Empathy Supper.

Empathy Supper “Subliminal Scarcity” Performance  at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (2019), photo by Olivia Kwok

Empathy: the state of being emotionally and cognitively ‘in tune with’ another person, particularly by feeling what their situation is like from the inside, or what it is like for them. Sometimes we feel what it should be like for someone else, for instance by feeling embarrassed for someone making a fool of themselves, although they are unaware of it… empathy is invoked in the suggestion that some aesthetic experiences have us feeling as if we ourselves are part of the object, as when we tense our muscles while we look at a flying buttress.
- Blackburn, S

Empathy Supper “How far can we trust our senses?” trailer video at Sari-Sari e.V  (2020), video by Megalianti 

Food is the most ancient human need. After humans became acquainted with cultivation technology, slowly humans began to abandon their ancient hunting and gathering habits to allow them to settle in an area and build a civilization. In other words, the fulfillment of food needs is the basis of the development of human civilization. Through this awareness, food is more than just fulfilling human biological needs, (perhaps it can be connected to sentences on the web) food, to our knowledge, is a social component facilitating interpersonal interaction, sequences of understanding and react correspondingly to the emotions of others.

Departing from this anxiety, in 2018,  Soydivision then tried to collaborate on food with artistic aesthetics and in a performative form so that eating activities are able to present an experience that stimulates human senses and emotions that is quite personal as well as builds sensitivity with others. We explore various contextual themes such as identity, culture, or religion from the point of view of critical thinking.

We, as a collective, have been concerned with art as a social practice since the beginning. Collaborating with other people is an important part of our work process. We always try to accommodate artists from various disciplines as "focus artists" in empathy supper. This collaboration has a great influence in exploring themes, determining concepts to packaging artistic techniques. However, our goal is the same, namely how empathy becomes an aesthetic experience that can be felt by the audience.

(How It Works…)

Ideally, Empathy Supper involves 20-30 participants. The performance consists of several acts/episodes. In each stage/episode the audience will not only enjoy different food, they will also feel an unconventional, unforeseeable, unrepeatable sensation. Every food has its own story, and every story has its own meaning. Soydivision aims to bring this meaning to the audience by exploring a feeling that binds us all as humans: empathy. We hope that this, through this sense of empathy, can awaken awareness that diversity in humans is something that should be celebrated and as a basis for complementing one another.

Kinetik & audio installation “Insular” at Empathy Supper Centrifuge (2019), photo by Megalianti 

Empathy Supper at Motif featuring focus artist Borghildur Indriðadóttir (2019), video by OQ Utama

Artists and collaborators from 2018-present days:

Ariel Orah, Rizki Rhesa Utama, Jan K, Bilawa respati, Nindya Nareswari, Borghildur Indriðadóttir, Don Aretino, Michelle Lai, Ghaliz Fikhair Hariz, Tommy Herseta, Ossi Motif, Megalianti, Irma Fadhila, Rasmus Stride, Pepe Dayaw.