Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

From waste to food

London's Victoria and Albert Museum presents the exhibition "Food: Bigger than the Plate," which features over 70 contemporary projects from artists and designers who worked with chefs, farmers and scientists. Some exhibits are even grown directly in the museum, such as the above installation, "Urban Mushroom Farm." Creators GroCycle used coffee grounds to cultivate edible oyster mushrooms.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Design demands change

The Austrian artist duo honey & bunny have been addressing food production for over 10 years, demanding that sustainability also play a key role in design. Their reasoning? Design is the gateway to change. Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter's work also shows how our food intake is not random, but cultural.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Beautiful compost

One area of the V&A's exhibition presents various compost projects. This one, "Daily Dump," is a system that is already successfully used in India. Compostable trash is stored in high-quality, handmade terra cotta pots. The reuse of the trash closes the production chain.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Futuristic sausage

Dutch designer and researcher Carolien Niebling works on developing meat alternatives to try and reduce meat consumption. Photographer Noortje Knulst captured the results of her project "The Sausage of the Future." What looks like sausage is actually made from carrots, dates, nuts and insects, among other things.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Return of the fruit trees

"Fallen Fruit" is a custom-made, 12-meter-high (39-foot-high) wallpaper designed specifically for the V&A. Created by California artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young, it references the history of the museum's location: Before the V&A was built in 1857, a famous fruit-tree nursery was there. It supplied trees to gardens all over the country.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Human cheese

In 2013, Christina Agapakis and Sissel Tolaas began creating cheese from the bodily bacteria of famous individuals, including curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artist Olafur Eliasson. Entitled "Selfmade," the project was revamped by designer Helene Steiner for the current exhibition. The selection provocatively includes a cheese whose bacteria stems from the pubic hair of star chef Heston Blumenthal.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Sustainable and edible plastic alternatives

With all the plastic found inside dead marine animals, the message couldn't be clearer: Plastic is a grave danger to the ecosystem. At least 150 million metric tons (165 million US tons) of plastic are estimated to be in the ocean right now. To reduce usage, the London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab created a sustainable packaging alternative made from seaweed extract — that can be eaten, too.

Cheese from pubic bacteria and other food prototypes at the V&A

Social agriculture

Company Drinks sees itself as an intercultural and mutligenerational art project. Located in east London, anyone can take part in preparing the ground, harvesting produce, and marketing and selling the drinks they make, thereby directly experiencing the value chain for food production. The V&A gives viewers an impression of the products and the project. The exhibition lasts until October 20.

London's Victoria and Albert Museum has paired the pleasure of eating with the politics of food production. From composting in India to cheese made of human bacteria, "Food: Bigger than the Plate" covers all tastes.

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