Most cakes you just eat. This cake you spin. When you do, its tiers and decorations come alive, melting together into a chocolate layer zoetrope, covered in licking flames, gobbling Pac-Men, and cartoon mouths sucking up popping popcorn.
It’s called Melting Pop, and its the latest piece of art from French special effects artist turned food designer Alexandre Dubosc. It uses the pre-film concept of the zoetrope (and its successor, the praxinoscope) to animate a cleverly arrayed series of decorations on the cake’s sides when it is spun fast enough.
“I’m a lover of pre-cinematic techniques like the zoetrope,” explains Dubosc. “In my first career, I worked for a special effects studio, but in recent years, I have taken great pleasure in giving my creations volume.” Namely: animations that people can touch, and even eat. “In my opinion, the best food art reflects the vital reality of food that allows us all to live,” he explains. Melting Pop makes this obsession with both food and eating its subject.
Sadly, Melting Pop is not edible itself, for the perhaps understandable reason that without glues or other fixatives, its animated characters would go flying off when the cake started to spin. But Dubosc does make edible food art, including his Strobeaux Gateau, a simpler series of 10 zoetropic cakes which were displayed at the Salon du Chocolat de Paris earlier this year.
Melting Pop will be on display as part of an exhibition of Dubosc’s work at Saint Herblain’s Maison des Arts in November. Don’t lick off any frosting.