Culture Stew 2019

Hack culture Finland + Taiwan Workshop, VOL1

  • At: Digital Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus & A.N.D.
  • In: October 2019

Cultural mash-up

Finland and Taiwan, countries and cultures 8000 km apart. One with climate in the border of the arctic, the other close the tropics. Finland, big land – few people, Taiwan small island – a lot of people. Finland bordering Big Russia, Taiwan, Big China. Potatoes, bread, and coffee versus rice, tofu, and tea. Heavy metal meets mandopop. Finns “chill” in the sauna, Taiwanese in the hot springs. Many differences – some similarities.

Great! Let’s smash them together!

Hacks, tracks, and recipes

Knowledge emerges and gets transferred in cultural encounters. The Culture Stew is a three-day workshop of learning, mixing, hacking and simmering pieces of Finnish and Taiwanese cultures. The stew is the umbrella concept – it gives us time for our ideas to mature in a slow boil. The Stew also introduces a pair of kitchen appliances well-known in their respective countries. This gives us a bit of technology to play with and hack around alternative energy sources. With tracks, we remix Finnish and Taiwanese sounds. What will it be, Enka tango or Hokkien heavy metal. We shall see. Recipes are the documentation tool. Whether it’s about food, DIY hacking tips, or musical structure, they are all recipes that store the knowledge to be passed on and remixed later

The rice cooker & the porridge warmer

The iconic Tatung rice cooker has eased the Taiwanese families in their kitchen for decades: Scoop in rice and water, flip the cooker on and forget it. Water was brought to boil and then automatically simmered ready. Easy for the busy household. Later various dishes were created for the same device, introducing stackable pots over the cooker enabling different dishes to be prepared at the same time. The Tatung cooker can be still found in most homes, traveling even overseas with the exchange students and workers. With tens of millions of units sold, TV shopping played a major role in Tatung cookers success.

In Finland in the late 1990s new device was introduced to families to ease their cooking. “Aromipesä” ( Finnish for “Aroma Nest”) ads were running on TV-shopping channels. The product was a simple polypropylene container that could fit most of the standard cooking pot sizes. Its insulation properties were excellent and the promise was to both save energy and time by just bringing your food to boil and leave it in the container for maturing without extra energy needed, and keeping it warm several hours, enabling the busy family to prepare their morning porridges in the evening before or keeping food warm for the kids returning from school while the parents were still at work.