Crab Cakes

edible education

Crab Cakes
dessert sculpture

This project was my response to the Crash documentary in relation to its emotional diction. The soothing female narration shifted my attention from the coexistence of the Red Knot bird & the Horseshoe crab to focus more on the miraculous life of the crab. The documentary did not show these unattractive animals in a negative light, but proved how gentle & harmless they were.
This diagram from my sketchbook shows all that rely on & abuse the horseshoe crab. The arrows point to what is being depended on, & while there is much life that the horseshoe crab supports, they do not require much from others. The crab is pulled in various directions for its blood, eggs, & bait.
My final structure felt like collage, because I started with the content & looked for ways to develop form. I embraced the fantasy object that ‘Crash’ made the horseshoe crab out to be & converted it into an consumable celebration that ultimately gets destroyed by its users. The unattractive creature is beautiful because of its use to us, in biomedical research & in supporting other species. The cake is valued from what we can gain from it but also time-based, starting solid & decaying.
The assortment of ingredients demonstrates that different aspects of the horseshoe crab appeal to different users. It resembles a birthday cake, which is fitting for a species that has survived at least 500 million years. In celebrating this animal for its miraculous anatomy, others abuse its abilities & it inevitably becomes disfigured from pulls in multiple directions. In the process the horseshoe crab becomes an inanimate thing & the life we value has no life at all. With humans in control, the horseshoe crab no longer has power over its own life.
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