Taste Your Soil is a series of activities and programs designed to express that digital space is not a place to escape the real. Rather, both places – digital and real – stand and act in direct and inseparable connection to each other. Moreover, the project displays the expansion of Ars Electronica’s cultural mission itself: technology needs to be deployed in a sustainable, connective and responsible way. This is especially true of the relationship between humans and nature. The radical changes in nature force us to act and engage in environmentally compatible transformation processes. This dimension is now of the utmost importance to art, society, technology and science. Taste Your Soil stands for the objective to make the digital an immanent part of our cultural identity, but it also seeks the restoration of our lost cultural awareness towards the earth.
The project finds its logical position in the “New Digital Deal” insofar as “the digital” must also be part of any “Green Deal.” The approach is reflected in many program points and started with the relocation of the festival from PostCity to the parks of Johannes Kepler University. Also, the new concept of “garden” introduced the previous year bears witness to this: as a universal cultural metaphor, it symbolizes the fundamental relationship between humans and nature. With local hosts, organic staple foods from the region and “earth” as a thematic inspiration for cooks, the theme even extends into the festival’s basic supply structure. On Saturday, BIO AUSTRIA gathers local organic farmers at the festival market day. Furthermore, the entire partner network participates in Taste Your Soil. The partner gardens will each send us a photo of tasting the soil from their own garden along with a video trying to describe the flavor. In Taiwan, top chefs will also be using soil to cook with; in Chile, the “Cooking for Freedom” project, organized by “La Fabulosa República de la Montaña,” will be dedicated to the pandemic situation in the Andes; and in Russia, ITMO University will be taking a critical look at the issue in the “Grounding” exhibition. Of course, during the festival there will also be contributions to *Taste Your Soil* in Kepler’s Gardens in the form of artistic projects and interventions, botanical excursions, workshops and much more. Foremost among these is artist masharu’s ”Museum of Edible Earth,” our inspirational starting point for this series of projects.