By Vatsala Mamgain Aug. 02, 2016
When I think of all those years of wasted opportunity – years that photography has existed but no one thought to photograph every morsel they put into their mouths! What a loss.
am in a serious, wholly committed, monogamous relationship with food. So, understandably, I am in a lather of excitement about the news. Apparently scientists are working on ways that we can eat Instagram pictures. It’s the boldest approach yet to solving world hunger – there are so many shots of food online that even if only the really photogenic ones made it (not your recently uploaded ones of the cheese toasties with the ketchup smiley), the calorific needs of seven billion people would be met for the next millennium.
Keep that in mind the next time you get pissed with someone for leaping up to photograph their bowl of cereal. While you are sitting around slack-jawed eating chips, they are doing their bit for humanity. By regularly brandishing their mobile phones over plates of food with the fierceness and intensity of a vampire hunter holding a crucifix, they could be exorcising world hunger. Think about it – by posting online the slowly congealing but still artful “bowl of chocos”, they are not just alleviating the suspense of what they had for breakfast (which you have to admit has been killing all of us,) but they could also have been feeding some hungry as yet unborn orphans at the same time.
To the bold pioneering tribe of those who tweet before they eat their food, I have only unalloyed admiration for your dedication to your craft. To you, I say, shine on you crazy diamond. Ignore those who suggest that maybe food is best eaten fresh, that carrying halogen lamps, flash diffusers, memory cards, and custom aperture adapters with you everywhere to photograph your bowl of instant noodles is a little excessive, that ordering dishes based on attractiveness on the plate rather than the palate is annoyingly pretentious and why don’t you sit down and EAT YOUR BLOODY FOOD, YOU TOSSER??? Let the carping of these ignorant souls flow off of you like frosting off the cake you just posted (loved loved loved the filter you used btw, inbox me details!)
Sometimes when I think of all those years and years of wasted opportunity – all the years that photography had been invented but no one thought to photograph every morsel they put into their mouths! What a loss for world awareness – how did we live before indoor plumbing and before we knew what every single person in the world was eating for every single meal, I will never know.
You will be mocked and jeered at and many people may throw what seem to be large boulders in the direction of your head, when they see you advance with your camera.
Artists have, of course, always known where the future of humanity lies even though science and technology invariably take centuries to catch up. The long and glorious artistic tradition that encompasses Paul Cézanne who painted his breakfast apples in a million arrangements, and Van Gogh who desisted juicing lemons for his margarita long enough to paint them, to Andy Warhol who immortalised his light soup supper – this is now your legacy to carry forward. So please do take all the time in the world to arrange the beer in exactly the right configuration with the pizza, and if there isn’t a butcher block table on which to place it for maximum inauthentic rusticity, well, please raise hell. You would not be living up to your own standards of artistic integrity if you said, “Oh bollocks, let me just drink the beer while it’s cold and eat the pizza while it is melty,” – the world will live without another food photo. Because it won’t.
You will suffer for your art, I won’t mince my words. You will be mocked and jeered at and many people may throw what seem to be large boulders in the direction of your head, when they see you advance with your camera. One day, when you are long gone, your children will rummage through your attic and they will have a perfect record of every food phase you went through, even if they might have no idea what you looked like and who your homies were at that stage. But stick with it – one day, scientists WILL come up with a way to eat pictures and think of the poor sod who will get to eat the pizza you could have eaten and the beer you could have drunk and how happy it will make him.
That’s a life well lived.
PS: Here’s something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Apparently on Instagram, the hashtag food porn has been used over 68 million times. Does that mean that on 68 million occasions people have been er… pleasuring themselves looking at pictures of artfully arranged kale chips, fried eggs sunny side up, and strips of bacon on the side?
Now, of course, it all begins to make sense – when people are tweeting instead of eating their food, it’s maybe an appetite of a totally different nature they’re satisfying. Hmmmmmm. There’s a case for a 50 Shades of Grape right here. Publishers, take a ticket and stand in line with the advance please.