We want people to be exploring, not comprehensive. People can refer to it as a guides of what to refer to next, to promote exploration, and curiosity.
The project will be shaped by those who get involved in developing tools that allow us to tell stories together, and to tell parts of stories that others will be able to build on, to connect, expand, and transform food into something we feed each other with.
When most people think of a field guides, they probably imagine a kind of catalogue that classifies all of the objects someone might encounter in a particular place. We might rely on the expert knowledge provided in a field guides in order to better understand, for instance, how the many pieces of an ecosystem fit together in a broader whole.
Our field guides aims to catalogue the pieces of a food system, rather like an ecosystem. As such, it deals as much with the subjective knowledge about values, justifications, and reasons as much as it deals with the existence of people, organizations, and social structures. Consequently, this field guides is comprised of multiple and often contradictory expert knowledges, rather than the singular knowledge of scientific classification.
What we’re trying to do is create an infrastructure through which individual users can curate their own food knowledge and place it in conversation with the many other pieces of knowledge in the “field”. Our challenge is to build an infrastructure that is sufficiently broad enough to accommodate an expansive catalogue of knowledge, yet managed tightly enough to expose the places where people’s perspectives differ.
Current priorities have been set by participants with the understanding that priorities (as well as vocabulary and interests) will shift over time—and with the hope that we can find ways to maintain enough threads of continuity between old and new stories, as well as between different sites where people are engaged with Field guides or related work, to provide a view of some of the central themes across space and time.