Prometheus_Open Food Lab

the physical archive:
the exhibition experience

The physical form of the _archive is a permanent exhibition in constant expansion. It shows the same material collected in the digital archive in a similar structure that suggests the same taste for exploration. The participation though is much more interactive, featuring the involvement of the five senses in a complex experience. The visitors will find themselves in an immersive situation highly multi-medial. For the very nature of the research and the multiple disciplines involved the _archive is a collection of extremely diverse elements. It gathers in the same space aspects of the anthropological, the natural history and the contemporary art exhibition. The visitors can then design their own experience through old tools, plants and animals, pictures, illustrations, paintings and performances. The complexity of this multitude of approaches, which are the one of the Prometheus_practice, leads the visitors to the awareness of the food as an articulated element in an even more complex system which is culture. The logic is the same applied in the digital _archive. The two dimensions of the _archive are conceived to fulfil the same purpose: to redistribute the knowledge collected and generated during the explorations. The material is, therefore, the same, although the physical archive can answer to some practical needs its  digital twin couldn’t. Testing it in a couple of occasions with both professionals, more or less directly involved in the field, and a more general public, the complementary potential of the physical component on the digital one was impressive. Although they both feature the same content the approach of the people is considerably different. The tangible contact with the matter is crucial, especially to the general public but also for those with specific knowledge of the topics treated. They could see, smell, touch and in determined occasions taste the outcomes of our explorations. They could ask direct questions and debate with the _explorers in an extremely proactive situation. The same content, even when for its same nature is less interactive, acquire a new three-dimensionality when connected with the elements that generated it. An essay about the fermentation of edibles, for instance, is quite specific and could turn out to be detached even for the insiders. On the other hand, the contextual presence of those elements that informed the essay to be tasted and experienced can instigate new perceptions about the topic. Another crucial dimension of the physical archive that implements the digital content is its unique feature to be immersed in the place where the research takes place. This allows the visitor, whatever is the objective of the visit or the affinity to the background, to perceive the information as an interconnected element in a dynamic environment. In order to realise it in all its potential, the _archive is meant to get a diffuse dimension. It means that alongside the development of the local network the _archive will expand, not only relatively, to the quantity of information, but also in its extension. People will then be able to experience the exploration practice connecting the information with what generated it. They could visit the local _partners of Prometheus_ and be a direct witness of what our research suggests and develops.

testing the physical archive

The very first occasion for testing the physical structure of the _archive was _exploration #1. Under the frozen curtain of snow sealing the landscape, we started collecting the first elements and highlighting the relations between them.

Later the same year, during the participation of Prometheus_ at Direct Current Method conference, the _archive met the public for the first time. A selection of elements collected during _exploration #1 where exhibited in their early stage of processing to the etherogeneous public of the conference.

The day after, in occasion of a visit of the lecturer of Direct Current
to Progettoborca, we were able to add another crucial bit to the experience. Together with the presentation of the embryonic archive we offered an insight on the gastronomic potential of the area, featuring products of selected producers we partnered with and new recipes combining those products and the result of our foraging into the wild.

At the beginning of summer ‘18, in the long _exploration curvatura -from the title of DC’s season- the _archive has temporarely been exposed in the refettorio (refectory) at the former Colonia ENI. Here the items of the _archive went through a revision process, while also being exhibited to visitors during the weekly visits to the site.
Since the end of July 2018 the _archive is hosted as part of the _lab in the former padiglione infermeria (infirmary pavillion) at the Colonia ENI in Borca di Cadore (BL). Here we keep implementing its content and the connection among element. _explorers have full access to it and it is encouraged to keep processing it. Visitors are also welcome.