The Anthropocene Cookbook
Recipes and Opportunities for Future Catastrophes
More than sixty speculative art and design projects explore how art, food, and creative thinking can prepare us for future catastrophes.
In the age of the Anthropocene—an era characterized by human-caused climate disaster—catastrophes and dystopias loom. The Anthropocene Cookbook takes our planetary state of emergency as an opportunity to seize the moment to imagine constructive change and new ideas. How can we survive in an age of constant environmental crises? How can we thrive? The Anthropocene Cookbook answers these questions by presenting a series of investigative art and design projects that explore how art, food, and creative thinking can prepare us for future catastrophes. This cookbook of ideas rethinks our eating habits and traditions, challenges our food taboos, and proposes new recipes for humanity's survival.
These more than sixty projects propose new ways to think and make food, offering tools for creative action rather than traditional recipes. They imagine modifying the human body to digest cellulose, turning plastic into food, tasting smog, extracting spices and medicines from sewage, and growing meat in the lab. They investigate provocative possibilities: What if we made cheese using human bacteria, enabled human photosynthesis through symbiosis with algae, and brought back extinct species in order to eat them? The projects are diverse in their creative approaches and their agendas—multilayered, multifaceted, hybrid, and cross-pollinated. The Anthropocene Cookbook offers a survival guide for a future gone rogue, a road map to our edible futures.
"Through thought-provoking projects and commentary, Cerpina and Stenslie encourage us to think and reflect in order to spark our collective imagination. Together, they envision possibilities for our edible future and beyond!"
Stephanie Tharp, Professor, University of Michigan; coauthor of Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things
“The Anthropocene Cookbook is not your typical recipe book. It is more important than that. It is a cookbook for the imagination, containing recipes that remind us how to imagine, speculate, dream — and see the world otherwise.”
Julian Bleecker, Founder, Near Future Laboratory; Chief Executive Officer, OMATA
“Around the table is the right place to think about our future, and adapting to the Anthropocene requires the creativity of the kitchen. This recipe book is a must-have for people willing to experiment with radical ideas through cooking.”
Matteo Vignoli, Assistant Professor, University of Bologna; Founder, Future Food Institute
By turns enlightening and profound, difficult and preposterous, Cerpina and Stenslie's account is an impassioned call for 'visionary thinking' and dismantling food taboos. Climate-concerned cooks with an open mind will find much to chew on in this surprising culinary tour.
“The Anthropocene Cookbook: Recipes and Opportunities for Future Catastrophes is a witty, incisive and inquisitive look at the survival of humanity, the future of pleasure and that irresistible urge we have to change everything around us in order to prosper.”
We Make Money Not Art blog
“If you are looking for solutions to the great problems of mankind, you will probably not expect them to be found in a cookbook. But that is exactly what The Anthropocene Cookbook wants: to provide answers to the question of how humans can deal with impending catastrophes such as food shortages and the loss of species.”