Page Content

Expanded Dining: beyond the plate.

From the grotesque (Bone Dinner 2010) to the sensual (After Dark 2016) to the immersive and performative (Diabolical Roses 2016) the concept of ‘expanded’ clearly articulates Kaye Winwood’s practice, as dining becomes an arena for the unexpected and the unknown extending the definition of its role in both the everyday and in art practice.


Over the last 8 years I have been producing food-related experiences which explore food as an artistic medium, as a visceral and emotive tool to heighten sensory experience. My research is concerned with ways in which art practices, using food and more broadly dining, contribute to new knowledges in gastronomy, performance and visual culture.  I have identified the term Expanded Dining as a way to explore this new genre of food-based practice, specifically engaged with the fields of art and design.  

Expanded Dining refers to experiences that I am identifying as ‘beyond the plate’, defining new possibilities and discourses around the preparation, presentation, consumption and rituals of eating and cooking. Expanded Dining considers the dining table as a stage for performance-based collaborations and as an artistic and curatorial proposition, offering new and unexpected perspectives on how food might be used as an artistic medium.  Within my research there is a particular focus on the sensualised interplay between diner,2food and the environment.3

Diabolical Roses 66 1024X683

Diabolical Roses, produced by Kaye Winwood and Sarah Hamilton Baker, 2016. Photo by Greg Milner.

The term ‘Expanded Dining’ borrows its prefix from Gene Youngblood’s 1970s book ‘Expanded Cinema’ which introduced the term to discuss an “expanded consciousness” around cinematic practices which defined “a process of becoming, man’s ongoing historical drive to manifest his consciousness outside of the mind, in front of his eyes.''4 Youngblood proposed new ways of engaging with the screen through expanded notions of participation, Intermedia theatre and sensory stimulation.5

Works identified as Expanded Cinema often open up questions surrounding the spectator’s construction of time/space relations, activating the spaces of cinema and narrative as well as other contexts of media reception. In doing so it offers an alternative and challenging perspective on filmmaking, visual arts practices and the narratives of social space, everyday life and cultural communication.

It is in reference to Youngblood’s set of ideas, particularly those that redefine audience engagement, that I have respectfully coined the term ‘Expanded Dining’.

Expanded Dining still has ties with the conventions of dining but identifies that when the experience moves beyond the trappings of the everyday meal it becomes a different proposition, one which Youngblood might refer to as ecological.6

[An] Ecology is defined as the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment. Thus the act of creation for the new artist is not so much the invention of new objects as the revelation of previously unrecognized relationships between existing phenomena, both physical and metaphysical.

In this way, I propose that Expanded Dining creates spaces for new psychological relationships between diner, table, food that exist beyond the physicality of the room and the table, and are capable of harnessing existing memories and fostering new experiences.  

India Roper Evans103

Anarchinner, 2011. Barbican Art Gallery, by Companis Food Provocateurs. Photo by India Roper Evans.7

Brd74 Min

Backward Running Dinner, 2017. Photo by Verity Milligan.8

‘Expanded’ [Dining] also considers non-conventional sites for artistic presentations such as cinemas, restaurants and domestic kitchens, and proposes new spaces for research and practice, from the intimate and personal spaces of the body - in particular the mouth and the hand - to the larger physical spaces of the dining room, with the table itself being a space for performance and interaction. It proposes new physical and emotional sites which can be constructed through narrative to create responsive encounters in the diner/participant.

Flatpack Festival 2014 223 Ko Min

A Scintillating Synaesthetic Supper, 2014. Photos by Katja Ogrin.

Flatpack Festival 2014 185 Ko Min

A Scintillating Synaesthetic Supper, 2014. Photos by Katja Ogrin

The genre of Structural filmmaking within the realm of Expanded Cinema explored the anticipated spatial and performative boundaries of projection, activating the spaces between projector and projection, and transforming the role of the audience from spectator to participant, or even collaborator. In this process the audience become complicit in shaping how the artwork is experienced and seen. This complicity is mirrored in my own practice, which relies on the experiencing and consumption of the work – gastronomically, aurally and visually – to succeed. The audience becomes participant, diner and artwork as they physically consume the work itself. This slippage between process, participation and reception is integral to both expanded cinema and dining. The activation of the spectator through “performance situation[s]” can be applied to new modes of performance, which utilize food and sensory encounters as physical and metaphorical material proposed in new modes of (expanded) dining.9

12Jack Min

A Scintillating Synaesthetic Supper, 2014. Photo by Katja Ogrin.

