Biofilia, the art and biology lab of Aalto University in Helsinki, is organising a series of talks entitled “Dinner’s Ready!”between 9th April and 10th May. These talks bring together a variety of experts with the aim of discussing social, political, philosophical and ethical questions related to the production and consumption of food today. Faced with predictions pointing to a future shortage of water and food at the global level, research is multiplying that aims at growing meat in the laboratory or genetically modifying all kinds of natural products to increase their resistance and sustain a model of consumption that is based on perpetual abundance, ignoring the consequences that maintaining a permanent, widely accessible supply involves. Eating is both a biological necessity and a social activity, a cultural expression and a way of alleviating certain emotional needs, strengthening self-esteem and fighting boredom.
The series of talks confronts both the facts and the fears and myths that surround food consumption with the participation of a number of artists, scientists and chefs. But it also includes an academic course in which the students of Aalto University can learn the main points or growing meat in a laboratory from cells and study processed food with the guidance of different artists. The workshops are directed by the artists Oron Catts (a prize winner in VIDA 10.0) and Zack Denfeld and Cat Kramer (prize winners in VIDA 15.0), together with the coordinator of the Biofilia lab, Marika Hellman. “Dinner´s Ready” has been designed by the curator Ulla Taipale and is being developed in cooperation with Kellohalli at Teurastamo (The Abattoir), Helsinki.