This year as part of Leeds International Festival, digital artist Maya Chowdhry invites you to a dinner party with a difference

In recent years our collective consciousness has focused more and more on the environment, and the link between the food we eat and the climate crisis has never been stronger. 

What’s Eating Reality? is an augmented feast, in which host and maitre’d Maya orchestrates a very special dinner, using performance and projection mapping to gently immerse you into a new reality – one in which the food you love may be in short supply. With a delicious menu of seasonal, local and reclaimed food, expertly created by artist and chef Helen Russell Brown, watch as the dining table comes alive. 

We’re bringing What’s Eating Reality to Leeds on 7-10th May. Find out more and book tickets here

Get to know more about Maya and her process for creating the augmented reality experience below.  


Maya Chowdhry: So what do artists do all day?

I’m interested in technology as both a material and a form for my work, in how it joins our world together, and can break it apart.

I spend a lot of time peering into my computer screen, sometimes I’m writing code, deciphering its meaning in both terms of the world we live in and the language of this world. Sometimes I’m making an augmented reality piece layering the digital on the real world.

Some days my materials consist of examining the very fabric of life. In the last 3 months I have saved all the seeds from the food I’ve eaten and stored them in jars. Seeds are important to how humans evolved — come to What’s Eating Reality? to find out how,

and why I’m saving seeds.

Technologies are also the processes I use to make my work. So when I’m using augmented reality to make an artwork I look for something in the ‘real’ world that I want to augment, for example, drinking a cup of coffee, and to this I add a digital layer of video, 3d imagery and audio exploring the global production of coffee. Then the audience consumes both the coffee and the digital artwork, and through this the audience has agency to interact (or not) during the experience.

Making work using augmented reality is what has led me from mainly Installation based work to live art. I realised that I wanted to have an intimate and detailed conversation with my audience through art, to learn about those humans in relation to me, and in relation to a subject such as food justice, and to do this it felt critical to be there in person.

So I’m looking forward to welcoming you to ‘What’s Eating Reality?’

Maya Chowdhry