had imagined.

Photo Credits: Photos were taken by SAIC students Parker Wang, Ravina Puri and Daniela Amorim Reis, and the center.



May 14, 2017

Call for Applications

We are looking for a graphic designer or architect to help us create images for a number of projects. These images will take the form of architectural collages, posters, illustrations, model making, and slide design for the summer of 2017. 

An ideal candidate will be located in Porto, Portugal, although some of the work can be completed remotely. This is a freelance role that includes a set hourly fee. Hours may fluctuate from week to week, but each week there will be at minimum 15 hours of work. The job will run from June to August with the possibility of a longer term engagement.

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy is an artist-led think tank that examines the biodiversity and biotechnologies of human food systems. Visit here to learn more about our work:


— Graphic Design & Illustration

— The ability to draw freehand and digitally

— Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite software

— The ability to create diagrams, infographics, maps and other forms of visual communication

— 2-D Architectural illustrations that help clients imagine exhibitions, restaurants, and other kinds of spaces

— An interest in experimenting with collage (both digital and analogue)

— 3D design

— Architectural model making

— Organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to communicate clearly

— Fluent in English



— Interest in book design and typesetting skills

— Ability to use GIS and/or visualize complex datasets through infographics and charts

— Video and animation

We are primarily looking for a high-level of digital design competency, visualization skills and the ability to work independently and incorporate feedback during an intense and iterative process of design.

You do not need to know anything specifically about food, ecology or climate change, but we are looking for someone who will be interested and willing to learn more.

Interested applicants should send their portfolio (as .pdf, max 15MB), a CV, and a description of why they are interested in the position to:

Applications are due by the end of the day Sunday, May 28th, 2017.
Phone interviews will be scheduled for the first week in June.

Please contact us at with any questions you have about the application process.

Planetary Sculpture Supper Club: Arctic Circle Edition

May 11, 2017

A Supper Club Event in Melbu, Norway

Saturday, May 27th
6pm @ Neptun Restaurant

PSSC: ACE is a collaboration between Center for Genomic Gastronomy (Artists in Residence at Neptun Art/Science Lab) & Neumann’s Røykeri & Supperclub, Melbu.

Planetary Sculpture Supper Clubs explore the ways planetary patterns change in response to how and what humans eat. How do we sculpt the planet through our food choices? What is the relationship between taste & place within a globalized food network?

The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club: Arctic Circle Edition at the Neptune Restaurant in Melbu will look at how a community at the periphery of the global food network takes advantage of its regional resources, and where it bumps up against the limits of seasonal eating and government policy.

Does geographical remoteness and an extreme environment create conditions for re-localizing a food culture or necessitate a reliance on exchange in order to eat well? Working with Chef Neumann of the Neptune restaurant, we will co-present a meal which embodies the challenges and joys of eating at the edge of the Earth.

From smoked boar goat, to sea urchin, to seaweed beer, we can expect a range of treats and surprises from the Arctic Circle. 

Images: Collecting seaweed to bring to the brewery.

Smog Tasting in New Delhi

February 2, 2017

Our ongoing project Smog Tasting will be exhibited in the show G/rove, which opens this week in New Delhi. Smog meringues will be served from six different locations in the city. 

Curated by Bhavna Kakar and Adwait Singh at Gallery Latitude 28, G/rove “invites a careful digging of the past and reading of myth lore and science fiction to excavate disused frames and imaginative designs that would help us build a metaphorical arc preparatory for the times of ecological turbulence ahead.”


Thanks to the help of the curators, gallery, and local students, visitors to the exhibition will get a literal taste of the air quality from different locations in the city. The Smog Tasting photos posted here are courtesy of our collaborators in New Delhi.


Show Dates: 2nd – 26th February 2017 | 11 am – 7 pm
Monday – Saturday (Sunday by appointment)
Cocktail Reception: 4th February 2017 | 7 pm

Venue: Gallery Latitude 28
F 208 Lado Sarai
New Delhi, India – 110030
T: +11 46791111

Participating Artists:
Bhajju Shyam | Elin Màr Øyen Vister | Forager Collective | Krishnaraj Chonat | Nobina Gupta | Radhika Agarwala | Rithika Merchant | Seema Kohli | Suchismita Mohanty Ram | Shweta Bhattad | Tanya Busse | TASC Ablett & Brafield | The Center for Genomic Gastronomy

LUCKY PEACH: The Flavor of Smog

January 20, 2017

Lucky Peach did a nice video with Harold McGee, and our Smog Tasting and the Smog Synth feature in the second half. Watch below or visit the original article


Adversarial Food Design: Commodities, Compression & Kitchen Chemistry

November 28, 2016

tofuThe Adversarial Food Design workshop was organized in collaboration with The Smart Gastronomy Lab in Namur, Belgium as park of Kikk Festival, 2016. Molecular gastronomy techniques such as spherification and smoke guns allowed participants to explore the ways in which organisms can be processed, preserved and turned into ingredients or commodities.


