Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds (2009) - Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada
Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds at the MIT Museum, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds is an apparatus for cooking a Thanksgiving meal using rocket-triggered lightning. Critical of the American fascination with cutting corners to save time, the notion of a ‘lightning-fast’ dinner to the tradition of erecting a plastic Christmas tree: both present a quick fix to fulfill a social obligation. Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds employs a do-it-yourself amateur aesthetic to recall fragments from American history: Native American totem poles as monuments to kinship, Thanksgiving as an event marking the first meal between indigenous people and European settlers, the wild turkey as a symbol of an American frontier, Ben Franklin’s experiments to harness lightning for ordinary household use, and the controversy over Franklin’s attempts to redirect lightning.