Organization: The Center for Genomic Gastronomy
Title: Smog Tasting
Location: Bangalore, India
Materials: whipped egg whites
What is the piece’s impact? As whipped eggs whites are approximately 90% air, this project theoretically allows people to taste smog, and possibly be able to taste relative differences in air pollution found in different areas of the city that are exposed to more or less pollutants. “The tragedy of the commons never tasted so good!” (source)
How does this project relate to this change as art? Whipping the eggs causes particulate matter to be trapped in the batter. The notion was that the batter may be tested for heavy metals and VOCs, compared in a microscope.“Whether or not the foams actually captured accurate levels of pollution, that guttural reaction, that intrinsic disgust of tasting a tailpipe, got the point of air quality across in a more direct manner than any EPA report ever could.” (source)
What makes this an artistic project? This project was led by an artist-led think tank that examines biotechnology and biodiversity associated with human food systems.