What’s Eating the Chinese Mitten Crab orchestrated an encounter between visitors to two arts festivals that took place in the summer of 2018 : Bruges Triennial and Beaufort in Zeebrugge. The starting point for Rotor’s project was the massive presence of a non-native species of crab in the Bruges canals and waterways: the Chinese mitten crab or Eriocheir sinensis. In China, this crab is considered a delicacy, but in Europe the creature is colonising the waterways and upsetting the local natural equilibrium. As a response to this disruption, scientists are looking for ways to destroy this crab population and researching forms of coexistence with native animal species. Rotor made this fascinating topic a subject of discussion and experience in the Poortersloge : the artistic collective has installed a ‘natural history’ observatory there, with a wide range of photos, newspaper clippings, artefacts and an aquarium. In the URB SEA café, the pop-up version on the beach in Zeebrugge, a dining room was set up where tasting sessions were regularly held with all sorts of invasive species of plants or animals on the menu, combined with roundtable discussions with researchers and experts.
Rotor (2005, Brussel, BE) is a Brussels architecture collective focused on the cycle of industrial and construction materials. Critic of existing regulatory and cultural standards, Rotor has worked in recent years with architects and decision makers.