This expanded approach is also referred to by writer Susannah Worth in relation to the ‘recipe’ “as viewed through the framework of artworks that can be read as critical and feminist” where “the kitchen is a stage on which to follow the script” and exploit the ‘performative’ potential of the reader in following and creating the recipe, and their complicity in the completion of the recipe.10 The female voice is explicit within my practice and used to explore female sensuality and sexuality within a largely male gendered world of gastronomy.

Lis Rhodes’ ‘Light Music’ (1975) is a great example of the reframing of the work and therefore the audience. In this work she invited the audience to engage with a dual screen projection coming from opposite sides of the room. The audience is both surface and obstruction for the projection. The engagement of the audience will always be different in this work – standing, posing, dancing, seated – their individual responses altering the work each time. In ‘Dresden Dynamo’ (1971) Rhodes also uses synchronicity of sound and light, of the visual and aural senses, to create a state of immersion. Drawing directly onto the surface of celluloid, right at the very edges of the sprockets, results in a powerful symbiosis where the relationship between vision and sound cannot be separated.11 The symbiosis of the senses and the impact of external stimuli (such as light and sound) can be manipulated to create a more rounded, multisensory audience experience, which is also key to the concept of ‘expanded’ in relation to dining.

Flatpack Festival 2014 193 Ko Min

A Scintillating Synaesthetic Supper, 2014. Photo by Katja Ogrin.

This process-driven approach to Structural filmmaking, and evident in ‘Light Music’, was the inspiration for the development of ‘A Scintillating Synaesthetic Supper’, produced by Companis for Flatpack Film Festival in 2014. OHP projectors were used as plates, their ‘beds’ became projection surfaces where food items, licks, smears and swipes were thrown in a shifting composite image across three walls. This immersive environment had its roots in structural film making whilst also exploring the relational aspects of the meal and the notion of expanded consciousness.

In 1932 the Futurists published their famous cookbook and manifesto - ‘La Cucina Futurista’ - which pioneered multisensory dining.12 They produced immersive art projects that were reliant on food and other sensory stimuli to engage the audience in new ways. Working between the interstices of food, performance and visual language, the Futurists launched an experimental kitchen in Turin – The Holy Palate restaurant – “destined to be the first to develop Futurist cooking”…“where new dishes [would] not just be studied Futuristically but presented to the public”13.

5 Sonic Feast Supersonic Oct12 181 Min

Sonic Feast, 2012. Produced by Companis. Photo by Katja Ogrin.

The Futurists talked of the14

possibility of broadcasting nutritious radio waves. After all, the notion is not so extraordinary. Since the radio can diffuse asphyxiating and sleep-inducing waves…it surely should be able to diffuse some extracts from the best dinners and luncheons.

In ‘Aerofood, tactile, with sounds and smells’ - presented as one of the courses of the first futurist dinner at the Holy Palate - the diner participates in a course of perfumes, music, poetry and eating in a sequential manner whilst simultaneously exploring different textures of fabric which the left hand.15 Surely it cannot be denied that this multisensory approach has had a direct influence on contemporary gastronomy. Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Sound of the Sea’ (2007) for instance uses an ‘edible wave’ in the form of an Mp3 player inserted into a shell and held to the diner’s ear playing the sound of the sea, with a playful seafood dish replete with edible sand and foam. The familiar sound of the sea triggers the diner’s personal seaside memories to heighten the experience of eating – a nostalgic stimulus which unites the physical with the psychological - expanding the dining process and taking the attention away from the plate to a wider set of multisensory references, evoking an emotional relationship to transcend the ingredients alone. Blumenthal commented of ‘Sound of the Sea’ that, ''people started to cry because it just took them back. It was really quite profound to have that effect, and you realise that it just so happened that the combination of what they were hearing, tasting and seeing triggered a memory''.16

Choc Tongues Min

Tonguing as part of Mellifluous, 2016. Edible Body Farm at Barts Pathology, Nuala Clooney and Kaye Winwood.

