A Recipe for Navigating the Future

Video & Book

This piece was part of a residency which I undertook with Catalyst Arts in Belfast shortly after finishing my Bachelor’s Degree. The work is a follow on from ‘Companion Project’ and was where I expanded on some of the themes I explored in the ‘Companion Project’. Within this work I also continued my research into some more futuristic ideas that I had started to look at during the ‘Companion Project’ that I felt needed to sit as their own works. I again used experimented with making an online work including video and printed material mixed with the medium of bread. For this residency there was both an online and physical exhibition which allowed me to create two outputs of this work - a book and website - futures-recipes.com

The work that resulted is a guide or recipe to approaching and exploring what is next. Our futures are in a constant state of change. A multitude of elements that act upon us every day are moulding and altering what is next. This recipe explains how to accept and embrace these liquid and ever-morphing possibilities. To create this recipe the methods, language and processes of making bread have been adapted and applied to each step. Bread in the past has been seen as utopian and used as symbols of modernity and hope. During the process of making bread, the dough is constantly morphing and changing. Elements such as heat, bacteria and time affect the outcome of the bread and create an individual loaf each time. This unknown outcome of each loaf is embraced and encouraged throughout the process. These ideas and methods have been adapted and applied to this recipe of navigating life and what is to come.

I was glad tha in this work I was able to continue exploring some of the themes that I had started to in my Bachelor's and to bring that work into new materials and processes. While I do feel now that we are out of lockdown and life has moved on it is time to finish researching the themes I was looking at in this work, I do feel that the medium of 3D sculpting and virtual reality has opened many new possibilities and outcomes I did not know were possible and want to continue exploring using this in my work as well as artists also working with this medium.

Previous Project


Mapping the In-Between Interdisciplinary methods for envisioning other futures - Zuzana Tabačková, Lýdia Grešáková and Spolka

This work began with revisiting themes and ideas from my final year work in my Bachelor's Degree. In my Bachelor's degree I had began to look into futures and modernity. Bread throughout history had been associated with utopian imagery and advertising as it felt that as the production of bread advanced (such as the creation of sliced bread), that this would allow society to advance. That the practices used in the production of bread were never seen before and very beyond their time. At the time of starting this residency I was reading this book - Mapping the In-Between Interdisciplinary methods for envisioning other futures. Within this a series 'interdisciplinary mapping and utopian visioning as an alternative way of developing the city'. I really enjoyed exploring the techniques used in this and the proposed outcomes or plans. I was also very drawn to how they explored and envisioned these and felt that this could be a way of starting my work of further exploring utopia and futures through the medium of bread.

Softer Futures

I was also very interested in the idea of making virtual 3D works and worlds, I felt this would offer a way to create the different visuals and feelings I wanted to portray in these utopian futures and environments. I also felt the medium of 3D works combined with the textures and shapes of bread could lead to some really interesting outputs. At the time I was doing a lot of research into starting this and other artists working in the field of virtual reality. I came across 'Softer Futures' that is 'a network and platform for designers, artists, and newcomers, who are interested in the digital and technological aspect of design and art, but would like it to be a bit softer'. I was both very inttrigued by how a lot of their ideas and writing was around this proposed future.

Various Works - Diana Lynn VanderMeulen

Through 'Softer Futures' I cam across the work of Diana Lynn VanderMeulen. I was really drawn to the visuals and feelings she was able to create in her work, as well as the textures and motion in the pieces. I felt that her works were able to visualise some of the ideas I was playing around with of how I wanted my work to look and feel. With 'Softer Futures' Diana Lynn was invited to talk about her work. They also provided tutorials around making work in 3D, I took a lot of inspiration from the methods they were using as it felt that they were pushing the 3D textures and techniques to create these utopian images and worlds.

Various Works - Elise Rigollet

Another artist I was really inspired by was the work of Elise Rigollet who came from a background of graphic design but was now experimenting with creating works with 3D technology. With her work I too loved the visuals she was able to create as well as the tempo of her pieces.

A Recipe for Navigating the Future - My Own Work

While creating this work I spent a lot of time expeirmenting with 3D of bread and the different materials and ingredients involved in the process of making bread. I decided that this work would take inspiration from the methods of making bread and apply these to how a people could prepare for and naviagte through their future. I felt that the patience, forgiveness and unpredictability involved could be used as inspiration for other processes in life.

A Recipe for Navigating the Future - My Own Work

I created a world for each step of this recipe, each with textures and guidelines from that step. When I was finished creating these worlds I output videos of a walk through these. I wanted these to be displayed as a journey through each step, I felt that this could be acheived on a website as it would allow me to display these videos and create this narrative.

Books from the Future - Yvan Martinez and Joshua Trees

I also felt that as this was a recipe that bringing this work together in the format of a book would again suit the themes and outputs of the work. I began to look at artists creating books using these utopian, 3D visuals. I wanted to see how they treated the visuals in print. I was very intrigued by this work of Yvan Martinez and Joshua Trees and felt that they were able to keep the feeling of a virtual reality world in a 2D page.

Rockie - Elise Rigollet

As Elise Rigollet was combining graphic design and virtual reality in her work I wanted to see how she was treating the outputs in print. I really loved the space she used and how she displayed the different textures created. I also really liked the use of the spiral bound and how it gave the opportunity to split images across spreads without losing any information.