LaZuZ - Choreography of the dining table

Installation for Schloss Hollenegg for design

Curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein

For the fourth edition of Schloss Hollenegg for Design, ADMENSAM Exhibition, that explores the rituals around the table, from food - its preparation and consumption - to manners and traditions. studio Omer Polak presents 'LaZuz' installation, showcases an altered eating experience, using robotics to create movement and follow the choreography of the dining table. The dining table is a consistent part of social gatherings in all human societies around the globe. Which new rituals could emerge, if modern technology amplified such existing human eating traditions?

"We don’t eat only to feed our bodies; we meet around a table as a form of communion with other people. Food is nourishment and at the same time an excuse to come together. Preparing and eating
food are ceremonies that follow a script and differ according to culture and time. How rigid are the rules we follow when harvesting, preparing and consuming food? What do our eating habits say about us as a society? How can we improve our communication through meals that are more healthy for the body and the soul?" Those are some of the questions raised by Alice Stori Liechtenstein, the curator of the exhibition.

La Zuz, which means ‘to move’ in Hebrew, derives its inspiration from Israeli dinner traditions, such as the rituals of eating in Kibbutz communities and family dinners. In Israel, gathering around the table with the whole family on Saturday night is very common, transforming the dinner into both ceremony and celebration.

The table is filled with all sorts of different items, to be picked and composed on each participant’s individual plate. Naturally, the beginning of such a dinner turns out to be noisy, messy and most importantly a moment of communication between all the participants, while they are trying to reach the desired food piece. All of a sudden, the pots, the wine, the salads, the bread, salt, and pepper are all in a state of activity, moving as if they had a life of their own.

"coming from a mixed culture family, joining around the table for dinner is a real feast in my family. Flavors, smells, and colors from the Jewish Moroccan side, combined with the Yugoslavian cuisines, create a unique eating experience to every guest. I especially love the moment of serving Moroccan couscous out of the Tajin pot and ending the dinner with Yugoslavian slivovitz Liqueur. Both are sharing experiences that connect all guest at the table; I always find the mixture funny, enriching and innovative. " says the designer Omer Polak

"For ‘La Zuz’ we use robotic technology to expand this dynamic eating experience in an installation setting, with a long dining table as a core element. The table surface will consist of two layers. An upper, visible layer covered with dishes, which are miraculously dancing in harmony on the tabletop. Underneath the table 10 small robots driving randomly and independently, leading the tableware using magnets.

Supported by Mobsya (a Swiss ​non-profit association that ​Creates products and services to help young people discover digital technologies and sciences), we used educational 'Thymio' robots. Each one of them has 5 distance sensors in the front as well as sound sensors that helped us to program them in a way that they will get decisions independently and create unique choreography each time.

Special attention is to be paid to the tableware. The plates and saucers are a cultural artifact, belonging to the ‘Game Series’ from British 19th-century porcelain manufacturer Palissy (The name was chosen as a tribute to Bernard Palissy, the famous French potter of the 16th century, creator of Palissy ware). On the skilfully crafted crockery, the visitors will find depictions of European hunting animals and birds. The tableware selection playfully reflects on the topic of movement in the human relationship with food.

With La Zuz we stimulate the creation of new food rituals and inspire broad audiences to combine ancient traditions with modern technology and questions our behavior towards the food and each other around the dining table.

AD MENSAM EXHIBITION PARTICIPANTS

 

Katie Scott und J&L Lobmeyr, Katie Stout und Augarten, Os&Oos, Nel Verbeke Commonplace und Logicdata, Arabeschi di Latte, Ferréol Babin, Dean Brown, Crafting Plastics, Alexandra Fruhstorfer, Laurids Gallée, Alexandre Humbert, Kneissl + Prade, Carolien Niebling, Optimismus, Omer Polak, Sara Ricciardi, Studio Plastique, Studio Quetzal, James Shaw, David Tavcar

Credit:

Curator: Alice Stori

Programer: Bart Kuipers

Supported by Mobsya robots
Photographer : Simone Sandhal