On December 2016, Guerilla Science created an immersive banquet inspired by the beauty of biological, chemical, and physical decay. After two nights, it was gone as quickly as it popped up. Below, event producer Sarah Barker discusses some of her favorite things.

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I can remember the moment the idea came into my head vividly. I was sitting in the Guerilla Science office in Brooklyn, staring out the window at the new building under construction across the street, when I suddenly thought ‘Decay’. Everything and everyone is caught in a cycle of decay. It is inescapable, vast, and yet relatable. There are infinite instances of decay in science, and it plays a vital role in many foods and drinks…. so why not put on an experimental banquet to celebrate and investigate decay in all its forms?

Fast forward a few months, and I found myself in an equally memorable moment – standing in a dramatically-lit room, facing 60 diners whom I was about to address at the first of our two night series ‘Decadent Decay’.

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It took a lot to get from the first moment to the second, from inspiration to realization, but looking back on the event, and the experience of putting it all together, I’ve compiled 5 stand-out snippets that go some way to encompass the whole experience:

1. Spending a day setting up #DecayInABox and thinking I’d just be able to leave it to rot on camera for a month…when in reality I had to go back almost every day to reset the live-feed, check batteries on the intevelometer, and make sure the seal was still strong…
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2.  Menu testing and workshopping with the phenomenal Tessa Leibman, including trying my first ‘Century Egg’ (not as bad as I’d feared).
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3. Hanging ghostly material, and stuffing hundreds of candles into painted wine bottles with the inspirational James Fluhr) until 3am on the night before our Friday event.
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4. Overhearing a guest yelp and exclaim ‘oh my god, it’s a real person!’ after they had been standing near one of our incredible painted actors (“human centerpieces”) for a good 5 minutes).
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5. Opening the doors on the Saturday night to welcome a handful of friends and familiar faces, but mostly a room full of excited strangers, who immediately did exactly what I was hoping they would – explore the space with phones in hand, and be amazed.
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And all this was before the first cocktail was poured, and the first course was served.

Decadent Decay was an incredible experience, and a delight to bring to fruition. Thank you so much for your interest in the event, and if you weren’t able to make it in person – I hope to see you at the next Guerilla Science concoction!