RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS

In conversation with Louisiana van Onna, Serge Stork & Ola Lanko

15/03/21

By looking back at the Acid Salt event two years ago where it all originated, we want to bridge the past, present and future. Three participants back then share their experiences on the event, and how they developed themselves the years after until now.

Louisiana van Onna

How did you experience Acid Salt, and how did it influence your curation for the event?

Acid Salt inspired me to choose the works within one series that suited the best in my mind. The project on show is called ‘We all fell from the sky’ and raises the question if life could be created from meteorite compounds. The series partly takes a very documentary-like photographic turn, but also more imaginative, in which I look for the compounds for the formula to create life. This felt like a good attribute to the event as it dives into chemicals and scientific research. I therefore chose two prints and a video that related to this.

Is there a detail that comes to mind immediately when thinking of Acid Salt?

I associate Acid Salt with imaginative chemical creation. A mixture between fact and fiction. It doesn’t make me think of one detail, but more in an abstract way of a balanced out formula. It makes me think of something that might started in a lab but grew out to something beyond this. A search for interconnectedness between different worlds. I feel like this is something interesting often seen in the art world as well, which is why the name suits so well. We often try to work beyond our discipline, try to inspire others that we do not normally reach. For me personally, that’s to create a connection with science or biology and open up their idea of what their research field looks like as well.

How did your art practice developed in the last two years?

In the end, I think all I have done these past years intertwine. The project on show at the first Acid Salt show for me functioned as a kick-off for my practice, because during this period I found out that I was interested in combining factual scientific research with constructed imaginative photography. I felt like they didn’t need to be separated but could work together to enhance this sense of wonderment. Ever since that project I try to remind myself that this is what’s most important in my photographic work. The past year I’ve been working on a more active approach for a project, which will turn into a campaign. I’m not only trying to raise questions, but work together with scientists to actually change something. It’s related to a disappearing butterfly, I hope that within a few years, fields will be covered with it again. But maybe this is too optimistic, we’ll see.

Serge Stork

How did you experience Acid Salt?

I sincerely enjoyed the experience exhibition. It gave me new perspectives and insights into how people create art and thoughts about Acid Salt’s concept. Sharing my ideas with others during the show while surrounded by the music added value to a very inspiring atmosphere.

Is there a detail that comes to mind immediately when thinking of Acid Salt?

The way I look at and listen to music has grown a lot but has also changed a lot in recent times; how you can still make music with only a few sounds or minimalistic samples has given me new insights. I’ve started to listen more to other types of music that I didn’t listen to before. On top of that, I have also heard and watched many podcasts and talks from artists who did not appeal to or inspire me very much earlier.

Is there a specific colour, texture or chemical component you associate with Acid Salt at first glance?

With the soft colours used in the Instagram posts, I feel contrasting hard and soft, and something new when two elements collide, and something completely different comes out. In terms of musical atmosphere, two songs personally fit with Acid Salt: Zeekasteel by Thessa Torsing and The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania by Identified Patient. The first song is very soft and delicate, while the second song is intense and loud.

Ola Lanko

How did you experience Acid Salt, and how did it influence your creation of the specific ice-cream experience, the sensory background?

For the Acid Salt collaboration, I decided to create something unique beyond gustatory experience and map and position another receptive field we have but perhaps not constantly aware of. I made lemon elderflower and sparkling wares ice cream but spiced it up with fresh Szechuan pepper flower bud. It is also sometimes called an electric daisy; an agent called spilanthol is causing buzzing, tingling and eventually numbing sensation. The plant is known for its medicinal properties and also sometimes called the toothache plant. I wanted to create a complex multi-sensorial experience for people while eating something trivial and familiar. Ice cream is a great medium to help people engage in advanced and experimental experiential transformation without resistance. For me, this playful way to undergo the complexity was an easy-open minded entry point to challenge people’s common understanding and experience something new.

How has your art practise developed in the last two years?

I opened an experimental fine dining restaurant, an omakase room for 8 people called Diptych. Using the format of a restaurant, I designed an immersive experience that explores the potential of creating profound experiences through gastronomy. It was a real adventure full of learning, personal and collective transformations. After two years, I closed as it was time to move on towards new discoveries. At the moment, I focus on my practice and teaching, evoking a productively disruptive change using imagination, critical thinking and intuition. Looking for meaning while addressing a loss of spiritual ecology of practices and symbolic literacy. Fighting against self-deception, self-destruction, nihilism and despair.

Is there a specific colour, texture or chemical component you associate with Acid Salt at first glance?

Crystals and glow.