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Convivial Tables: Sapid Soil


Several Dates
Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

Visit the individual event pages for more information and how to participate.

Convivial Tables is a hands-on research program contributing to the ongoing discussion on food resources by raising awareness to the potential harm of everyday routines and encouraging an interspecies approach toward the food supply chain that would be regenerative for our ecosystem. For its second edition, The Tidal Garden, a Venice-based research and spatial agency founded in 2020 that explores the edible potential of halophytes as a tool for cultural adaptation to climate change, curates the program with a series of food interventions and public activities.


Cinema GalleggianteFrom the Greek háls, “salt” and phyton, “plant,” halophytes are the typical plants of salt marshes and salty swamps. Part of an environment considered the opposite of emerging land, halophytes are increasingly competing with freshwater crops in the agricultural fields in and around the Venice Lagoon, their physiology allowing them to tolerate the salinity created by rising humidity. By performing an expansion of the sea and the Lagoon that occurs through subterranean phenomena, the salt transported by these tides relocates halophytes into a ubiquitous sapidity, a potentially new terrain for rethinking how we feed on already submerged environments.

Rising humidity and marine aerosols are tidal forms through which the sea and the Lagoon seep, impregnate, transpire, and move by osmosis, expanding and contracting their surrounding inhabitants. Basins of a body of water that is everywhere in varying degrees of salinity, halophytes are a sign of a geography that constantly swings between seabed and islands, aquatic and terrestrial, emerged and submerged. This spatial paradigm challenges the water-land and infertile-fertile binaries through which extractive regimes have governed the Lagoon and legitimized the cultural and ecological erasure of its brackish life-worlds. As the sea level rises, the possibility of cultivating and eating halophytes can potentially resist the politics of dispossession normalized by the myth of unproductivity and allow us to imagine our habitation with a changing climate as the care of an intertidal commons.

The 2023 Convivial Tables cycle “Sapid Soil” insists on the possibilities of food habits and policies to become tools for the emergence and redistribution of amphibious worlds for a past, present, and future still possible to recover. Through culinary events, conversations, and workshops, the program expands on the entanglements between humans and halophytes to materialize the Lagoon into a submerged and briny geography where conservation grounds in ecological and social justice.

The program is organized in two strands that develop in parallel, each centered on performativity and fabulation.

The first strand spans the duration of the cycle with a series of catered events at Ocean Space that present The Tidal Gardens’ ongoing agronomic work with local farmers and institutions. The culinary interventions invite chefs and businesses to explore the edibility of halophytes and saliferous soils by tweaking familiar recipes and integrating unfamiliar tastes with the food we normally eat. Shifting between fabulation and facts, present and future scenarios, each catered event invites participants to speculate on policies that could allow the physical and cultural cultivation, processing, and digestion of a sapid environment.

The second strand contextualizes the purpose of culinary research through side note interventions in the form of a night-time performance walk and a workshop, that serve as broader chapters on the topic of conservation and its policies. Developed by The Tidal Garden with artists and academics, these activities build on the entanglements between humans and Lagoon plants to explore paradigms of care rooted in more-than-human perspectives. By engaging with visual, sound, text, and tactile devices, these events confront the colonial legacy of the Lagoon epistemology and offer participants the tools to practice and cultivate future worlds nested in the present.

The Tidal Garden

1. The use of the capital 'L' when referring to the Lagoon of Venice reflects the ethos of our work. Not only does the capital 'L' indicate a specific geographical place, but also the relationships that make up the Lagoon as an ecological, social, historical and culturally situated entity.


Saturday, May 6 | Culinary intervention, with Marco Bravetti from Tocia! Cucina e Comunità, Ocean Space

Saturday, May 27 | Performance walk, with Gaia Ginevra Giorgi, Treporti

Thursday, June 8 | Culinary intervention, with Gelateria Suso, Ocean Space

Friday, September 1 | Culinary intervention, with Giulia Busato Tocio! Microwild Bakery and Alessio de Bona from Primo Restaurant, Floating Cinema

Saturday, September 30 | Workshop with Veronica Pecile and Culinary intervention, Ocean Space

Saturday, October 14 | Culinary intervention, Ocean Space


“Sapid Soil” is curated by the research agency The Tidal Garden and takes place at Ocean Space, Venice, from May to October 2023 as part of Convivial Tables, TBA21–Academy’s active research program dedicated to the ties between food and ecology and the way these affect bodies of water, led by María Montero Sierra and Barbara Nardacchione with Markus Reymann. This research program is aligned with the principles of regeneration and more-than-human rights promoted by the project Zoöp, which TBA21–Academy is a partner in.

The Tidal Garden

The Tidal Garden is a Venice-based research and spatial agency founded in 2020 that explores the edible potential of halophytes as a tool for cultural adaptation to climate change. Led by Lorenzo Barbasetti di Prun (chef/artist), Filippo Grassi (scientist/researcher), and Lodovica Guarnieri (designer/curator) in collaboration with a network of farmers, chefs and researchers, the project supports the emergence of new eating habits as means of conservation of the Lagoon’s landscape in times of rising sea levels.