水土Water/Soil Discontent不服

is a performative installation offering multimodal readings on the microbiopolitics of the movement of bodies across lands. The title of the performance takes the phenomenon of 水土不服 (water soil discontent) as a site of reinspection. 水土不服is an umbrella term in Chinese medicine and households for a myriad of ailments encountered when traveling to a foreign land. Taking recent scientific studies on gut microbiome colonization among immigrants as a starting point, the project journeys backwards to interweave narratives and materials from Traditional Chinese Medicine and household remedies as an attempt to cut across coloniality, both in the gut and in systems of knowledge. Human and nonhuman fecal matter figures into the work as remedies in both eastern and western medicine, but also as an anti-aesthetic, a spatial operator delimiting the illusory boundaries of a contained self.

The performance starts off with a feast of peristaltic undulations in ceremony of gut decolonization. Edible offerings include a fermented dinner menu by Julian Stadon, stratified pastries by Ethan Kan, and a tasting-as-reading meditation by Hsurae.

Julian Stadon is an Australian artist, designer, curator, researcher and educator lecturing on the Interface Cultures Programme at Kunstuniversität Linz. Julian has a transdisciplinary approach to teaching and research, across several fields that intersect Art, Interaction/Interface Design, Game Studies, Next Generation Interfaces, Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Mixed Reality and Immersion, Innovative Media, Fashion Technology, Sustainability, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Food Science, Culinary Aesthetics, Image Culture, Post-Digital Aesthetics and Media Theory, all within the context of Augmentation Aesthetics and Post-Anthropocenic Design. https://teleagriculture.org/

Ethan Kan is a pastry chef who has worked at Shangri-La Paris, Sweet Rehab and Chanson Patisserie in New York. He has a Bachelor in Science from National Taiwan University, and a certificate from the intensive professional program at École Ferrandi, Paris.

Chef: Julian Stadon / TeleAgriCulture

Pre-dinner drink: Aamazake

App: Fermented bean curd cream on nato crackers

Course 1: Stinky tofu with fermented cabbage

Course 2: Douchi-woodear/morels wontons

Post dinner tea: Puer and health broth kombucha

Chef: Ethan Kan

Air: High mountain tea foam

Foliage: Crystalized sesame leaf

Fruit: Jujube cake

Palette cleanser: Mycobacterium Vaccae forest soil

Soil: Activated charcoal mud wafer

Root: Ginseng cream tart

Microbes: Fermented glutinous rice jelly


Images courtesy of Stephanie Rothenberg + James Tufts (Walker)
© 2023 HSURAE