They did not merely taste the cuisine with their tongues: they had to taste it with their eyes, their noses, their ears, and at times their skin. At the risk of exaggerating, every part of them had to become a tongue.

The Gourmet Club, Jun’Ichiro Tanizaki.17

Notions of Expanded particularly lend themselves to (female) sensuality. Today there are many artists and designers working toward a shared vernacular of experiential dining, which harnesses a heightened sensuality and mutuality between object, body and the edible. Designer Jinhyun Jeon creates tableware as sensorial stimuli. Tactility is paramount in Jeon’s objects, from the moment they are grasped, to the time they near or enter the mouth, the surface is critical to the dining experience. Jeon uses a range of materials chosen for their sensual properties - temperature, texture, weight and feel - and the objects are carefully crafted to incite a sensory experience in the user through their form and tactility which, by its nature changes the way we eat; resulting in a slowed pace which in turn enhances one’s sensory perception.18 Italian designer Giulia Soldati has conceived ‘Contatto’, a new eating experience to remove,19

the objects that create a distance between the body and food such as cutlery and plates. Instead, preparation and consumption focus on the hand, extending taste to the realm of touch. Using the hand as a surface where food is placed, the ‘touches’ (the way the courses are called) are built on this surface of our body, generating choreography and new gestures

As a Curator of food events, I am equally inclined to abandon traditional tableware, and also favour the use of bespoke objects, or the body, as a way to engage the diner in a unique gastronomic experience which requires a less passive mode of eating.

Diabolical Roses 153 Min

Diabolical Roses, produced by Kaye Winwood and Sarah Hamilton Baker, 2016. Photo by Greg Milner.

Diabolical Roses 83 Min

Diabolical Roses, 2016. Photo by Greg Milner.

Img 3137 Min

Bone Dinner, 2010. Produced by Companis. Photo by Chris Keenan.

Entretempo is both research kitchen and gallery based in Berlin, directed by Taina Guedes. It has close links with Berlin’s feminist movements including the Food Feminist Club in Berlin and works predominantly with female chefs to give voice to women and engender a female sensibility.20. Their venue acts as a space for thinking, creating, feeding and eating as well as presenting artwork related to, or using food as a material, and proposes an interdisciplinary form of expanded dining which pays reference to the Intermedia work of the 1970s, as well as the convivial, participatory and relational work of the 1990s and 00s.  

The links between sex and food are blatant - the hand, mouth and eyes have a shared gustatory and tactile sensibility, evoking the shared language of food and sex which offers new modes of oral perception. This orality lends itself to the broader discussion of embodiment – to open and consume – is as pertinent to sex as it is to eating.  The erotic potential of food is evident in much of my work, no more so than in ‘After Dark’ (2016) which provided a safe space for curious diners to participate in a gastronomic experience to stimulate all the senses. The menu was a sensual journey from mouth-watering morsels to the darker pleasures of meat, powders and perfumes, delivered by a team of performers who encouraged, fed and titillated the diners.

More recently I have co-produced a range of bespoke glassware with artist Nuala Clooney developing the above connections between food, intimacy and consumption. ‘Expanded Intimacy’ is an ongoing research project, exploring the interplay between object and body particularly in relation to the sensualisation of food and drink experiences. We are designing objects to engage sensitive areas of the body – the mouth, the tongue, the fingers – which, through handling, generates a unique encounter between body, vessel and contents. One design – ‘Tongue’ – is spherical in form with a deep inverted cone at the top. This hollowed indentation hosts layers of flavours and textures - Bénédictine wine gel, Verjuice, Honey espuma and cotton candy - as well as a beaded glass ladder that climbs up the side of the impression to create a heightened sensory pleasure for curious tongues.21

Dsc 7370 Min

Expanded Intimacy (Tongue),2017 by Nuala Clooney and Kaye Winwood. Photo by Rod Gonzales.

As Festival 2017 224 Min

Expanded Intimacy event (as part of Arts & Science Festival), 2017 by Nuala Clooney and Kaye Winwood. Photo by Greg Milner.

