good life/hard life – 2018

In a reflection of the future, we have always been able to profoundly investigate inner workings and structural beliefs of nowadays society. What and how we feed ourselves is an expression of cultural and political realities. Through speculative research, a possible culinary future is proposed. Major parts of human interaction are being shifted into virtual spaces. Food of the modern world is being dissected, analysed and processed on a technological basis, but at the same time it is moved away from cultural and biological evolutionary processes. Within the technological fundamentals of nutrition, can we still be able to encounter real sensory experiences? How will we be able to share a meal, disconnected from the cultural connotations of it? There can be an escapist reaction to the isolation in virtual spaces. But leaving the heteronomy, will confront people with difficulties. What shall they eat and how? What will the tools for food supply, preparation and consumption look like, when they have been disconnected from our cultural heritage? In a return of physical materialism, products of a heavily technology-orientated society become pure hyle and are morphed by individual means. ‘good life/hard life’ a multidisciplinary speculative design project about everyday food and the surrounding objects and cultural practices, to investigate how our future can be shaped, also by means of design.

Planning and doing a workshop was a simulative approach to visualize the escapist scenario of the hard life. Materials were found in post-technological trash as well as places of nature. „Build something to be able to feed yourself. This can possibly result in tools for collection, hunt or preparation of food.“ The result are speculative objects, that only expose their purpose for the ones initiated in the process of making them. The movie on the other hand is a medium to immerse into the proposed speculative scenario of good life/hard life. We follow an individual on their journey from living inside the virtual spheres of good life, until demasking themselves to get back into nature. The objects made during the workshop are used as improvised tools in hard life and shown in use. Microscopic images of food items that appear in the movie and exhibition were taken with the laboratory of the faculty of civil engineering of Bauhaus Universität Weimar.