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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.

Posts Tagged ‘Suburban Utopia’

  • whatareyoulookingat

    Augmented Reality Maps

    Since a few years the internet in combination with mobile phone technology brought us something that we refer to as augmented reality: A digital projection that is placed over imagery of the existing environment to create a whole new world on the screen.

    Earlier this year Microsoft Bing-Maps architect Blaise Aguera y Arcas showed how augmented reality features can be added to digital world maps. Including streaming video. This means that when you switch to the streetview mode you get to watch live video streams, at least when someone is broadcasting there at that moment. It’s also possible to see older footage that has been put in place with geographic photography techniques so ‘video time travel’ becomes an option.

    As many mobile devices already support photo and video, we can anticipate digital maps to become “live” within some years. This reminds us of the ultimate sonar system from ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’. And like the sonar system from the movie we can ponder on the ethical implications of a system that records half of the world. Will it add a whole new perspective or simply turn every camera phone into a potential security camera? The Big Augmented Reality Maps Brother is watching you!

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  • X-Ray Visions

    X-Ray Visions

    Anyone who ever saw an x-ray picture of himself will probably recognise the uncanny feeling of staring at your own skull or bones and being confronted by one of nature’s grim realities: your body is an very vulnerable, beautiful and imperfect tool that will one day — inevitably — stop working. These x-ray photographs by british photographer Nick Veasey, are something else…

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  • Art-Captures-The-Lives-And-Sounds-Of-A-Thriving-Wildlife-Ecosystem-In-A-City

    Bird + Subwoofer

    The Bell Isle Zoo is one of the examples of the decay of the once great city of Detroit. Situated on an island in the Fleming Channel, the zoo was shut down years ago because of lack of money just as many other landmarks in and around the city. The deserted area around the zoo became a popular spot for teenagers to hang around and race their cars. Meanwhile the zoo itself, secretly transformed into a new ecosystem with a surprising variety of wildlife. Especially a great number of bird species.

    Artists Paul Elliman & Nicole Macdonald found out about this natural world inside the manmade ruins and reflect on this by documenting everything through audio and video and by creating artistic projects.

    One of these reflections can be seen at Casco in Utrecht. A big subwoofer is installed next to a TV that displays the sound of the bird phonetically. The sound of the bird is lead through the subwoofer and is transformed into a deep bass. It’s a reaction on the two worlds living so close together. The teenage kids riding around in their cars pumping out loud music through their car stereos and the birds that try to adapt to their new neighbours.  The only question that arises is; ‘Do you call a bird-sound-emitting-subwoofer a tweeter?’

    This installation as well as audio and video fragments of the zoo can be found at Casco until the 3rd of October.

    Subwoofer installation from the expo ‘Teach me to Disapear’ at Casco, Utrecht

  • airliner_with_birds

    Follow the Leader

    No birds or airliners where hurt in the making of our peculiar image of the week. The perceived mingling of the birds and the airplane is in fact an optical effect, masking the distance between them and resulting in a dreamlike image of birds and airplanes living in harmony. If only…

    Photo by Darryl Morrell, via Airliners.net

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  • sp133

    The Stray Shopping Cart Project

    “…Until now, the major obstacle that has prevented people from thinking critically about stray shopping carts has been that we have not had any formalized language to differentiate one shopping cart from another. In order to encourage a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon, I have worked for the past six years to develop a system of identification for stray shopping carts. Unlike a Linaean taxonomy, which is based on the shared physical characteristics of living things, this system works by defining the various states and situations in which stray shopping carts can be found. The categories of classification were arrived at by observing shopping carts in different situations and considering the conditions and human motives that have placed carts in specific situations and the potential for a cart to transition from one situation to another.” – Julian Montague.

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  • Don’t feed the Tourists

    Don’t feed the Tourists

    We could have decided to domesticate pigs into pets, instead of dogs and cats. Then this would be a totally normal picture. And it wouldn’t be featured here as peculiar image.

    © All rights reserved by Photo Houston on Flickr.

  • bread_in_a_can_530


    This morning I woke up early and started the day with a cup of coffee and some slices of wholewheat bread and dutch cheese. I realised that bread is one of these few products that I use on a daily base, that still have some kind of ‘artisan’ mythology around it because of its appearance. Even if you buy factory bread instead of the organic bread from the bakery on the corner, you can kind of relate to what a bread is: processed grains. Made digestible in a form that resembles the process of making: flour and water, made into a ball of dough and baked in an oven. Associations with warmth, fire. The yeast making the doug rise.

