UNRVL'19 Exhibition

An Ontology Dinner

speculative realism, entanglement, installation

Tools Used

Rhino, Food, Illustrator, Photoshop


Research Question: How might we interpret out relationship to food to create a cultural reverence for the intersections between humans and

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

An Ontology Dinner is a fivefold visual metaphor designed collectively by Tyler Brunner, Hanah Murphy, and I. The centerpiece symbolizes a mountain-top like space where all the food "offerings" pour out to soil as a reverence to nature.

The folds of the metaphor are recipes, each recipe involving a key concept representing a part of our shared philosophy.

These are mycelium, blood, soil, fermentation and flowers & herbs. How we came to represent our philosophy via these concepts is a result of series of exchanges we had amongst us about our connection to the nature and overlapping signaling patterns between our bodies, minds and external environment.

Initially we started out from the acknowledgement of the connection between gut-brain axis. We were fascinated by how bacterias in our body have the ability to signal our brains and vice versa. Understanding the role of actors that are beyond our vision was a key to reserving our humble approach.

Final version of this installation accompanied a print publication that is presented below.

Understanding The Piece

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

Nature's Tendency Towards Entanglement

Metaphor: Blood
Nourishment: Spiced xocolotal soup with beetroot, blackened chiles, cream, pomegranate

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

Unknowability of Things Beyond Human Awareness

Metaphor: Mycelium
Nourishment: Chaga seasoned whole
peanuts boiled in truffled-vegetable broth

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

Myth as New Reality

Metaphor: Fermentation
Nourishment: Water Kefir
(Tepache de tibicos)

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

Feelings as Key to Biological Understanding

Metaphor: Flowers and herbs
Nourishment: Flower-infused Vermouth
bisque, pureed rice, herbs, flowers

Gizem Oktay - An Ontology Dinner

Non-Reductionist Ways of Thinking and Making

Metaphor: Soil
Nourishment: Mole Negro, wild rice, soil
based chocolate

an ontology dinner

Model designed by Tyler Brunner

When stripped down from external meaning, food is a complex structure of what like every human, non-human beings also need: nourishment. For us food is a reward, as well as reinforcement. It is luxurious, as well as foundational. Our take on food as an ontological narrative provides us with a new lens to look at the world.

Nourishment as something that every animate and inanimate living are dependent on and it being composed of the same molecules and elements, should
provide us with a meta-cognitive perspective to see the world from a humble perspective.