Exhibition: ‘Sunlight, Soil & Shit (De)Cycle’ (3SDC), challenging the notion of food production

Text by CLOT Magazine

Until February 26 audience can witness Sunlight, Soil & Shit (De)Cycle (3SDC), a SymbioticA’s project about the three elements in our utopian future that farming is trying to live without. PS Art Space in Fremantle/Walyalup in Australia held the installation. Viewers can observe a technological food cycle experiment and see how sunshine, soil and shit are removed in favour of artificial light, substrates and fertilisers.

The 3SCD installation has been created by SymbioticA’s co-founders Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts in collaboration with artist and creative coder Steve Berrick. 

3SDC is a contestable food systems project about Agricultural Technology (AgTech). AgTech aims to automate and control food production, while non-standardised elements such as sunlight, soil and shit are removed in favour of artificial light, substrates and fertilisers. Bringing the farm to the lab and the lab to the farm, this project considers whether the means of production will grow ever distant from Nature. Will this metabolic rift be the precursor to open and sustainable food systems?, says co-creator and SymbioticA artist director Oron Catts.

SymbioticA are no strangers to food technology. In 2000, the team were internationally recognised as the first to grow meat in a lab, and three years later, were also the first to consume in vitro meat.

In 2003 at an art exhibition in France, we were the first to consume in vitro meat – a piece of meat that was grown in the lab rather than in the body of an animal, and we did it not as a way of trying to find a solution, but more about asking what it means to eat meat that has never been in the body. Continues Oron Catts. 

Website https://sunlightsoilshit.systems/
(Image courtesy of SymbioticA)
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