Taste Tests

Taste tests is a participatory event taking place in a private apartment. A series of stations of a 'taste parcours' are installed directly in an apartment - in the living room, kitchen, bedroom and even the bathroom. At each station guests are invited to attempt to tell the difference between different ‘aspects’ of consumer goods. Visitors put a couple of Euros into a hat, and the person with the most right answers wins the jackpot after all answers are collected.

The first test, and the heart of the event, are variations of the same cake - one made with high-end organic, one with standard organic, and a third with the cheapest ingredients found. In the bedroom they hear audio recordings of different shop assistants selling the light bulb used in the room; can they tell the difference between the building-supplies store or the electronic goods store? In the living room they are presented with various stories to explain the origins of the beautiful Persian rug - did the apartment owner buy it online, or inherit it by way of a customs error when a family member shipped it? They are also invited to judge the T-shirt the artist is wearing during the event; is it from a 'fast fashion' store, or organic and fair trade? The coffee table station invites them to listen to recordings from various coffee companies' call centre hotlines; can you tell from the recorded voicemail messages which one is from the large corporation, and which is the small, independent company? If they need to visit the bathroom, they will be presented with three choices for their toilet paper, and should decide which is the 'best'.

The project attempts to straddle both genuinely asking visitors to use their sense to judge things, while making little sense of the perceived differences between consumer goods. Installing the goods directly into the apartment, and involving personal stories of both the host and the artist themselves, also adds an element of interpersonal judgement into the project.