The High-Tech Tastemaker
Emilie Baltz has always had a passion for all things culinary, from junk food to haute cuisine. She wrote her master’s thesis about why Americans eat what they eat, penned a cookbook of snack food-based recipes for the “lowbrow gourmand” and curated extravagant dinner parties that explore how we experience food. But it’s her work at the intersection of food and technology that has earned her awards and accolades. Notable projects have ranged from the world’s first (and only?) musical licking performance to an A.I. chefbot-led cooking show where hopes and fears become ingredients for futurist recipes. For Emilie, food is a deliciously critical medium for creating immersive experiences that push boundaries and inspire curiosity.
What if ice cream were furry? Or popsicles slimy? These are the questions Emilie Baltz asks in her interactive video installation Flavor Factory. Commissioned by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the piece encourages visitors to transform oversize sweet treats into something, well, icky. In Amsterdam, Emilie collaborated with interactive artist Klasien van de Zandschulp to create EAT TECH KITCHEN, in which an A.I. chefbot crafts recipes out of emotions. Her latest work, A Spa for the Senses at Dubai’s Museum of the Future moves away from food, while embracing the other senses, and moves toward movement and human connections. Set in the year 2071, it is an imaginary antidote to our increasingly digital life.