Saturday, November 12, 2016


Pangaeademoniac  conceptual  artist  Jonathon Keats  reckons that, as we are what we eat,  climate activists must do more than swallow the koolaid of Deconstruction. Developing a visceral understanding of climate models, says  Keats, requires  'gastronification' - learning to eat them.  But how ?

Ben & Jerry had better watch out- 
GRIST  reports  having   savored  the  great  gastronificationator's   anthropocenic sorbets at a  Paris Accords celebration  last week in Berlin:

Q. Alright, Jonathon — what is your vision for this project?
A.I realized that the eyes were not the only organ at our disposal — we also could eat our data,  so to speak. The logic being that the human gut is actually pretty smart, unlike the eye — the gut is second only to the brain in terms of the number of neurons.
And so it seemed that we could enlist the gut to be able to understand phenomena ranging from dark energy to climate change by means of representing models through biomolecules instead of colors and shapes, and then by digesting — literally — the data or the models, as a means by which to process them internally.
Ice cream was the most natural [food choice], because you have the built-in desirability of ice cream as a world warms. You end up with people wanting to eat something that will give them — if nothing else — a gut instinct for the ways in which phenomena, from greenhouse gas release to the albedo effect, interact to result in the planet becoming what it is today — and what it will likely be in the future unless we do something about it.
Q. How would that kind of information absorb through your gut and become a thought?
A. I’m working with some visualizations that were done by Steve Easterbrook, who’s a computer scientist at the University of Toronto. They are really well done as far as what a data visualization can do, and also that they really suggest — because of the complexity of all the different interrelated feedback loops — how ill-equipped we seem to be by way of our eyes to make sense of the whole.
So what I’ve been doing is to take all of the positive and negative feedback loops and create three different types of sorbet, three different flavors, that have biochemicals that are chosen for the fact that they trigger specific receptors. For example: Vanilla extract specifically has the effect on the receptor known as TRPM-5, as opposed to cinnamon which has an effect on TRPA-1, and eucalyptus oil has another one, fatty acid has an effect on yet another.
I’ve identified twelve different chemicals, all of which are edible, all of which could plausibly be mixed into a sorbet. (As for palatability — that will be for Berliners to decide in several weeks.)
The gut and the brain are always interacting with each other. And the gut is particularly good with feedback loops — it’s kind of the business that the gut is in, figuring out different levels of different chemicals and the balance of those different chemicals. That will have an emotional effect on your brain state."