The Berlage

Thesis
—15:00

Salmon: A Red Herring

Cooking Sections

In the context of the forthcoming Berlage thesis project on architecture’s relation to the food industry, we invited experts on the food industry to present their work in a series of public guest lectures. During this iteration, Cooking Sections will present their most recent project Salmon: A Red Herring exploring the deceptive reality of salmon as a colour and as a fish.

Salmon is usually thought of as pink. The colour is even called “salmon pink.” However, farmed salmon today would be grey. To make them the expected colour, synthetic pigments are added to their feed. Salmon are farmed in open nets, whose runoff has a severe impact on wild salmon populations, as well as on the seabed of the west coast of Scotland at large. Salmon is the colour of a wild fish which is neither wild, nor fish, nor even salmon. The changing colours of species around the planet are warning signs of an environmental crisis. Many of these alterations result from humans and animals ingesting and absorbing synthetic substances. Changes in flesh, scales, feathers, skin, leaves or wings give us clues to environmental and metabolic transformations around us and inside us. Continuing our work on the Isle of Skye, Salmon: A Red Herring questions what colours we expect in our ‘natural’ environment. It asks us to examine how our perception of colour is changing as much as we are changing the planet.

Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) is a duo of spatial practitioners established in London in 2013. They explore the systems that organise the world through food. Using installation and performance, their research-based practice explores the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture, ecology, and geopolitics.