    This japanese bread-in-a-can (Japanese: スズの甘いパンすることができます) , photographed by designer Michele Champagne in Tokyo, is something different for breakfast. It comes in a colourful can, tastes sweet, comes in different flavours and is for sale in a vending machine. At the same time it feels futuristic and old fashioned in a 50’s way, when buying canned goods in a supermarket was still some kind of novelty. This is a good example why I love to go to supermarkets abroad, especially the ones in Asia: the supermarket itself is such a mundane phenomenon that sometimes you need a foreign perspective on your daily groceries to realize that you’re already living in the future.

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  • bedometer530

    Go forth, Buy a Smartphone and Reproduce Thyself

    It took some years of evolution to turn sex (between different sexes) from a stricly functional activity attuned to reproduction, into the recreational activity it is primarily observed today. And technology, like the anti-conception pill, did not play just a small role in that.

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  • bio_robo

    Keep it cool with the Bio-Robot Fridge

    The Bio Robot fridge is a speculative product that uses a non sticky, odorless gel to envelope stored food as individual pods. The idea is that the gel cools by absorbing heat energy, which is transformed and radiated into a different range of wavelengths. This process is conducted by colony of bio-mechanical robots that transform invisible infrared radiation into visible light.

    Sans doors and drawers, the fridge can be oriented vertical or horizontal, as per the home requirements. All products are readily available, odors will not mix, the meat does not need to freeze as it is well conserved by the gel.

    According to its conceptualizer, Yuriy Dmitriev, the bio-robots can identify and select a product for each of the optimal cooling rate and temperature of storage. The process of cooling is accompanied by the visual emission of the gel, which makes its operation beautiful and spectacular. Expected in the kitchen in 2050. Not sure if we still eat bananas by then, though.

    Via Yankodesign. Thanks Diede Gulpers.

  • tigerdog_530

    Dog Modding in China

    As a child, I already saw some great tiger potential in my cat and some shark-ish attitude in the behaviour of my goldfish. Personally, I think that since we started domesticating animals, man must have had fantasies about undomesticating them. The thrill of making ‘man’s best friend’ into his enemy again – if only it where for one day: Back to the tribe!

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  • 1591-4796594411_47cf095edb_b-19-7-2010-14-08-12

    Downriver in the Lowlands

    The Netherlands is known for its outright flat landscape – its even part of the name. How come the Dutch Womans Youth Rafting Team just won the World Cup in the category ‘Downriver’? Lucky?

    Must be, cause how could the four of them get proper training without rivers running wild, without speeding downhill? Just by a little floating on a Dutch lake? And how come last year a Dutch girl won a gold medal at the Olympics in snowboarding, lucky as well? Must be, as the Dutch don’t have any mountains nor enough snow.

    I once read a quote saying “The best rapper in the world is white (Eminem) and the best golfer in the world is black (Tiger Woods), what’s happening?”. I have this feeling when I see these Dutchies winning prizes in their unnatural habitat. I’m already hoping for a Jamaican to win at Fierljeppen (a typical traditional Dutch sport).

    But in fact something much bigger causes these strange successes. Since the last two or three decades the Dutch have been stealing environments. If we like what we elsewhere we just copy it. Instead of trying to conquer it as we used to, we now take a close look and rebuilt it. Today you can ski on snow mountains, climb rocks, raft wild rivers, go to China (town) or on a Safari without crossing the border. We reshape our nation to entertain ourselves and that’s not typical Dutch. Japan made a copy of Amsterdam, Vegas did Venice and Disneyland is everywhere.

    Globalization doesn’t stop with a bit of networking and outsourcing, we even shift our physical world, exchanging complete cities and landscapes. And as we had brought the Zambezi River – famous for rafting – to Zoeterwoude (photo) we could as well easily organize the World Cup Rafting.

    So the success of the Dutch Womans Youth Rafting team might be due to the event was held in our own land, on a wild – but man made – river. I wander what’s next? Indoor surfing in Ghana, outdoor ice skating in Dubai or curling at the Himalayas? It will at least make some extra ordinary champions.

