In post pandemic times, how can we use everyday telecommunications to virtually create a sense of intimacy?
For Ars Electronica, my collaborators Zden Brungot Svitekova, Grace Cong Xin Wong, and I developed the first chapter in our Remote Intimacy series, Garlic Med. Eat. Ation. Our workshop creates sensory solidarity by exploring how intimacy can be shared remotely/virtually through touch and taste. Garlic releases allicin, an antioxidant compound responsible for the ‘hot’ sensation. The very same compound prevents the common cold. We combine the awakening experience and medicinal benefits of eating raw garlic with a guided meditation to create a lived metaphor for our current surreal reality. Garlic is a reflection of the shocking situation we live in while meditation is an exercise in embracing the chaos to find the calm within. Garlic itself might be seen as a combination of calm and shock. Its smooth white body represents calm, while the inner acidic flavor creates a shock that forces our bodies to react and respond in very different ways. Each of us is going through the same pandemic, but we all have different reactions to it. Our individual reaction to garlic is meant to bring a sense of group solidarity.
Garlic Med.eat.ation creates a ritual around food and meditation by inviting people to come together as a community and elevate the potential of the group. It builds sensory solidarity in surreal times by sharing tastes and touch over the web.
It is originally conceived as a 30 minute live experience that starts with a 10 minute pre-recorded guided meditation and ends with a 10 to 20 minute Q&A. Audience members can sign up for a scheduled slot and we will be in on hand to meditate with attendees as well as facilitate the Q&A.