Melt is a pairing of flatware constructed entirely out of ice. A set of molds allows for a fork and knife to be cast in a conventional freezer and used as the eating tools for a meal. Participants are fed foods that would have been historically difficult to preserve or radically different in preparation without the advent of refrigeration. Participants are not given any alternate utensils throughout the duration of the meal.
The European Commision predicts that shipping emissions will increase between 50% and 250% by the year 2050. The last ten years include nine of the hottest recorded years in human history, which means that if you are under the age of thirty, you have never experienced a month that isn’t hotter than the year prior. Carbon dioxide is responsible for 64% of man-made global warming and is recorded at levels 40% higher in our atmosphere than the pre-industrial age (Ec.europa.eu, 2016).
Melt draws from the paradoxical reality that the ice caps are melting, and that ice production and refrigeration are some of the biggest perpetrators (DeConto and Pollard, 2016). The ice trade is inexorably linked both to the evolution of our modern diets and the growth of globalization in the food industry. While refrigerated shipping allowed us to stray away from the salted, smoked, and spoiled, the fresh diversity it allows will be short-lived if climate change renders once prolific habitats inhospitable. Melt takes hold of these realities and speeds them up, it communicates the urgency and translates it into an evocative and sometimes painful physical experience.
Project partner: Ari Elefterin