Your Tongue Here (Or Not): On Imagining Whether To Take a Bite (Or Not)


  • Sue Spaid



Attention, Disgust, Deception, Exhibition, Emotion, Imagination


Inspired by recent visits to the Disgusting Food Museum (DFM) in Mälmo, SE and “FOOD: Bigger than Your Plate” (2019) at the Victoria & Albert in London, UK, this article explores the saliency of “disgust” given its role in the “attention economy,” hipster allure and emotional encoding. Initially appalled by the DFM’s demonizing national delicacies as disgusting, the author soon realised that doing so has a “silver lining” in terms of attention. One aspect that remains under-explored is the connection between imagination and attention. The relationship between taste and disgust grants us a vehicle for working this out, since human beings are wired for disgust, yet what disgusts is learnt. Unlike basic emotions for which we have salience and/or memories, we deploy our imagination to anticipate disgust. To defeat disgust’s alarmist ploys, “food adventurers” must block their imagination. “Disgusting food” not only grabs people’s attention, but it tends to deceive.


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How to Cite

Spaid, S. (2023). Your Tongue Here (Or Not): On Imagining Whether To Take a Bite (Or Not). The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, 32(65).