Marie-Claire Springham

The Republic of Salivation

A project by Burton Nitta

”In their piece “The Republic of Salivation” (exhibited in Stroom, Den Haag in 2012), London-based Anglo Japanese duo comprising of Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta begin with pondering our future food shortages.


"Republic of Salivation" (2011) - Michael Burton (British, b. 1977) and Michiko Nitta (Japanese, b. 1978). Republic of Salivation, from the After Agri project. 2010. Image courtesy of the designers. Photo by Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta


The inhabitants of Burton Nitta's post-apocalyptic world are given a strictly rationed mono-diet of pure starch to sustain them through their daily tasks. In this austere environment, the pleasurable junk food of the past has become taboo and the living unit of the average industrial worker is shown to be littered with contraband “food porn”. Burton Nitta explains that a side effect of using such materials is that the industrial worker can generate enough saliva to brew a secret starch-based alcohol