I am currently developing a ‘performance table’. Still in early stages of its design, the table will be modular and interchangeable in construct and provide a sensual space for curious diners. Food and drink menus will be developed simultaneously to achieve a mutuality between taste and experience; and specific surface materials will be used to stimulate the hand, mouth and tongue, and selected for their inherent responsiveness to touch, temperature and pressure.22  

The Expanded Dining term, is being developed through practice-led research and in conversation with Dr Elisa Oliver. This writing is merely a starting point for an exploration of new modes of production, participation and immersion around dining and food; designers and artists using food as a stimulus to harness memories, evoke sensuality and design new experiences.

End Notes

Go to footnote reference 1.

Elisa Oliver in conversation with the author, Jan 2017

Go to footnote reference 2.

It is possible that ‘diner’ can be exchanged with audience and participant depending on the context of the activity.

Go to footnote reference 3.

By environment I am suggesting external implications such as performance/performers, temperature, smell, texture, lighting etc.

Go to footnote reference 4.

 Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema. New York: E.P Duttin & co 1970, preface 41.

Go to footnote reference 5.

Excerpt taken from Tate Modern’s ‘Expanded Cinema: Activating the Space of Reception’ accessed online

Go to footnote reference 6.

Youngblood, 346-51

Go to footnote reference 7.

Anarchidinner was commissioned by Barbican to coincide with the exhibition ‘Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark Pioneers of the Downtown Scene New York, 1970s’. Companis Food Provocateurs was co-founded in 2009 by myself and Sian Tonkin.  It was a provocative company whose intention was to bring people together through food and art events, creating bespoke dining experiences to immerse the diner in a fusion of performance, food and spectacle.

Go to footnote reference 8.

Table landscape created in response to Jim Crace’s ‘The Devil’s Larder, and to reinforce narratives within the menu. Table designed and built in collaboration with fabricator Matthew Moore. Commissioned as part of Birmingham’s Literary Festival.

Go to footnote reference 9.

Carolee Schneeman interviewed by Gene Youngblood, 366.

Go to footnote reference 10.

Susannah Worth, Digesting Recipes: The Art of Culinary Notation . London Zero Books 2015, 4-5.

Go to footnote reference 11.

Lis Rhodes’ Light Music interview for Tate Modern accessed online

Go to footnote reference 12.

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, La Cucina Futurista: The Futurist Cookbook, London Trefoil Publications 1989. (First published in the Turin Gazzetta del Popolo on December 28, 1930).

Go to footnote reference 13.

ibid, 65.

Go to footnote reference 14.

ibid, 67.

Go to footnote reference 15.

ibid, 77.

Go to footnote reference 16.

Heston Blumenthal speaking at New Scientist Live, September 2017 accessed online https://worldoffoodanddrink.wo...

Go to footnote reference 17.

Jun’Ichiro Tanizaki, The Gourmet Club. Kodansha International Ltd 2001.

Go to footnote reference 18.

Further details and examples of Jinhyun Jeon's work can be found at

Go to footnote reference 19.


Go to footnote reference 20.

Author in conversation with Taina Guedes, July 2017.

Go to footnote reference 21.

Culinary cocktails have been developed with Robert Wood, Smultronstalle, Birmingham.

Go to footnote reference 22.

‘Performance Table’ is a working title

Go to footnote reference 23.

New Art West Midlands is the contemporary visual arts network for the region. Creating defining opportunities for West Midlands’ artists and curators. Working collectively to safeguard the future of artists and our sector as a whole.

Kaye Winwood

Kaye Winwood produces immersive food and sensory experiences for curious appetites with a desire to push boundaries. Kaye is a Research Associate at the University of Birmingham and is currently in receipt of a NAWM bursary to support the curatorial development of a multisite presentation of artworks in response to the term ‘Expanded Dining’.[[23]] The ambition of her research and practice is to explore food based experiences as an artform and to contribute to new knowledges in gastronomy, performance and visual culture which propose new modes of interdisciplinarity within dining. This research is contextualised within a history of food-related performance from which she hopes to develop an appropriate performative vernacular to underpin, and expand upon, this genre which proffers a broader set of references expanding beyond Youngblood.