Besides being one of Antwerp’s iconic landmarks, the “Museum aan de stroom” (MAS) is known as a cultural haven with a focus on collecting the traces of gathering and exchange central to a port city, and the stories through which these are told. Stories about the city, about the world in all its diversity and about the connection and meeting between both.
In 2016 – in honour of the MAS’ 5 year anniversary – a new semi-permanent exposition ‘Antwerp à la Carte’ was set up. Pantopicon was approached to extend the historical overview provided by the exhibition with an outro engaging the audience in reflecting on what the future might bring in terms of the changing relationship between food and the city.
The historical part of the exposition has been curated by the MAS’ in-house curator Leen Beyers and her team. Pantopicon was invited to both curate and create content for an in-expo greenhouse, dedicated to future perspectives. The greenhouse was part of the scenography designed by our friends from FELT.
We started out by imagineering three future worlds: Fractal Commons, Augmentulitaria and Transhumania – featuring both factual and speculative content as a starting point for debate. All three worlds were constructed on the basis of a series of societal, technological and economic trends, of which the interplay raises new questions regarding the future of food production, logistics, trade, consumption, waste etc. in relation to the city.
Each world was then translated into a tangible experience, featuring a selection of speculative design works, an animated cityscape, a series of ‘what if’ questions and a spoken narrative.
Furthermore, two experts were interviewed, Prof. Theo Niewold (professor of Food & Health at the KULeuven’s Faculty of Bioengineering) and Prof. Pablo Tittonell (professor of Farming Systems Ecology at Wagening UR) of which the videos are featured in the exhibition as well.