Bobbi Salvör Menuez

*an excerpt from a work in process

*messy world original content
“CHEESECAKE TWISTER,” was published in Active Cultures’ Digest, Issue 11, April 2022 (edited by quori theodor).

Images: Screengrabs from MessyWorld videos. Retrieved from

Screengrab from VHS tape recording of Slime Time Live on Nickolodeon. Courtesy of Kayla Ephros. 


Bobbi Salvör Menuez is an transdisciplinary artist and actor, born (‘93) and raised on Lenape Land (colonially, NYC). 

A thick, sticky, messy substance, goo, gunk, soft, sticky mass, slime or gunge
Something that oozes, leaks and slides. It can be many things

When I was a child I was an extremely picky and particular eater.
My primary concern in deciding what I allowed into my mouth was texture.
Maybe it was more about control and a sense of autonomy, but in any case
I peeled the skin off of my hot dogs, and used my incisors to peel apples.
I had nightmares about peas, but downed a tablespoon of raw cod liver oil daily.

Born in ‘93, my childhood was marked by the iconic green slime of nickelodeon ~ the original recipe for which (according to Double Dare host, Marc Summers) started as vanilla pudding, apple sauce, green food coloring, and a little bit of oatmeal.

I always found the idea of getting slimed (or gunged, as they say in england) highly appealing. Despite the way the amorphous material towed a line of repulsion, I found it delightful in its defacing role.

*kids awaiting sliming on Nickelodeon

Do the sensory joys of food need to be contained to the mouth?

There is a youtube video I like, you may have seen, it’s called “Sister Covers Baby Brother in Peanut Butter.” In it you see two small children sitting on a table. The older sister (approx 4), with her hands covered in peanut butter, smiles in a big t-shirt looking at her younger brother (approx 2) coated head to toe, as you might’ve guessed, in peanut butter. Their mother films, asking them about what they have done, and she asks the condiment-doused infant with a laugh:

“Does it feel good?”
To which he gives a quick and confident single nod of the head:

On the edge of edibility

At my pre-k the teachers knew the kids ate their playdough regularly, and I suppose none of my classmates had a peanut allergy, since they decided to switch to having us play with peanut butter at our brown paper covered tables. We each got a hunk to mold and play with and then were told to throw it in the large garbage in the corner afterwards. I remember quietly staying above the bin, eating my handled nutty hunk in private, staring longingly at the discarded pieces, perhaps even digging in for more. I knew this food item turned play thing was no longer designated for eating. But I liked both to do non-eating activities with food items as well as taste items on the edge of edibility.

I was a scrappy kid, and remember attempting to enjoy what I thought was an old wad of ABC* gum, dried onthe stone of the library stairs, realizing as I spat the strange thing out, that perhaps it had not been gum, but bird feces.

*already been chewed

Eat it or wear it

Burping the alphabet, spraying colored sour candy spray into my eyes, crying blue and green by the yard at out-to-lunch. These were things I liked to do with my body as a child. And these interests have grown up with me. My desire to play with my food and make a mess remains. And my social feeds include content-making accounts for like-minded adults. Following my curiosity, I spoke to the world’s #1 wet & messy website; (original gunge content producers with thousands of subscribers, including me) about what they do and how they eat:

bobbi: What makes MessyWorld the world's #1 wet & messy website?
MessyWorld: I suppose our ratings would make this but our diversity and uniqueness I think also makes us no.1.

b: Why do people love gunge?
MW: That would be a question for our subscribers I guess. Whether it is slapstick, comedy or escapism, gunge has become a nostalgic way to entertain. It’s light-hearted and doesn’t need any thought or attention, perfect for watching after a long hard week in the office.

b: What are the best things to gunge someone with and why? MW: We use Natrosol and MS-gunge from MessySupplies. The reason for this is their ease of mixing in the studio but also their safety, cleanliness and environmental benefits. They also provide bold, vivid colors which look great on screen under studio lighting.

b: What's more fun, Gunging or getting gunged?
MW: That would depend who you were asking, from our point of view, we would say guinging other people. But then, we have been gunged so many times I guess we would say that by now.

b: I know you began NYE 2008, how did Messy World start?
MW: MessyWorld began following a radio competition in the UK called Showered with Cash in 2005. We had requests to sell the videos and eventually we made some more. We didn't have any knowledge of the wet and messy industry before then or how dedicated its fans were. The website was only ever meant to be temporary (6 months max).

b: Can you talk about production scale? How many members are there?
MW: Without giving exact numbers, we get tens of thousands of subscribers coming through, right across the globe. Figures are rising each year.

b: How do you find your models? & how lucrative is the business of making a mess?
MW: Models are mostly professional performers or actors although many people message us to ask to be a model, in which some of them go on to do so.

b: How do you develop new video ideas and contraptions? & what would you say has been your most over the top set up and why?
MW: Many of our contraptions are based on former TV shows but brought into the 21st century and made more messy. We do create our own unique ideas as well, usually with a pen and paper in the grounds of our offices in the sunshine and a beer. The Plunga! and The MessyWorld eXpress are probably the most extreme contraptions so far, however the Leak in the Office set was very messy with all its booby traps going on.

b: How would you categorize the content you make?
MW: Officially, 'light entertainment' but it is clear there is a fetish edge to the material.

b: Can gunging be art?
MW: Often by accident.

b: Can gunging be culinary?
MW: We wouldn’t recommend it.

b: What did you eat today? What kind of food does the MessyWorld team like to eat on set?
MW: There are usually snacks scattered around the dressing rooms for the models and performers. The production crew can often be seen taking delivery at the studios of Pizza’s or takeaways after filming (something that inspired an Apartment 19 sketch) or heading off to a nearby pub for post-production drinks.

b: What is the future of MessyWorld?
MW: Anybody’s guess is the most accurate answer. MessyWorld is very fluid and is constantly changing. We have a 2 series policy, in that we only allow 2 series of any particular game/show (PhoneTrap, Apartment 19 etc) so our content never gets stale and we are always bringing in new contestants and performers to keep things fresh.

*Screengrab from original MessyWorld content.

  • Mixing Vessel (bucket, bowl, pit etc)
  • Mixing Tools (long spoon, whisk, stick, paint mixer, immersion blender, etc)
  • Splash Zone (somewhere that can get messy, consider a tarp, etc)

  • Thickener (natrosol, xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, methocel, etc)
  • Hot water
  • Color (non toxic paint, powdered pigment, etc)

Step 1. Thoroughly mix
Step 2. Make a mess

*Let alterations to this recipe be guided by your textural and edibility desires*

Alternative materials you can use for the same activities include but are not limited to: Pudding, pie, eggs, cereal, milk, tapioca pearls, fluff, nut butter, jam, soup, maraschino cherries, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, etc.

How does it taste? But really, how does it feel?

*messyworld original content

Active Cultures is a cultural organization that explores the convergence of food and art in contemporary life.