[Azolla popcorn at Duplex 2019. Photo: Duplex]
During an exchange program with Slakthusateljéerna in Stockholm in the summer 2018 the Vancouver based artist collective Duplex and Duplex artist Gabi Dao, introduced the idea of using dried Azolla to spice up popcorn. An initial trial indicated that Azolla popcorn could be perfectly edible, even tasty. Within the exhibition “Dog Ear to The Left of the Centerfold” in 2019 the Azolla popcorn were further developed by Duplex and served in a ceramic bowl made by Duplex artist Maya Gauvin. The popcorn were served for the premier of a video showing Azolla floating on a water surface.
[Floating Fern, 2019. Video: Erik Sjödin]
Here is a review of the exhibition in Akimbo.ca. The Azolla related facts in the review might benefit from some clarification: Azolla is not a common or native species in Scandinavia. It has been shown to grow rapidly there in the summers but because of its invasiveness care should be taken to not introduce it in areas where it might spread and disturb existing water ecosystem. It should also be noted that although there are indications that Azolla might be neurotoxic if eaten in large quantities this has not yet been properly researched and is not certain.