A Ritual of Habits

The meanings associated with food often originate with the upper classes who control production before these meanings are passed to the farmers and laborers who grow and produce these foods. Distribution and access to food is not only a matter of satisfying physical needs, but also a display of power and control — especially for goods like sugar that were once considered luxuries. Historically, sugar has been treated as a source of power, health, and strength — much like spices, medicine, and precious stones.

My family embraces sugar as part of our lifestyle, and this significance follows from our family history. For us, sugar remains luxurious, exotic, and integral to many ceremonies despite its widespread availability. Sugar still symbolizes our relationship to Taiwan as a colonized space.

I spent two years cataloging images of everything sweet in my diet using a 3D scanning technique called photogrammetry. Constructing a 3D model through photogrammetry requires images of an object to be captured from all angles, disassembled into parts, then stitched together in digital form. I found that this repetitive, surgical process turns photogrammetry into a ritual, transcending the mindless and impulsive consumption of sugar itself and reconstructing these objects as something new.

Sound design by Matthew Dougherty.

Glitch.io (made possible by Mr. doob)
Digital Archive
3D Printed Sculptures

Chicago Tribune
The Verge

POV Spark‘s PUBLIC UPDATE (American Documentary)
Pioneer Works
A year and a half's worth of sweet diet augmented on a table.

The virtual component allows one to witness the ritualistic process of capturing 3D images from all angles. In the final scene, the viewer is transported to a space where the entire collection unfolds. The objects are displayed on pedestals and mounted on walls as trophies, morphing as the viewer shifts their gaze. At a certain point the viewer loses direct control over what is happening in their field of vision, they are placed inside and outside of these objects, both consuming and being consumed.