Did you hear about the plant restaurant that opened in Sacramento. No, not a restaurant that serves plants; it's a restaurant that serves plants. Get it? As in they cater to plants. Plants are the customers. Plants are the diners. Yes, it's the world's first photosynthetic restaurant.
Okay, fine, it's an art installation at the Crocker Art Museum by Jonathon Keats, a Wired Magazine columnist who the publication described as an “experimental philosopher.” The article further explains why he's decided to open a restaurant that “serves gourmet sunlight to plants” and it's all a tongue-in-cheek critique of our food-obsessed culture. He tells the magazine:
“There has always been an erotic quality to fine dining, but gawking at footage of luscious chocolate cakes served up on television is biologically perverse. The patent artificiality of the situation only adds to its appeal, because the experience is one of unequivocal fantasy, which is of course the trick of pornography. But gourmet cuisine, while perverse in its own right, is often counterproductive in terms of basic nutrition, much as eroticism is often counterproductive in terms of sexual reproduction.”
I admit: the finger wagger does have a point, and the more he expounds his message, the funnier he gets.
“I tried it out on my plants at home, and as far as I can tell, they responded well to my delectable mixtures of orange, violet and yellow, although I can't be certain. Cuisine is a form of communication, and mine won't be complete until plants evolve a mechanism for food criticism.”
The question that remains is why it seems only Wired gets the joke. Sites like The Bay Citizen seem to be reporting it only matter-of-factly, missing the nudge-nudge-wink-wink nature of the exhibit.