Touch to be touched
According to FAO studies, food waste amounts to about 1/3 of the food produced worldwide. Fresh product that doesn’t look its best, for example in terms of shape, size and colour, is often excluded from the supply chain during sorting operations. Retailers and consumers themselves often discard food that is close to the “best before” date.
The result is a huge waste of natural resources, water and human labour in the food chain.
“Touch To Be Touched” is a work started in 2021 through the program held by No Academy in Amsterdam and developed later during the residency program “Botteghe Digitali” in Gorizia. It is a sound and interactive installation concerning stories related to food waste. This participatory project invites the audience to experience the artwork using their senses to be “touched” and re-discover the value of rescued food.
“TOUCH TO BE TOUCHED” BY FOOD WASTE What if rescued food could tell us its stories?
The work takes the form of a set table, a display of leftover food recovered from local markets or supermarkets. The public is invited to observe, smell and touch the food on the table. With the use of cables acting as sensors connected to an Arduino and Bluetooth speaker, each food is paired to a memory. When interacting with the aliment, the collected story is reproduced by the speaker triggering surprise and curiosity.
Where does the food in front of us come from? What journeys did it take and where was it supposed to end up? The marks on the skin and its imperfections can tell us something about its past and its hidden value. Apples and bread, as precious survivors, make us reflect on food losses and waste. In the end, participants can feast together on the recovered food, as in a collective ritual.
In the project realized in Amsterdam with the No Academy, the banquet was also accompanied by “sCAREpetta”: Napkin knowledge for food that doesn’t make it to the plate.
‘Scarpetta’ literally means ‘little shoe’ in Italian. It is the moment after a meal in which a piece of bread turns into a little shoe to scoop the last remains. This napkin is a map with tips and initiatives in Amsterdam to scoop the remains of food in the city to make sure it reaches your plate. Turn your hands into little shoes to scoop, to encounter, to eat meals with care and community.