Participants first took part in a Soylent Banquet, before transforming local ingredients and international commodities – a way of experiencing the fetishized taste of place (local) and the ubiquitous taste of no place (international) that represent the extremes of our current food system. All participants then collectively prototyped new recipes and ways of eating.



Dishes created by the participants: 




(Alternative Future) In Spain the Republican Party has won the civil war and created this dish to celebrate it. It has the purple and yellow colors of their flag. There’s no meat in it because it was banned, therefore worms are the new high-protien source for the Spanish people.

[potato powder, d’Ardennes butter, hand mixer, beautiful]




Cherry beer marinated, sous-vide chicken, with a side of carrots & beets and pineapples with Goji-ginger infusion. A dish from the near-future; created as a thanksgiving meal by refugees on a newly formed island off the South African coast to celebrate their victory over the Soylent Corp.

[sugar, cherry beer, juicer, simple, awe-inspiring]


OCEANA DESSERT: Simple product, complex kitchen


Made of tofu-ananas blend inverted into molds. With simple syrup from seaweed water. Sous vide seaweed in pineapple juice. All topped with algae bar crumble. In this future, ocean seaweed and industrially grown algae are staples and simple to grow sustainably, so all the energy is used in the kitchen to be creative with these abundant ingredients.

[tofu, sous vide, slower, real, seafood]




Baked smoked mackerel with a spirulina based-sauce (spirulina, ginger yoghurt, apple pineapple, blended & syphoned). Chestnut balls & fried potatoes (chestnut pate, honey, onion salt, sliced potato). Vacuum sealed coleslaw (sliced apple, onion, carrot, brussel sprouts, pickled with vinegar, sumac, cumin, mixed with yogurt).

[fresh, vacuum sealer, Soylent/MRBs, vegalicious]

Little Interview for Glucksman Gallery 2116

July 22, 2016


We just did a little interview for the Glucksman Gallery, because we exhibited in their 2116: FORECAST OF THE NEXT CENTURY show.  

Q: What are you reading? 

UNDERMINING by Lucy R. Leppard

— Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species (.pdf) by Ann Tsing

— Manifesto on Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation by Laboria Cuboniks


Q: Favourite museum? 

Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, USA or the Butter Museum in Cork, Ireland

Q: Best performance? 

Pony Dance at the 10th Annual Dublin Dance Festival (2014)

Q: What is your most treasured possession? 

Naive optimism. 

Q: What work(s) of art inspire you? 

The Center for Land Use Interpretation

The Environmental Health Clinic

The Yes Men

The Edinburgh Food Studio

Q: A lightbulb moment? 

The (mostly) invisible world underground and undersea is as amazing and diverse as the world we inhabit on land. The lightbulb went off realizing that every tree has a root structure somewhat as large as the tree. 

Q: Guilty pleasure?

Nacho cheese doritos and crime / spy TV shows. 

Q: What would you like to be doing right now? 

Feeding our friends and family.


May 23, 2016


Friday-Sunday (27–29 May), 11:00-16:00 come to FOOD FORECAST: 

MICROBIOTOURS & FOOD PHREAKING at the Rowett Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland. 

FOOD FORECAST consists of a free walking tour and exhibition by the artist group the Center for Genomic Gastronomy. It has been developed through an Artist in Residence, at the Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health and supported by the Leverhulme Trust. During their residency at the Rowett over the last year, the Center has focused on emerging research about the human gut microbiota. 


MICROBIOTOURS: Exploring the Secret Ecologies & Bacterial Subcultures of the Future

Join this free, drop-in, walking tour of the Rowett campus set in the year 2036. Each stop on the tour highlights microbiota research, imagining how it might reshape our daily lives and habits over the next two decades. 

Debates over the relationship between human health, food, science and culture have made microbiota research one of the most vibrant and contested areas of inquiry in the life sciences. Microbial interactions are notoriously complex, but there are also great pressures to create profitable products and therapies. 

This has lead to cycles of hype, skepticism and self-experimentation. This tour explores future fantasies from Paleo Gut Gardening to a Microbiome Pick-n-Mix, and asks you, the tour-goer, to discuss and consider what kind of microbial future you want and desire.


Preview copies of a new issue of the publication Food Phreaking will also be on display. Issue 03 focuses on the human manipulation of gut microbiota.

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Nov. 5 - Apr. 2, 2016
2116: Forecast of the Next Century
Nov. 5th, 2016
KiKK Festival Workshop
7-12 December 2015
Smog Tasting, Cop21 Paris
17 October 2015
Urban Nature Symposium, NYC
6- 28 August, 2015
Disnovation Pop-Up Show
November 28, 2014 - February 2015
Matter of Life. MU, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Sept. 25 - 27, 2014
London Bridge Live Arts Festival