We could use these predictions to visually interpret taste, in essence use taste like we do paint, and create principles of visual design on what makes “good” taste. For example, we could build an interface that is programmed to create the perfect tasting chocolate for one person. We could program this interface to dispense six bitter pods (let’s say they are blue), three sweet pods (let’s say they are red), four salty pods (green), two umami pods (purple), and no sour pods (which would have been yellow). The result of this interface would be a blue-green image with shadows of red. If, however, we add more sugar pods to adjust this taste, it also adjusts the image, making the end result red with shadows of blue-green. The image is a result of our preferred taste.
Molecular Gastronomy is not new, just like the principles of design are not new. These independent practices have been applied before. What is new however, is the fact that we are now bringing them together, defining these new interactions, giving them a name, and making a place for them. We are specifically creating conditions so new flavors and tastes can emerge from the described interactions. This is very much like my experience with Visual Studies. This summer helped me be at ease with carving out a new career path. The idea of the “road less traveled” is often hyperbolized as a trail completely untouched. A road is never without pockets of activity. Someone has been where you are at least once. It isn’t about starting from scratch or paving this unmarked terrain. It is about connecting to what is already out there in the world. This summer was frustrating at times. In the end I decided to test out most of the experiments on a random idea or whim. What I found out, however, was that each experiment led to a place that provided me with something tangible to work on. This assistantship taught me to be patient and to seek understanding by doing. We are all trying to bring everything together, make sense of it, and have a better, novel understanding of our surroundings. There will be many whims that lead to failures, success, and inspiration. We just have to collect them all, experiment, and go for it.