„If you raise HotKarot over your head, it looks like a flambeau“

HotKarot & OpenSauce is an experimental food-hacking concept, created around the idea of veggie alternative to hotdog. The key element here is a cooked carrot stacked into a wholegrain bread roll, this combination being served with a collaboratively created data-based sauce, the so called OpenSauce. The sauce is always technologically mediated, taking an advantage of open source code and a collective power of online crowd. All ingredients of HotKarot & OpenSauce snack are approached as raw data and come from various datasets, such as texts, sounds, colors or even from biodata of living organisms. Cooking and mixing of our sauces then resemble interpretative process that inscribes the sampled data with new meanings. We have already cooked our sauces from tweets, facebook posts, wikipedia entries, our own or „borrowed“ sound compositions, or even from bioelectric resistance of carrots. To find out how do emotions taste, we have also sauced various personal messages, biographies and life stories. Sometimes, we communicate through sauces even within our group, which enables us to share things that would otherwise remain unspoken. We thereby taste our techno-emotional cuisine on ourselves, just as each honest chef should do.

The cornerstone of our work is a presumption that anything can be turned into a sauce – even you. Although our approach to food may look like an absurd dada cuisine at the first glance, we prefer to use the term data cuisine instead. Sometimes, when the borderline suddenly starts to fade out, we simply keep cooking and wait to see what happens next.

The whole HotKarot & OpenSauce project is presented in many different forms: it’s a street food stall, a nomadic kitchen-lab, a HCI interface, a hacktivist intervention, a staged performative piece. Following this strategy, we try to define the possible position of gastronomy within current technoculture, hence to expand discursive limits inscribed in the phenomenon of food consumption. Our idea is to merge the consumption of both food and technologies, and make that hybrid combination somehow beneficial – to you, to us and to the others. Food as well as technological gadgets have a potential to attract public attention. Through their combination we hope to create a playful, but also useful platform that should encourage public interaction. And there are many topics to discuss over the communal high-tech plate: from casual small talks to more serious social issues. Check for example the recent StreetSauce project, which we have created along with the Prague based homeless cooks from Homelike.

Sharing ideas over the carrot snack, swallowing each others stories, sending messages via taste buds – that’s how we contribute to the creation of a „social stomach“, a food-tech interface where savory interactions occur. (And in case you still don’t get it – yes, HotKarot & OpenSauce really IS edible…).

To get clearer idea of what is it all about, check various HotKarot & OpenSauce projects.