The workshop was designed as a way to present our research and ideas to participants in a format from which they could extrapolate in order to build critical scenarios around the future of food. Within the workshop, participants were given a food related social theme - the “Meat” - including issues such as Class and Inequality, Scotland and Culture, Gender, Cooking, and Production and Consumption, and then a possible future trend or event - the “Veg”. Through the combination of these themes and events, participants had to explore connections between the two, ultimately building a future scenario, considering how people would deal with such circumstances, and the problems and opportunities that may arise. .
After exploring and developing scenarios, participants created shoe box dioramas using toys and collage presenting a theatrical vision of the future. The dioramas were exhibited in Gallery Unit's space in the Savoy Shopping Centre, allowing shoppers, shop owners and staff to be confronted with these critical food futures.
Produced in collaboration with Chris Strachan
Food Crime Futures (2040 - 2055)
Steve Payne, Nick Anderson & Conor McKenna
Due to developments in robotics, machines replace food labour and farming jobs. Protest and revolution spreads throughout the world as inequalities grow between those who own the robots, the big corporations, and those who have been pushed out of work as a result. In order for the poor to feed themselves at a lower price, community gardens spring up across Scotland. However, the government imposes a Community Garden Tax to gain revenue from this new food market.
The young digital generation begins to develop new food technologies, such as the Rechargeable Food Generator, which creates a new home growing food culture. Due to this open source black market food industry, genetic tagging is imposed to make sure that only legal, non-rechargeable food is being consumed. The way in which one eats has now become a form of food resistance.
Virtual Reality Food Headsets (2030 - 2035)
Fiona MacLellan, Louise Ahl & Gianluca Menini
Due to a large scale drought in Eastern Asia affecting global food production across the world, coinciding with an Animal Meat Tax imposed by the British Government, there is large shift in the diversity of available food. Due to the drought, a teaspoon of flour costs roughly £25 pounds and therefore batter - a staple of the Scottish diet - is unaffordable to many. A generation of Scots - the rich 80’s kids - who grew up on a diet of fried meat, can afford to pay the big bucks for their deep-fried cravings.
As the younger and poorer generations no longer get the chance to try these expensive foods, developments in Virtual Reality Digital Taste Headsets give people the opportunity to experience these luxury foods, without the cost. McDonalds is one of the corporations to invest in these new technologies, changing their slogan to “I’m Faking it”. By using these headsets, such as the one on display, people can experience the full sensual array of whatever foods they desire. As a result, Scotland moves to a largely vegan diet, allowing the environment to become more natural as animal and crop farming becomes smaller scale.
The Power Meat Steam 3000 (2045 - 2046)
Marianne Mcara & Paul Deslandes
A Bovine Flu epidemic sweeps through the world in 2045. Initially only the beef and cattle market is affected, however, soon trust in all meat based products falls dramatically, causing a global economic crisis. The Mega Corporation Inc., in an attempt to remedy the situation, develop a meat steamer - The Power Meat Steam 3000 - which cooks out all toxins, leaving meat safe to eat. As a result trust is slowly regained in the meat industry.
However, due to the intense steaming process meat loses its taste and nutrition. This leads to a shift globally towards veganism, supported by the new Vegan Coin - a local currency initiative that spread from country to country. Sales of The Power Meat Steam 300 dwindle and Mega Corp.’s profits begin to fall. To boost sales the evil Mega Corp. infects crops, initially causing tens of thousands to die. They then develop the Power Steam Veg Edition 4000, creating huge profits as they now control the means of safety for all meat and veg. The public again regain a (false) sense of trust.
Neo-Foodalism (2165 - 2245)
Stuart Gairns & Andrew Tibbles
Due to a growing global population and climate change disasters, the scientific community funded by national governments and wealthy private companies, develop the technology to build the first National Space Farms (NSF), each nation allowed space in proportion to population size. This food however, is mainly for the richest groups in society, and the poor having to eat what they can of the Earth food. Those who could afford to invest in NSFs accumulate wealth contributing to extreme inequality.
Due to an economic crisis, NSFs collapse and food sources dwindle. The poor people on earth, who have already been developing a strong local farming system in the urban streets, using every available space, have enough food to get by. However, the rich and powerful who once profited from the large scale NSF no longer have control over the food supply. In order to maintain their wealth and power, the rich oligarchs fund armies to retake control of the street gardens, once again forcing the poor to produce their food.