Flooded, digital prints, 6' x 9', 4.5' x 6', and 6' x 4', 2017

Flooded pop-up exhibition took place with Honolulu Biennial in Waikiki in March of 2018.

Flooded, a photo essay and multisensory installation exhibited as part of a new initiative of annual programming presented by Honolulu Biennial Foundation. Flooded fuses climate change landscapes with food, and reveals the intimacy between our collective pasts and our possible futures. Inspired by sea level rise and coastal flooding, the work oscillates between the dystopic and utopic, exploring ideas of adaptation, solastalgia, and baseline shifting—how we react to change over time. It is grounded in a conceptual framework of generational amnesia, and speculative visual anthropology. That is, it functions as visible shadows and future artifacts of our changing planet.

Baseline Shifting: This theory, coined by Daniel Pauly in his 1995 paper “Anecdotes and the Shifting Baseline Syndrome of Fisheries,” broadly implies that there is some sort of change through time, but along the way, we set new baselines for evaluating the magnitude of that change. In each generation, or span of time, we only see small change, even if the system as a whole is changing substantially. The change is forgotten, and this leads to collective amnesia of what is normal. Pauly’s theory has largely been applied to ocean ecosystems, but can be expanded to many phenomena occurring due to climate change. Our work adds to the existing interpretations of baseline shifting by helping to visualize these types of elusive environmental change over time.

This collaborative work spans time frames, using food as a medium through which to connect gaps, and reveal similarities, in future and past adaptation. These recipes developed by CC Buckley and Victoria Granof act as future artifacts—a means for people to imagine a sensory future, and the abstract potentialities of climate data and scientific predictions.

Food + ingredient photography by Heami Lee
Art direction + research by Allie Wist
Food by C.C. Buckley
Set design by Rebecca Bartoshesky

Desalinated Water
Oysters with Slippers
Seaweed and Sea Kale Caesar
Jellyfish Salad
Burdock and Dandelion Root Hummus with Sunchoke Chips
Fried Potatoes with Chipotle Mayo and Bonito Flakes
Clam Stock
Mollusk and Broth with Mustard Greens
Whole Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushroom
Carob Agar Pudding

Future Food Lab, Institute for the Future
Bren Smith, Greenwave (seaweed farming)
Billion Oyster Project
Paul Stamets, Fantastic Fungi (mushrooms)
"Wildman" Steve Brill, Wild Edibles (foraging)

Location photography was taken in areas threatened by a rise in sea level, particularly a low-lying wetland town, entirely suspended on stilted structures, in coastal north-eastern Colombia called Nueva Venecia, and the east river of New York City.

Troy, NY + NYC