Freedom from
New Caeserea

What is, or is not, ephemeral


Design with food / Washington, DC / May 2007

“In an age in which permanence requires being uploaded, digitized and exiled to microfiche, things that are considered ephemeral take on added significance. Of course, the very question of what is, or is not, ephemeral is itself something of an oxymoron: technically speaking, if you save something, how can it be ephemeral? Clearly, an abbreviated life adds to an object's essential allure, and it is probable that this very fragility reminds us, in no small way, of our own mortality. Something meant to inhabit this world briefly — a ticket stub, a butterfly wing, a cookie — will inevitably decompose before we know it. Does an intervention to extend its life render us heroic, or just mildly delusional? Making design out of something ephemeral raises this proposition to an entirely new level: on the one hand, you could easily liken such behavior to, say, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And on the other?

Welcome to the world of foodistry: design with food.”

~ Jessica Helfand (Reflections on the Ephemeral World, Part Two: Food)


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