Cricket Coop is a multidisciplinary artistic and community-oriented gastronomical project by artist Rodrigo Guzmán de San Martin (RSM) that aims to aestheticize and normalize the use of insects for human consumption. While insects are high in protein and micronutrients and thrive on minimal feed, people generally view them as disgusting, a food of last resort. Through creating an attractive and affordable domestic method to raise crickets, Cricket Coop aims to ‘rebrand’ insects as a desirable ingredient in their own right.
Cricket Coop consists of the primary product – an open-source ‘coop’ to rear crickets that utilizes their chirping as an aesthetic element — with accompanying community dinners, collaborative artistic coop design exhibitions, a teaching curriculum for middle school students, and a cookbook.
The project is being developed in collaboration with Art In FLUX, a local arts organization lead by Leanne Stella that creates opportunities for artists that live and work in Harlem, NY. Through Art In FLUX Rodrigo intend to create community events, collaborations with local schools, restaurateurs and other key leaders in the Harlem community, as well as organizing exhibitions to promote the use of crickets as a legitimate source of protein and a viable option to ensure food security.
This project appealed to the AwesomeNYC trustees for both initiating a dialog about sustainability and food security as well as the questions it raises about the role of living creatures in our lives, as pets and as food. In speaking with Rodrigo, we learned about his desire to delve into questions of the home and domesticity as well as community and food and we're looking forward to seeing how all of these elements come together in this project.
Funded by New York City, NY (March 2015)