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  • beesie1

    Dutch start Hunting again thanks to Supermarket Soccer Mascotte

    In Holland people go crazy for soccer, especially now that the national team has reached the World Cup final. We gather everything that’s orange – our shirt color – as the ultimate solidarity to our players. Companies know this, and start handing out all kinds of stupid gifts to draw attention to the customers. Cause if it’s orange, we wanna have it, how useless or dumb, orange at soccer days is like gold.

    Dutch Supermarket Albert Heijn is one of the main players in the field of funny orange trumpery. For every 15 euro you spend at the store you receive a ‘Beessie’ mascotte (see photo). But nothing you could do with it till now. Anglers found out it’s very usefull to catch fish. On several websites people are showing their catch with the ‘Beessies’ from the supermarket. There are competitions to catch the biggest, the most. And more important it’s addictive! Everybody wants to try cathing fish with Beessies.

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  • Unlimited Urban Woods

    Unlimited Urban Woods

    What to do when you have a small city with limited space, and you rather turn available space into parking lots instead of parks? You turn to DUS Architects for an unlimited forrest. The Unlimited Urban Woods lets you disappear into an endless forrest that just takes a few square meters.

    By placing a real tree into a cubic space of mirrors, the tree gets repeated endlessly, creating the feeling of a forrest. Personally, I would be interested in an endless parking space in the forrest too.

    Images by Pieter Kers.

  • Under the Beach lies the Pavement

    Under the Beach lies the Pavement

    During the riots of 1968, as students in Paris ripped up paving stones and threw them at the police, one of the rallying cries was “sous le pave: la plage” (under the pavement: the beach). The beach – the incarnation of a natural, undesignated and non-utilitarian space – was the opposite of the street, a historic relic of a designated, oppressive environment based on private property.

    Since May 1968, policymakers have learned to better comply with the needs of the public. At various cities in the worlds every summer a temporarily artificial beach is created on the pavement. Last year alone, in Mexico City the local government created 10 artificial beaches, mostly in poorer parts of the city.

    In general, the camouflaging of infrastructure with ‘natural imagery’ has proven a successful strategy to provide the public with a seemingly more friendly and acceptable living environment. This, of course, doesn’t withstand that order has to be maintained: Parisian sunbathers that go nude or wear g-strings on the capital’s artificial beaches risk a 38 euro fine if they are caught baring their breasts or buttocks. Under the beach – the pavement.

    Image: ‘Paris Plage’ (Paris Beach) along banks of the River Seine in Paris.

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  • Traffic Jam Celebration

    Traffic Jam Celebration

    On this day (Saturday May 29th 2010), the Dutch nation takes pride in celebrating their first real traffic jam. During the pentecost weekend in 1955, a mass exodus of a tribe of day visitors from the west of the country to the central dutch National Park, and a tribe of German tourists coming from the east, caused a clutter of over 50,000 cars. Next to excitement about this new phenomena, there was also a feeling of pride: The Netherlands had become a modern country.

    Back in 1955, The Netherlands counted about 268,000 cars (1 car per 40,3 inhabitants). Today, that is 1 car for every 2.1 dutchman or -woman. The first real traffic jam in 1955 was a big attraction. Roadside tourism was very common in those days: park the car at the side of the road, or even: in the lane (which was allowed then), unfold your chair and watch the cars pass by with the whole family: the tourists become the tourist attraction.

    Different lifestyles of different tribes have always fascinating. New technologies trigger ancient impulses and one of these impulses is: watching new technologies as a form of recreation!

    (Adaptation of this article in the dutch Volkskrant)

    A reflection on mobility by NL Architects

  • Come see the Berg!

    Come see the Berg!

    So you’ve seen the peak of the Mount Everest on tour? Descended the bobsled ride of the Matterhorn in a Disneyland? Think you’ve seen it all? Now come and see The Berg in Berlin!

    German architect Jakob Tigges explores the outskirts of megalomania with his proposed a plan to construct a 1000-meter tall mountain at the site of the recently closed Tempelhof airport in Berlin, which was originally constructed by the Nazi’s as part of their megalomaniac Germania plan.

    If realized, ‘The Berg’ would be the largest man-made icon. A tourist attraction unlike any city has ever served, providing Berliners and (more importantly) tourists with a convenient location to enjoy a range of activities including hiking, hang-gliding, rock climbing and even skiing, as the mountain would collect snow on its peak from September to March offering the perfect skiing climate in the otherwise slope-less city.

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  • Wiiron


    Gets your cloths ‘virtually’ unwrinkled. Peculiar object of the week.

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