This collaborative work transcends linear time, using food as a medium through which to connect gaps, and reveal similarities, in future and past adaptation. Initiated and art directed by Allie Wist, I participated as contributing researcher, food stylist, and recipe developer. The recipes act as future artifacts—a means for people to imagine a sensory future, and the abstract potentialities of climate data and scientific predictions.

From Allie: Flooded, a photo essay and multisensory installation exhibited as part of a new initiative of annual programming presented by Honolulu Biennial Foundation. Flooded fuses climate change landscapes with food, and reveals the intimacy between our collective pasts and our possible futures. Inspired by sea level rise and coastal flooding, the work oscillates between the dystopic and utopic, exploring ideas of adaptation, solastalgia, and baseline shifting—how we react to change over time. It is grounded in a conceptual framework of generational amnesia, and speculative visual anthropology. That is, it functions as visible shadows and future artifacts of our changing planet.

Baseline Shifting: This theory, coined by Daniel Pauly in his 1995 paper “Anecdotes and the Shifting Baseline Syndrome of Fisheries,” broadly implies that there is some sort of change through time, but along the way, we set new baselines for evaluating the magnitude of that change. In each generation, or span of time, we only see small change, even if the system as a whole is changing substantially. The change is forgotten, and this leads to collective amnesia of what is normal. Pauly’s theory has largely been applied to ocean ecosystems, but can be expanded to many phenomena occurring due to climate change. Our work adds to the existing interpretations of baseline shifting by helping to visualize these types of elusive environmental change over time.

Flooded, digital prints, 6' x 9', 4.5' x 6', and 6' x 4', 2017

Flooded pop-up exhibition took place with Honolulu Biennial in Waikiki in March of 2018.

photographs: Heami Lee

props: Rebecca Bartoshesky