Water Soil Discontent with

水土Water/Soil Discontent不服, was a night of peristaltic undulations in ceremony of gut decolonization. Offerings included a fermented dinner menu by Julian Stadon, stratified pastries by Ethan Kan, and a performance by Hsurae, and it took place at Torn Space Theater, Buffalo, NY  for one night only, Friday May 6 2022. 

水土Water/Soil Discontent不服 is a performative installation offering multimodal readings on the microbiopolitics of the movement of bodies across lands. The title of the performance takes the phenomenon of 水土不服 (water soil discontent) as a site of reinspection. 水土不服is an umbrella term in Chinese medicine and households for a myriad of ailments encountered when traveling to a foreign land. Taking recent scientific studies on gut microbiome colonization among immigrants as a starting point, the project journeys backwards to interweave narratives and materials from Traditional Chinese Medicine and household remedies as an attempt to cut across coloniality, both in the gut and in systems of knowledge. Human and nonhuman fecal matter figures into the work as material in both eastern and western medicine, but also as an anti-aesthetic, a spatial operator delimiting the illusory boundaries of a contained self. 

Chef: Julian Stadon / TeleAgriCulture

Pre-dinner drink: Aamazake
App: Fermented bean curd cream on nato crackers
Course 1: Stinky tofu with fermented cabbage
Course 2: Douchi-woodear/morels wontons
Post dinner tea: Puer and health broth kombucha

Chef: Ethan Kan
Air: High mountain tea foam
Foliage: Crystalized sesame leaf
Fruit: Jujube cake
Palette cleanser: Mycobacterium Vaccae forest soil
Soil: Activated charcoal mud wafer
Root: Ginseng cream tart
Microbes: Fermented glutinous rice jelly