Digital Food Cards: YUL Forage

When: 21 April 2018
Where: Palais des Congrès, Montreal

Participants in this workshop act as vectors of pollination in both a figurative and a bio-geogphysical sense. They engage as ecosystem ‘citizens’ in partnership with non-human denizens (such as milkweed plants and monarch caterpillars). The outcomes of the workshop include a set of human-food-technology interactions: 

—plantable seed-embedded paper
—embodied knowledge of making-and-doing practices
—a set of geo-mapping data that leaves online ‘residues’ of pollination data

 Photo by Natalie Doonan ©2018

The workshop involves making paper that incorporates milkweed seeds. The paper pulp is created from CHI Conference food waste gathered in the first hours of the conference, along with paper-based waste gathered from 23 venues in Montreal (airport code: YUL). These venues were selected by artists Natalie DoonanDavid Szanto and Pamela Tudge as Montreal-based illustrations of the Digital Food Cards elaborated for the Parlor of Food Futures (organized by Markéta Dolejšová, Denisa Kera, Yair Reshef and Nick Lauer at Emerge 2017: A Festival of Futures). 

Photo by Natalie Doonan ©2018

Workshop participants each took home a piece of this handmade paper. After being stored in the refrigerator for a month, the seedy paper will be ready to be planted in the earth. 

Photo by David Szanto ©2018

Each piece of paper thus contains organic matter, human agency, and the digital data of three places: 

—the origins of the milkweed
—the sites of food waste
—the location of planting (in May 2018 or thereafter). 

"Gastromasochists," Photo by David Szanto ©2018

"Chew Transcenders," Photo by David Szanto ©2018

Photo by David Szanto ©2018

Through online mapping, a pattern of human-food migration is constructed, a residue of the potential for human collaboration with other species, both edible and not. 

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