May We Share a Meal Once Again


May We Share a Meal Once Again is an experiment in virtual commensality based on crowdsourcing videos of meals made in confinement all over the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. Video frames recorded by dozens of friends are converted into 3D models so that we can share a meal once again.

As governments around the world enforce social distancing rules, people draw upon virtual networks to mitigate the effects of increasingly restricted borders. Intimate networks form quickly and transport us into the homes of friends and strangers, sharing their know-how and synthesizing new creations from their kitchens. Isolated households use homemade food to evoke comfort and distant memories of home. These meals are ephemeral by definition, and the experience of quarantined life fades away as populations slowly return to a less confined life.
New tools and participatory processes can help us preserve this sudden paradigm shift. I ask friends to record videos of meals they cook, moving their phones “as if they were painting every detail.” Frames extracted from these videos are used to build a series of 3D food calculated through photogrammetry, a 3D reconstruction technique that creates models by stitching 2D images together. This project takes advantage of photogrammetry’s aggregated perspective and relative accessibility. The resulting 3D archive of food can be displayed using augmented reality platforms on mobile devices shared via links.