Vapour Meat

Vapour Meat [HP0.3.1] alpha

Devon Ward & Oron Catts

Vapour Meat responds to a growing uneasiness with meat. The negative effects of meat industries have resulted in the rise of veganism, vegetarianism, ethical omnivorism and technological solutions like lab-grown meat, a.k.a. ‘clean meat’. Yet these responses result in an increasing distance between ourselves and the animal Other. Vapour Meat uses this scenario to posit a future in which we reach for the abstract, hypermediated and the technological in lieu of the real.

Vapour Meat is a helmet that emits meat vapours composed of a mixture of lab-grown rat muscle cells, essential oils and water. The result is a speculative prototype that fuses three contemporary trends: molecular gastronomy, lab-grown meat and e-cigarettes.

The work adapts the term “vaporware” and explores its relevance to the lab-grown meat industry. Vaporware—an amalgamation of  “vapor” and “software”—refers to a mythical software product promoted by a start-up company in order to entice funding from investors, but which never comes to fruition. Vapour Meat literalises this concept to satirise the bombastic promises of lab-grown meat companies.

Ultimately, Vapour Meat presents an absurd scenario that intervenes on the present to question our current relations with agricultural farming, lab-grown meat and media. Vapour Meat is concerned with our conflicted desire for flesh, ethics and technological novelty.


Vapour Meat: a helmet to vape the essence of ‘clean meat’ We Make Money Not Art. 17 April 2018.

Fact, Fiction and the Art of Deception Nature. 19 March 2018.

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