Many of our botanical participants arise from questions that our visitors ask themselves, among which many are about love too: Are you free? Can you communicate your emotions? Do you feel fundamentally lonely? Visitors punch out the seed of the plant that contains their answer for each question and plant them in our Twijfel Zaaien “Casting Doubts”. Showered by the sun, the rain, the breezes by Oosterdok, they grow into herbs, flowers and berries.
They then are brought to the kitchen of Mediamatic, where many exciting transformations happen all the time. More seafarers embark on our ship— leave a jar of juice in the dark warmth, and a few days later you can hear them getting onboard through the murmuring fizz that they make. Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, says that “Just as the microbial cultures exist only as communities, so too do our broader human cultures. Food is the greatest community builder there is. It invites people to sit and stay awhile, and families to gather together. It welcomes new neighbors and weary travelers and beloved old friends”. Fermentation is even more enticing and dynamic than cooking, for it is by definition a collaboration with other living beings and non-living forces that constantly affect the result, so that no ferment is ever the same as another. The word fermentation itself originates from Latin fervere, “to boil”, just like the word fervor. Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyū once coined the phrase ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会; “one time, one encounter”), to describe the ephemeral beauty of a moment that one shares with another, drinking a cup of tea, a moment that will never be the same ever again, and thus cherished dearly. Between the fresh and the rotten lies the fermenting, between birth and death lies life, blurring all boundaries while being all-so-fleeting. One may regard a fermenting jar with a kind of intimacy, passion and respect that we hold for a beloved. We feed our microbic crew members with sweet stuff and they feed us, become part of us. A delightful unpredictability and freedom of fermenting is unlike no other culinary adventure, and in this sense it is most akin to love itself.
And after the process that might take days, weeks, or even years, the journey comes back to one of the first participants, completing the circle— you. How would you like to partake? Would you take your time and first imbibe the warm puffs of aroma rising from your cup, before you let it soak into your throat? Or would you rather soak in it, your body in a bath full of aphrodisiac? How would you address your partner(s) in this ritual? Would you sip from the same cup? Or toast to each other’s glass? Toasting before drinking originates from a Viking tradition in which one signified to the other person that one did not poison their drink by clashing the glasses hard enough so that the liquids mixed into each other— a message of peace. Can we demonstrate our trust in each other without having to prove our innocence beforehand, and celebrate this by toasting in the middle of drinking? How about if we mix the liquids from our cups back and forth? We wish to ask you: What do you want to cheer for? What will you celebrate? We wholeheartedly welcome you to our convivial ("with" "to live") gathering, reciting one of the most romantic quotes of film history: “Here’s looking at you, kid”.
Find more about the crew members of "Seafoam" in Participants of "Seafoam": What ingredients will our aphrodisiac involve? and more about the different formations that "Seafoam" will manifest in Media of "Seafoam": What forms will our aphrodisiacs take?.
Discover and relish our recipes:
Katz, Sandor Ellix. The Art of Fermentation. United States of America: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012.