Studio 88 is excited to announce the second edition of the free online Air Tasting workshop with Canadian Swiss artist Alex Grünenfelder, on 25 June and 2 July 2023.
This online workshop will introduce the basic elements of Alex’s Air Tasting method. Air Tasting is a sensory study of atmospheric phenomena and the perception of the air as our shared habitat. The air tasting method demonstrates ways to increase sensory awareness and guides participants in a convivial and site-specific close encounter with the atmosphere. As Alex explains, we live in a delicious world, so let’s come and taste it together!
There are two workshop options you can choose from:
- Sunday 25 June: 6pm CEST (UTC +2, otherwise known as 6pm Paris time!)
- Sunday 2 July: 11am ICT (UTC +7, otherwise known as 11am Chiang Mai time!)
The sessions are for 1.5hr and are held over Zoom.
Participants should be indoors during the discussion components of the workshop, but some workshop activities will be performed individually outdoors, so make sure you can pop out easily!
Email email@example.com to register
There are a very limited number of places – register now (for free) so you don’t miss out!
But what are these workshops all about? We sat down with Alex Grünenfelder to ask him a couple of questions about his unique method.
Studio 88: What got you started with air tasting?
Alex: The Air Tasting project originally grew from an experiment in creative writing. In the early 2000s I was organising a small artist collective called the Garuda Room. Originally it was dedicated to producing the perfect cup of coffee. But it soon expanded its organisational mandate to “the promotion of peaceful enjoyment” (under the fortuitous inspiration of our residential tenancy contract). Activities mainly involved creative writing, music, eating and drinking.
I eventually developed a somewhat detailed ‘pataphysical research methodology that generates an endless series of projects for enhancing peaceful enjoyment, creating a residue of social events and documentation in the process. The idea was to create a pseudoscience that was specifically socially minded and subjective in both its methods and objectives.
Air Tasting was the fourth project developed from this method. The initial prompt was just to spend some time paying attention to olfactory experience and keep a smell journal. Drawing from philosophical phenomenology, meditation practices gleaned in various ashrams, and the holistic wine tasting practices of renowned oenologist Émile Peynaud, Air Tasting gradually evolved into a multisensory investigation of the reciprocal relationship between language and perception.
What was the strangest thing you’ve tasted and where was it?
It occurs to me that encountering the “strange” can be described as an encounter with the unexpected, incongruous, foreign, or misplaced.
I once ordered a polyester knee brace for running. When it arrived and I opened the packaging, it released a very intense scent of petroleum and rubber that immediately transported me to the overseas factory where it had been produced. I think this was the first time I’d received a product that wasn’t scent branded or deodorised. It demonstrated an unexpected honesty and transparency. This was definitely one of my most impressive tasting encounters. The packaging is conveniently resealable, and I’ve kept it so that I can revisit this astonishing smellscape.
Studio 88: What do we need to do (or can we do) to improve the air we breathe?
Alex: I think the first step is to pay attention to it.
Are you curious to find out more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register!
About Alex Grünenfelder
Alex Grünenfelder is a Canadian and Swiss artist studying the human relationship to landscape. His work employs performance, informal pedagogy, and cultural conventions of tasting. Through adapting and transforming historical and present-day landscape-oriented vernacular practices, his projects seek an expanded engagement with place. Current projects focus on the sensory analysis of atmospheric phenomena, and the medical history of the Air Cure and Milk Cure as site-specific climatic therapies. His work has been exhibited in Canada, USA, South Korea, Switzerland and Sweden, and has been recognised with grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Read more about Air Tasting and the Air Reports.