Deliver us from Prosthetic Nature
Fake nature is a replica of old nature. Where ‘authentic’ nature is organic, genetic, and alive, fake nature is not. It projects the illusion of life, be it plant or animal, on man-made and inanimate objects.
Yet fake nature is not a dull, devalued shadow of living nature. It is rich in cultural associations that grow, morph, and interact with society and the natural environment. Phone antenna trees grow alongside real pines, dioramas are carefully studied, and the mountains themselves are under girded with steel.
Antenna Tree Mast Safari
This picture was taken in Zambia by Sarah Los (NL) while on wildlife safari. Every fairly trained “NextNature spotter” should be able to distinguish the cellphone-tree masts from old-nature trees. But that’s odd; there are …
Clear Blue Sky
Who likes clouds anyway? Especially for the people still living in the suburbs of Venray (small town in the Netherlands), artist Helmut Smits made this billboard depicting a clear blue sky.
See also: Corporate Landscape, Artvertising, …
Subway stations are usually designed in a clean and modernistic style in order to make people forget they are traveling deep underground. How different in the Stockholm subway, in which several of the deep underground …
Unsatisfied with the variety of vegetables in your local Supermarket? Why not try the Art Gallery? Morphotheque #15 (2011) is a form collection that consists of 27 elements, 1:1 copies of peppers. They’re …
Olafur Eliasson's Waterfalls
In 2008, artist Olafur Eliasson installed four artificial waterfalls in various sites around the waterfront of New York City. It is one of the most expensive public arts projects ever undertaken, and probably one of the priciest instances of fake nature.
The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. -Ecclesiastes
If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory…
— Jean Baudrillard
If you would have shown this picture to people 50 years ago, they might have imagined it to be one of those promised 21th century space stations encircling some alien planet in deep space. And then you wake up and find out it is an indoor beach in eastern Germany, where tourist are seeking to overcome their autumn melancholia.
See also: Tropical Dome.
No, this is not another example in our fake for real series, comparing an artificial with a human hand. Rather, you are looking at twice the same hand: with and without its casing. The design of artificial hands has improved significantly over time and the depicted Fluidhand, created by researchers from Karlsruhe, is perhaps the most advanced prosthetic hand available today.
Yet, one wonders why the designers or artificial limbs always stick to the somewhat boring and predictable simulations of the human limbs they are replacing. If you have lost your hand and you need a prosthesis, why no grasp the opportunity to go for an upgrade?
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. …
As the name suggests, Birthmarks Tattoos, are fake – but permanent – birthmarks that you can add to your body. Aside from its decorative potential, Birthmarks Tattoo makes it possible for you and your partner to “exchange” birthmarks or to imprint your body with a secret message in braille. Birthmarks Tattoo is a concept by Dutch designers Julia Müller, Arjan Groot and Menno Wittebrood who were commissioned by the magazine Identity Matters to come up with an idea for new ways of tattooing.
Via Guerrila Innovation | See also: Barcode Tattoos | Electronic Tattoos
Just because you’re feeling paranoid, doesn’t mean the fish aren’t actually spying on you.
Engineers at the University of Kitakyushu created an underwater survey robot that looks good enough to eat. “Tai-robot-kun,” a 7-kilogram (15.4 lb) robotic sea bream (red snapper) with a silicone body covered in realistically hand-painted scales, features a unique propulsion system that allows it to move its tail and drift silently through the water like a real fish.
The robotic fish can swim for an hour on a …
The construction of this nucleair powerplant near Kalkar (DE) started in 1973. After the build was finished, in 1991 it was decided not to use it for political reasons. The complex was sold to the …
Bisected Brontosaurus in a Water-filled Case
Chinese artist Xu Zhen created the monumental untitled sculpture depicted above (sorry I am such a bad photographer) for “NONO”, a show without explanations or preconceptions, I visited this summer at 789 Art …
“Museum staff preparing Olympic Forest Scene exhibit.” Photo by Lee Boltin. American Museum of Natural History Library. Peculiar image of the week.
See also: A day in the Dutch Dunes, Cellphone Tree, Bioluminescent trees will replace …