Lost Horizon Noodle TRUCK
The first Lost Horizon Noodle Truck began as a subversion of the tropes of the service economy. An ephemeral installation in the back of a rented box truck, a working noodle restaurant, and a purposely-uncomfortable social space all rolled into one. Two narrow tables sit facing one another with a galley in between. The chef/artist doles out bowl after bowl of steaming noodle soup, with a brusque affect that inverts the fictitious enthusiasm of restaurants. People perch on chairs placed just a little too close together to prompt physical interaction and a social spark between strangers.
In terms of the performance, the chef is not putting on a show of offering over-the-top hospitality, but offers an exchange among equals. While he freely gives his soup, at the end of each meal, he asks for something to be given freely in return. People can pay with a song, a story, a handmade item, a joke, a firm handshake, a few dollars, or anything they think the experience is worth. This prompts another opportunity to engage, share, and interact with the other participants in the Noodle Truck. Then they exit the back of the truck and return to their life.
The experience provides an alternative model of value and exchange, and asks participants to question assumptions of worth through the simple and direct means of food, interactions with strangers, and the tension that arises from sharing an enclosed space.
Images in this gallery by http://todseelie.com/