Building Community Ecosystems
An educational and economic infrastructure project about aquaculture and food, which reframes community in localised and holistic ways including more-than-human beings. Bringing together technical and imaginative methods in a situated co-design process focusing on social and climate care


Salmon farming is tied to global and financial systems of industrial food manufacture. Farmed salmon would be grey if fish were not fed a supplement to turn their flesh pink, in line with learned consumer preferences.1Andrew Osborn and James Meikle. ‘Salmon Pink Becomes a Grey Area for EU’. The Guardian, 28 January 2003, sec. UK news <> [accessed 21 November 2023]. This fact about colour symbolises a larger situation of environmental crisis in which human disruptions to biodiversity play out vividly in climate breakdown. Industrialised aquaculture ignores the interdependence of ecosystems and the fact that humans are just another part of this ecosystem, by continuing exploitative activities such as waste dumping and trawler fishing.  


The London-based art duo Cooking Sections took this context as the basis of their project, Climavore: On Tidal Zones, begun in 2015. On Tidal Zones imaginatively intervenes in the local infrastructure of a food supply chain in Skye, Scotland, with the aim of increasing ecological responsibility and supporting the local economy.  

The project combines art, activism, and organising by operating both as an installation with social and educational functions, and as a local economic infrastructure engaging nearby shops and restaurants. At low tide, an installation emerges above the sea that functions as a dining table with tastings of recipes featuring ocean cleaners (climavore foods): seaweeds, oysters, clams, and mussels. At high tide, the installation works as an underwater oyster table. 10 local restaurants participate in the project by removing farmed salmon from their menus and introducing a climavore replacement.  

In these imaginative ways, the project creates a local food economy that engages in both production and consumption, activating social formations centred upon the conviviality of eating. As an intervention into the currently unhealthy intersection of climate breakdown and the globalised food industry, On Tidal Zones combines an artistic, imaginative approach with the grounded economics of supply chains to propose a form of food sovereignty that supports both people and planet.