The Avocado Toast / 5th Istanbul Design Biennial

“The Avocado Toast” was commissioned by the Istanbul Design Biennial within the context of its fifth edition, Empathy Revisited: Designs for more than one, curated by Mariana Pestana, Sumitra Upham, and Billie Muraben.

The episode presents research into how human invention, neoliberal economic legislation, a wellness food trend, and patents taken out on nature collapsed the Petorca river landscape in Chile's Central Valley, erasing world-making livelihoods.

Accountability stretches deep into the past when examining how the water crisis was enabled and begs the question: can the idea of progress be challenged in favor of what Anna Tsing describes as ‘polyphonic assemblages’, a multi-species transformative encounter that leads to collaboration rather than exploitation?

By examining an expanded list of ingredients in the avocado toast recipe, this episode explores how our appetites and ingenuity push ecosystems to their limit and enact expulsions elsewhere. If the places we ‘live from’ are not the ones we ‘live at’, can we enact solidarity, shifting our patterns of consumption in order to truly live together with all non-human entities in this world?

The Critical Cooking Show is a digital program of films, lectures, and performances that reimagine the kitchen as a space central to design thinking and production, screened as part of the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial – Empathy Revisited: Designs for more than one.