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How do we eat as people change climates?

As part of Back to Earth, the Serpentine’s multi-year programme that invites artists and practitioners to respond to the climate emergency, spatial practitioners Cooking Sections are continuing their ongoing research project, CLIMAVORE. Working with scientists, chefs, farmers, policymakers and practitioners from several other disciplines, CLIMAVORE proposes an adaptive, regenerative form of eating – a shift in the economy and ecology of how we consume, interact with and produce food, towards environmental well-being in the climate emergency.

CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones. Cooking Sections, 2017-ongoing. Isle of Skye. Photo: Nick Middleton. Courtesy of Cooking Sections.

About the Project

Initiated by Cooking Sections in 2015, the long-term project CLIMAVORE includes a variety of site-responsive iterations, which are either self-initiated or commissioned by cultural institutions. As part of CLIMAVORE, Cooking Sections work on the Isle of Skye, Scotland (in a project initially commissioned by ATLAS Arts), to pivot from an economy dependent on polluting salmon farming to one based on filter feeders and seaweeds, which are crucial in maintaining robust and healthy intertidal ecosystems. Collaborating with farmers, restaurants and local stakeholders alike, Cooking Sections have set up a CLIMAVORE Station on the island, which includes the CLIMAVORE Apprenticeship Programme. They are currently working towards establishing an intertidal polyculture farm to cultivate food, ecology and habitats. Cooking Sections also installed an oyster table in the intertidal zone in Portree, Skye, which has slowly become a multispecies home for other bivalves and seaweeds. It is activated through public workshops and performative meals that discuss alternative aquacultures for the island.

In areas affected by water scarcity, such as Sharjah, UAE and Palermo, Italy CLIMAVORE has researched drought-resistant plants and architectural interventions, reinterpreting ancient techniques of cultivation to establish microclimates that enable ‘watering without water’ and ‘watering with stones’ ). CLIMAVORE has worked on soil in the Ukraine, Japanese knotweed and real estate in the UK; as well as subsidence in New Orleans, USA, among other sites. CLIMAVORE is a Community Interest Company registered in the United Kingdom.

Courtesy of Cooking Sections.

About Cooking Sections

Cooking Sections is a London-based duo examining those systems that organise the world through food. Using site-responsive installation, performance and video, they explore the overlapping boundaries between art, architecture, ecology and geopolitics. Established in 2013 by Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe, their practice uses food as a lens and tool to observe landscapes in transformation.

Cooking Sections were nominated for the 2021 Turner Prize.

They have worked on multiple iterations of the long-term site-responsive CLIMAVORE project since 2015. In 2016 they opened The Empire Remains Shop, a platform to critically speculate on implications of selling the remains of Empire today. Their first book about the project was published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

Cooking Sections’ work has been exhibited at Tate Britain; SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul; 12th Taipei Biennial; 58th Venice Biennale; the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale; 13th Shanghai Biennial; 2019 Los Angeles Public Art Triennial; 2019 Sharjah Architecture Triennial and 13th Sharjah Biennial; Performa17; Manifesta12, Palermo; Atlas Arts, Skye; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University New York; Serpentine Galleries; Grand Union; Atlas Arts, Skye; Storefront for Art & Architecture New York; New Geographies; and HKW among others.

Their latest book Salmon: A Red Herring is published by isolarii (2020) on the occasion of the namesake Art Now exhibition at Tate Britain.

CLIMAVORE oyster table, Isle of Skye. Courtesy of Cooking Sections.

Back to Earth

As part of its commitment to CLIMAVORE, the Back to Earth project is gathering support towards the realisation of a regenerative aquaculture farm on the Island of Skye. This will include support of the project, as well as convening an advisory board and working with stakeholders to implement CLIMAVORE principles across key food industry infrastructures.

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