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Food, The Last True Art Form

A lot has died at the giant hand of the Internet. Its interconnecting nature and the advancing of technology have exploded and imploded the creative worlds by providing opportunities for everyone to be a writer, photographer, artist, musician, performer, etc. while also minimizing the exaggerated success of those who were once infallible from their creations being shared for free.

Being a creative in 2015 seems to be without success since what you make can be spread around so easily. How can you survive as an artistic maker in the “sharing economy”? Is there any infallible art form that the Internet cannot destroy?

Food. The trendy and often laughably trendy discipline is the only thing that the Internet cannot destroy because you cannot download a dish made by Mario Batali at a restaurant. Yes, you can get recipes but you will never have the same ingredients or the same tools and, most importantly, you will never have the context of the chef, because you are not that chef nor are you in their environment. Food is something extremely sense focused, immersive, and environmental: the only way to get a food experience is to go to the place and have that experience.

This is a fascinating concept. I love it. I stumbled upon it from a blog post by Eugene Wei (via) on the subject. His sprawling story that mainly sketches parallels between the food and music worlds, specifically in relationship to their over availability. There’s a lot of other food talk in relationship to America and the culture of eating now—but the few paragraphs about food and tech is just brilliant.

You can distill it down to this juicy bit:

Food has replaced music at the heart of the cultural conversation for so many, and I wonder if it’s because food and dining still offer true scarcity whereas music is so freely available everywhere that it’s become a poor signaling mechanism for status and taste. If you’ve eaten at Noma, you’ve had an experience a very tiny fraction of the world will be lucky enough to experience, whereas if you name any musical artist, I can likely find their music and be listening to it within a few mouse clicks.

Wei is absolutely right. There is something so special about food, something so momentary and so inimitable: food is the antithesis to technology. It requires your time and effort and cannot be multi-tasked around. He does mention Soylent and, sure, there may and likely will be a day when the joy of eating is lost to juices flowing into you without you really knowing. Until that is a necessity (and, fuck, let’s hope it is not), food is something that defies technology. It’s a fuck you to the future.

I hate the comparison that food is “the new punk rock”—but it is. Long live food.

Photo via.

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