Food for Thought

Food for Thought is a migratory, experiential event, designed to generate activity and stimulate discussion about the future of urban and civic spaces.

A mysterious, metamorphic portmanteau is ritualistically located throughout a series of urban spaces, coming to rest at opportune moments, generally (but not necessarily) in conjunction with other activities taking place. A multi-facetted progeny of organ grinder, ice cream cart, puppet theatre and Tardis, Food for Thought is an active presence, attracting locals and passersby with the prospect of free soup.

Every interested individual submits a maximum 140 character reply by filling out a card (also in the future via SMS or digital input pad) in response to a particular query posed for that place; essentially an open invitation for ideas. The suggestion is logged, the contributor receives their soup.

Thus, Food for Thought.

The sharing of food is a primordial human act. The exchange of ideas is central to the vitality of cities. By bringing these two acts together, each Food for Thought event will act both as a catalyst for congregation and an opportunity for members of the community to express themselves in a deliberate and constructive manner. The ideas received may be functional or fantastical, demanding or magnanimous; they will all, however, be both unexpected and authentic.

As an extension of the collaborative, consultative nature of the venture, we’ll recruit notable figures in the creative and civic life of the locale to serve the soup; this will be a roster of activists, performers, artists, architects, community leaders, public figures and others interested in the future life of their neighbourhood, city or discipline.

Also, for each of the individual acts of the event/installation, a different local restaurant will contribute the soup, further promoting the deeply specific regional nature of each event.

Food for Thought works with major civic institutions and exhibition venues to establish presentations and celebrations of the collected ideas at regular stages throughout the project; we’ll also establish creative links with local spaces and organisations to disseminate the content to those communities in which we stage the event.

Long term, the project is intended to have a life of its own well beyond Sydney and its CBD, travelling through suburban centres and regional towns, as well as international sites, promoting the process of engagement and information gathering (not to mention conviviality). The Food for Thought team will also work with local institutions, community groups, businesses and residents to explore constructive methodologies by which the more fertile ideas collected can be supported and continue to be developed by the communities from which they originated.