No Waste Cooking - An Exploration of Politics as Redistribution of the Sensible
Life in affluent, big city society with huge amounts of easily accessible food results in extensive food waste on different levels, causing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this article is to explore and discuss whether—and if so, how—an urban art action may contribute to displacement in social food practices. Using the Swedish artist Andrea Hvistendahl’s ongoing project No Waste Cooking as a case study, I approach this art action through Jacques Rancière’s concept of politics as distribution and redistribution of the sensible. The most important research questions are: How is No Waste Cooking involved in redistributing social food waste practices? How is the project related to similar projects in visual culture? No Waste Cooking concerns saving and upgrading food from grocery stores that would otherwise be thrown away. As an urban gleaner, Hvistendahl gathers this food and intervenes between grocery stores and consumers, creating a space for leftovers, sensations and reflections. Food after its expiration date has become the fulcrum, the third thing, a common reference in which the artist, the visitors, as well as the readers are invited to reassess our values and behavior patterns on food, and elaborate and develop further discussion and proliferation. In this sense, No Waste Cooking has a didactic function, displaying ethical questions and possible ways to deal with them without straightforward answers. Albeit in a modest alteration, art becomes life.