2018, Creative Innovation Art meets Science, Wageningen University, NL
Eat Me is a performative experiment that explores how people’s body scents make us feel about others, if we were to eat their body scents.
Eat Me asks participants to imagine a world in which experiencing others by tasting and smelling (retronasal smell) them would be the norm. Mannigel conducted interviews at Wageningen University, asking people if they could imagine eating others’ body scents, and in which edible forms. Based on people’s replies, she designed four snacks and one beverage, which were served at the project’s presentation.
The Eat Me experiment’s project presentation unfolded in three stages. While Mannigel presented the research behind her project, participants were invited to collect samples of their own underarm body scents. They were then solicited to smell five of the body scent samples that were anonymously presented in glass jars. Finally, participants were served four snacks and one beverage which alluded to people’s body scents. The food design was based on Mannigel’s interviews. When smelling and tasting, participants were asked to record their experience in a paper questionnaire.
Eat Me was developed in conversation mainly with Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology, Jessica Duncan (Social Science Research Group), as well as psychological scientist and expert in smell and taste perception, Garmt Dijksterhuis (Agrotechnology and Food Science Group) as part of the Creative Innovation: Art meets Science residency program at Wageningen University, alongside other researchers and staff at Wageningen University. This program fostered a dialog between artists and scientists to spark ideas about scientific issues through discussion and artistic intervention.
More details in this article: Resource, Wageningen University, by Roelof Kleis
Performers: Ashi Khan, Hannah Fischer, Maaike Dekker, Iris Mathar
Photos: Cody Healey-Conelly
Many thanks to Ilja Croijmans, Francisco Presas Basalo, Sanne Boesveldt, Els Siebelink, Nicolien Pieterse, Anke de Vrieze, and all anonymous interviewees.