Theme Exhibition

The Museum of Edible Earth

masharu (RU/NL)

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Linz, In Kepler's Gardens

Geophagy is the scientific name for the practice of eating earth and earth-like substances such as clay and chalk. Eating earth is an ancient practice and is an integral part of many cultures across the world. The Museum of Edible Earth is a cross-disciplinary project with a core collection of earth samples which are eaten for various reasons by different people across the globe. It invites the audience to physically question our relationship to the environment and the Earth and to review our knowledge about food and cultural traditions using creative thinking. The Museum of Edible Earth addresses the following questions: What stands behind earth-eating traditions? Where does the edible earth come from? What are the possible benefits and dangers of eating earth? What engagement are we as humans establishing with our environment and non-humans? The Museum of Edible Earth has more than 400 edible earth samples, mostly clay, such as kaolin and bentonite as well as chalk, limestone, volcanic rock, diatomaceous earth, and topsoil. The materials originate from 34 countries. Alongside the earth collection, the Museum of Edible Earth includes graphic design materials, photography and video works, online edible earth interactive database, installations and performances. It fosters collaborations with scientists, artists, designers, researchers and cultural communities. The Museum of Edible Earth contributes to the cross-fertilization between science and art. There is scientific research on geophagy among both animals and humans. Papers about it are published in journals on anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, chemistry and biology. The Museum of Edible Earth is a mobile museum. Its presentations are mixed-media and participatory, often involving earth tastings, workshops, discussions, and screenings. Disclaimer: Eating earth is not recommended by food authorities and is at your own risk.


Founder: masharu
Project management: Sasa Hara, Irene Kobalchuk
Photo and video: masharu, Ielyj Ivgi, Jester van Schuylenburch and Anna Zamanipoor,
Anton Melles, Dave Soerjaman, Ielyj Ivgi, Jester van Schuylenburch, Koen de Boer, Mila Blok,
Rodney Tang, Jhalisa Rhens and Luuk Van Veen.
Graphic design: Olga Ganzha, Anna Zamanipoor, Dinesh Basnet, Rodney Tang and Dave Soerjaman
Web design: Raphaël Pia, Andrew Revinsky and William Ageneau
Product design: Basse Stittgen

This project is presented in the framework of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.