An exploration of the idea that tangible change can be made in the world when norms are unsettled rather than reinforced or left untouched. Bloom focuses on creating a space for the individual to re-define the outdated, toxic view of masculinity to explore what men can be. This is tied into questioning what food can be — now and in the future.
Is substitution a solution? Sure, plant based animal product substitutes do seemingly make it easier for western consumers to reduce their meat consumption, which will inevitably contribute to lessening the suffering of animals and the destruction of the planet. However, this practice of replication could still be fuelling deeply ingrained myths such as that men need meat, therefore strength and power to maintain their ‘manliness’, or dominance in society.
So might a truly sustainable, social + environmental, food transformation happen when we move out of the norm and our preferences are shifted…
‘the day someone designs a steak that tastes like a carrot’?
The Bloom Box is a different take on the traditional ‘recipe box’. Instead of being a place to exchange and store recipes, it is a space for a collection of first-hand narratives to share with others, to open up conversations and spark inspiration. In the real world, you would find it where people gather to eat, make food or even work out: social environments where these norms can be intrinsically challenged.
(scroll though contextual images above)
The ‘recipe dividers’ are designed based on thoughts from collaborators with whom I have been discussing the overlapping themes of gender and consumption, or more specifically masculinity and plant based food, over the past 10 weeks. These are people primarily who have diets which aim to cut down on meat and animal products, from a range of cultures within the Global North.
In the digital realm of this exhibition, you are invited to interact by adding your own ‘recipe card’ to the Bloom Box. Scroll through and get inspiration from any of these dividers or existing cards.