Name: FUTUREFOOD
Date: 2019

FUTUREFOOD is an interactive and participatory series of events that engages the public on matters of food waste, food justice, sustainable uses of urban green space, habitat loss, and the invisible or overlooked effects of climate change on urban ecology.

Each of three events features a food or beverage pairing produced in collaboration with a local chef, brewer, forager, or fermentation expert to highlight a distinct facet of our food system. Each comestible or libation that visitors are invited to taste is designed to excite the senses and open a discussion about the challenges facing our cities and their broader ecological contexts.

The events will take place May 11, May 25, and June 15, 2019, 1-4 p.m., at the Cambridge Public Library.

Interactivity and collective ideation are further enhanced by the addition of two new elements to the Invasive Spirits portfolio; Cool City and Fab Libs.

Cool City is, quite literally, a refrigerator, transformed to hold not food, but the ideas, values, hopes, and fears generated through community dialogue and deliberation. A playable magnetic game turns the face of the fridge into a playful space for collective speculation, while the frigid interior will hold a shifting collection of surprising objects and interventions tracking the culinary and nutritive stakes of climate change.

Surrounding the fridge, Jessica Yurkofsky’s hand-drawn illustrations will be collective visions of participants to life, while David Buckley Borden’s poster-based visualizations re-imagine the refrigerator as a vehicle of biodiversity and habitat loss, hope and apocalypse. As these elements shift and recombine, collective visions will begin to emerge—speculative projections of what our future food systems could be.

Fab Libs are fun, intuitive prompts for speculative imagining, taking the form of the humorous Mad Lib story template game as a model. Responding to a series of fill-in-the-blank prompts, participants will be invited to dream up future tools, landscapes, and platforms for friendlier food futures. Hydroponic bicycles? Rooftop aquaculture? Neighborhood wind farms? Fab Libs will make scheming up such playful possibilities easy and fun. We’ll take the richest outputs and turn them into cartoon visions of thriving urban scenarios for the Anthropocene for display in the gallery, along with a newspaper-scale compendium of inspiring and thought-provoking schemes and dreams.

There are multiple opportunities to participate. All events are free and open to the public.

May 11: Matthew Battles, Keith Hartwig, and Jessica Yurkofsky of metaLAB offer FUTUREFOOD interactive culinary encounter at Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sample kvass prepared in collaboration with Aeronaut Brewing.

May 18: Keith Hartwig creates a 6-foot-tall cube of ice harvested from a Maine pond last winter on the plaza outside Cambridge’s City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

May 20 to Oct. 4: “Untold Possibilities at the Last Minute” on view at Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344, 344 Broadway, with FUTUREFOOD, works by metaLAB friends and affiliates Dietmar Offenhuber and David Buckley Borden, and a host of works by other artists.

May 23: “Untold Possibilities at the Last Minute” exhibition reception at Gallery 344 from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring music by Gap Dynamics and National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s poem “Earthrise” read by Toni Bee beginning at 6:30 p.m. plus tastings of foods for our warmer future, including kvass, Japanese knotweed sorbet, honey toffee, oat-based ice cream, and Impossible Meat prepared by Clover Food Lab.

May 25: Matthew Battles, Keith Hartwig, and Jessica Yurkofsky of metaLAB offer “FUTUREFOOD” interactive culinary encounter at Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sample Japanese knotweed sorbet prepared by Gus Rancatore of Toscanini’s.

June 1: The Cambridge Arts River Festival in Central Square from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. offers the Climate Action Extravaganza, poetry about our warming climate, and a Mermaid Parade.

June 15: Matthew Battles, Keith Hartwig, and Jessica Yurkofsky of metaLAB offer “FUTUREFOOD” interactive culinary encounter at Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sample honey toffee and a flight of honey waters prepared by chef Nate Phinisee. Learn about bee health and honey DNA from Best Bees, a local research and beekeeping company.

FUTUREFOOD is part of the show Untold Possibilities at the Last Minute, curated by the Cambridge Arts Council and supported by Mass Cultural Council, presents local artists working to spread the message of what is coming, adaptions we can make now to reduce climate change, and how we can prepare for a warmer future. Works in the show address local and tacit effects of climate disruption, and engage with local publics on questions of environmental stewardship, sustainable practice, and planetary health.


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