This public event grew out of the "Nimble Foods for Climate Chaos" collaboration with artist Marina Zurkow and chefs Hank and Bean. Held in the Court of Sciences at UCLA, it engaged students and the broader community in conversations about the risks of climate chaos, the structure of conventional food systems and the possibilities for short-term food innovations. The immersive tasting offered participants the opportunity to sample jellyfish jerky paired with a "mitigating tea" made of kombu (a mineral-rich and pleasantly-flavored seaweed that plays a vital role in ocean health). The event aimed to connect the scale of global warming with visceral, embodied experience, melding participatory art with experimental cuisine.
Jellyfish, a benign-tasting and sometimes abundant food source highlights ocean disturbance and its human causes. But jellyfish also constitute an everyday food with long culinary and ecological histories.
The jellyfish jerky snack prototyped for this event was “seasoned” with one of five distinct flavor profiles, evocative of Haiti, the Netherlands, Philippines, coastal India and the Gulf Coast, respectively. The flavor profiles drew attention to the vulnerabilities that particular communities face due to global warming. The team selected these five regions based on sea level rise indices, which consider a complex matrix of factors (including population density, access to resources, mitigation plans and wealth.)
UCLA Campus as Canvas event (June 2019)
Sponsors: UCLA Arts Initiative, Humanities and Healthy Campus Initiative
Artwork by Marina Zurkow