Here I will describe shortly my first experiences and thoughts on the food exercises that Carmen proposed for us to try out. First of all, thank you Carmen for interesting exercises! I have been doing them with Ilpo, Saara and Tommi, but also with my friends and close ones. Mostly I have done the feeding/being fed -exercise. Every time I have been doing it with a different person, the characteristics of the exercise have differed quite a lot. There are anyway some things that recur from time to time.
When being fed, one becomes aware of ones hunger and desire stronger than usually. I have realised my own passions and addictions related to food during these exercises. Being fed has revealed my strong need to eat and a particular urge to have the food material actually in my mouth. The exercise has made perceptible the comfort that food and the act of eating brings: it has also showed how personal the act of eating is for me on a bodily level. Both the movement of collecting the food with my hands, fingers, fork, spoon, knife etc. and the act of taking the food into my mouth with my own hands play crucial roles in my eating. All of these actions can be seen as ritualistic, and this exercise has made the ritualistic character of the eating visible. The actions are habitual, personal, self-centered and always done for satisfying some need: psychological and/or physical. It has been suprisingly hard to be fed: the enjoyment of eating has differed a lot from what it is when I am eating myself. When someone else is feeding me, the leader figure of the eating ritual is the other, and my role is to wait, stay still, accept and appreciate.
There are also interesting variation in the rythm and temporality between the event of being fed and eating on your own. Impatience arises, but at the same time there usually prevails a very respectful and calm atmosphere between the one who feeds and the eater. I have also realised that I concentrate deeper on chewing and exploring the materiality of the food when doing this exercise. This has propably been the most interesting aspect for me, since the concentration on the food materials has increased my will to consider even more all the food that I normally eat. I have also done some exercises on my own concentrating on the materiality of the food and it’s affects on my body before and after eating it. How do I relate to the food that I am eating? How the act of eating changes if I concentrate on it with a deep patience?
And lastly, during these exercises I have also considered the origins of the food. As we talked with Saara and Ilpo once when doing the exercise, none of the food materials that we had there could be taken for granted. Most of the food that we eat here are deeply dependent on mechanisms of globalization.
All in all the exercises emphasize the (active) role of the food: as an object of human desire, as a thing/being felt and affecting inside its eater’s body and as a thing/being that has traveled from its origin to the situation/place where it is finally eaten. Thus the three most interesting themes for me to continue exploring through these exercises are:
– the desires related to food and eating
– materiality of the food (How do we relate to the food that we eat? How can we be aware of it’s affects on us?)
– ecological issues related to our food culture