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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

Human Landscape

Human Landscape

Our peculiar image of the week was created by artist Levi van Veluw, who reinvents the classical fine art of landscape painting, by moving from the traditional ‘oil on canvas’ to the use of his own face as a canvas.

By combing the romantic landscape and self-portrait genres he gives a fresh twist to the obsession inherent in the romantic landscape of recreating the world and simultaneously being part of it.

Look around you and try to find the most natural object in the room you are in now. It is you.

Related: In the Wilderness, Phone Trees, Day in the Dutch dunes, Biopresence: Human DNA trees.


  1. I love that car on top, finding a place to park… but am also of the opinion that an image like this only blurs the NextNature research theme, no matter the explanation.

  2. @Arnoud, I would not agree this image ‘blurs’ our next nature research theme, although I would agree this image in itself is definitely not next nature – It is merely an introduction to it.

    Arguably all the posts in the ‘nature becomes culture’ category are not next nature. Yet we collect them in order to get a larger perspective on the topic.

    I find the image is a nice imaginative illustration on how our view on nature is always shaped by our human perspective. Furthermore it resonates with the anthropomorphobia sub-theme. That’s why I posted it.

  3. Interesting… is this Photoshop or a physical sculptural work?
    Also, I am by far not the most natural thing in my apartment. There’s an awful lot of metal in my body, from fillings to piercings; I’ve had eye surgery to fix my vision; not to mention all of the chemicals I can’t avoid from my food, pollution in the air, and medicine I take. Everyday I strip oil from my skin and hair with soap and shampoo; shape my beard and hair; kill bacteria in my mouth with Listerine, etc.

  4. Steve

    You say he combs the romantic landscape and self-portrait genres, but it doesn’t look combed to me :P

  5. (sorry to jump in after a long time)
    I agree with Arnoud, it’s a wonderful piece of fine art … but is next nature?
    Yes, you could argue that this art is an unusually combination of ‘landscape painting’ & ‘wearing make-up’… but does that make it next nature?
    AJ Farkas associated this with the various metals in his/her body (e.g. piercings)
    Koert, there are not many boundaries in the human mind … so because you harldy define the boundaries of the concept Next Nature, you better prepair for endless discussions!!
    Last week, I enjoyed the movie ‘Quest for fire’ as well … but I noticed your comment response: “… Little has changed, so it seems”. But I would not recommend the movie to be usefull for ‘new media’ nor next nature explorations – only suitable for historical considerations, from my point of view. And in that perspective, it’s a indeed great movie!!

  6. … for example, I just found a very likewise picture at Dutchcowboys, see: http://www.dutchcowboys.nl/images/upload/Afbeelding%2010.jpg
    This picture got me wondering, not sure that the ‘human landscape’ work of Levi van Veluw should be presented as a ‘reinvention’ …or do you want us to include the picture of the little girl with 2 trees on her head within the next nature concept as well???
    Original source:

  7. @ Martijn. Honestly I find the comparison between Levi van Veluws work and the goofy image of a little girl with two trees on her head, rather odd. Although they can both be tagged as ‘person with tree growing on the head’ they have a completely different intention and execution. I hope we can agree on there is a difference there.
    We already agreed that the image is NOT next nature (see my earlier comment). Anyhow I notice the image is confusing to people within the nextnature framework… that I’ve learned. So thanks for the feedback.

  8. Martijn van Mensvoort

    Ok, sounds great. We agree on your comparison of the 2 ‘tree on head images’ … but why do you think that the image is confusing people?
    I think there can be only one answer … it’s not the image itself that is confusing in the perspective of NEXT NATURE. I think the concept is much more confusing.
    I keep hoping that someday you will present the world: NEXTNATURE 2.0 … the re-definition of the concept!