Custom Food Lab is a nomadic organisation led by food activists, artists, researchers and community-makers. We are committed to exploring the entangled web of care and support that feeds into the systems of life that in turn feed the planet.
Through our work with artists, academics, scientists, environmentalists and activists, we seek to redefine the terms of institutional imaginaries, creating and commissioning work that addresses the strategies we need for survival beyond times of virus and climate change and into the realities of a new green deal or post climate collapse social orders. We engage communities creatively with food systems, making opportunities for creative change and transformation.
Working mainly from Folkestone, Kent, with a studio in Tisbury, Wiltshire, we began in 2018 as Custom Folkestone C.I.C., a restaurant, garden and art space. From our kitchen we offer a creative catering service, using locally and ethically sourced ingredients to make extraordinary stories and landscapes in food.
Thank you so much for your interest in joining our online discussion about how artists, researchers and creative thinkers might be able to come together in solidarity to rethink the possibilities and necessities for food security in this era of pandemic and climate crisis. We are so excited about the amazing group of people joining us and are looking forward to the possibility of establishing a long-term regenerative research network who can support one another and provide structure for collaboration.
As we told you, at Custom Food Lab, we are particularly interested in exploring the intangible heritages of food cultures, how we think about the way in which migration and changing weather patterns will further change peoples’ relationship to land and food. We have a small pot of funding to host the network, we hope this will be an opportunity to allow new imaginaries to emerge, providing a platform for creative and radical experiments and collective actions. We also want to think about whether different ways of distributing, sharing and digesting food based practices are needed and how this network might support new ideas.
We hope in future the network will host symposia, commission artists and create publications. At this first meeting we will collectively establish a future direction and plan future get-togethers from there.
Here is the information for the introductory meeting:
Everyone attending to present 3-5 mins on their current work/preoccupations (1 hr)
Mapping interests / nodes of research (15 mins)
Discuss strategies of distribution (15 mins)
Speaking to experts / widening our reach / sharing costs of research (20 mins)
Name of network / movement (10 mins)
Next engagement / future strategy (15 mins)
Information for payment of unwaged/freelance artists fee (£75 GBP): We can pay by PayPal (just send us a PayPal payment request) or standard invoice (made out to Custom Food Lab), but if you don’t have a UK bank account, we recommend using Transferwise to avoid transaction charges. You’ll need to set up a free account and open a balance in pounds sterling then invoice us accordingly.