“It’s not a summer without it!” says an advertisement from the 1930s. Over hundred years, popsicles have become cultural icons. They refresh us, make us smile, and help us enjoy memorable moments with each other. Today, we need them more than ever—not only to cool down but also to remember what we can individually do to endure the heat waves in urban areas.
“Fruits of Matadero” is a concept about growing popsicles in public space to develop new forms of cooling rituals with friends and families under an oasis of palm trees. “When it is hot in July, we gather under the canopy, eat our popsicles and think about the Paris Agreement,” will say one young climate advocate, enjoying their “red” popsicle.
Matadero’s fruits have special probiotic ingredients that come in three flavors that match the pledges made during COP21, the Paris Agreement: the current (2.7-3.7°), the promised (1.5-2C°), and the anticipated (>4C°), corresponding to the degrees of weather change in the coming decades. The flavors of the popsicles will change every year and adapt to new wishes. As it is hard to grow all kinds of fruit trees in Matadero, we use robotic bioreactors that make the flavors, proteins, and nutrients with microorganisms. These popsicle makers live on the palm trees, ferment the organisms, charge themselves with, the sun and come down to deliver their frozen fruits when someone pays them with their phone—like a vending machine. When their flavors are finished, the popsicle sticks reveal one actionable item that remind us what to do to adapt to climate change, leaving behind a collectible item.
The oasis of palm trees can change their design from neighborhood to neighborhood in Madrid; include local plants, seating, and sheltering elements to make it worth spending time under the sun, hopefully, for much longer…
“Fruits of Matadero” (2019) Orkan Telhan.
Kinetic bioreactor (designed by Biorealize, Inc.), artificial palm tree, modified McCaw parrot (by Hasbro, Inc.), sample probiotic popsicles, and visual documentation.
”Fruits of Matadero” is a public commission by Matadero Madrid. The concept is featured as part of the Cyborg Garden and the “Ecovisionaries: Art for a Planet in a State of Emergency” exhibitions curated by the Mutant Institute of Environmental Narratives.