Opening date : 9 September 2022 ‑ 5 pm
Opening + publication launch at Sporobole
COOK YOUR WAY (2018)
“Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.” — bell hooks, dans Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance.
Cook Your Way is a game about how immigration systems and capitalist discourses of multiculturalism combine. In the game’s fiction, visa applicants (or players) are instructed by immigration authorities to prepare a typical dish of their country of origin using a cooking station. The system evaluates applicants according to their efficiency and potential to contribute to the destination country’s society. Cooking becomes a standardized test, one step within a longer application process.
Players act through a cooking station alternative controller, a custom-built device with interactive components for different actions, like adding ingredients, stirring a pot or chopping vegetables. Using the system involves performing gestures that resemble actions of food preparation, but recontextualized and filtered through particular lenses. Such actions are closely monitored and should be done as instructed. These prompts are intertwined with questions and comments adapted from actual immigration forms and brochures.
Cook Your Way combines sardonic humor and pointed critique. It highlights the tensions and significance of cultural commodification and the purposeful complexity and alienation involved in immigration systems. Through play, it aims to raise questions and reflections about the multimodal interfaces of control, labor, and the meritocratic narratives that permeate immigration.
Credits & acknowledgement
Game created by Enric Granzotto Llagostera. Videos, photography and documentation graphics by Vjosana Shkurti. Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Modern Jazz Samba” by Kevin MacLeod. Licence: CC BY; Intro music by John Bartmann. I would like to thank a few folks for their ongoing support and various contributions to this project: Carolina Chmielewski Tanaka, Rilla Khaled, Rebecca Goodine, Jess Rowan Marcotte, Dietrich Squinkifer.
Cook Your Way was created in Montréal, QC, Canada, from 2017-2019. It received support from the Hexagram Student Grant and the Reflective Game Design research group at the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre.