Author: Allison Guy

mushroom farm
Back to the Tribe

Mushrooms in the Mokum

Mediamatic is hosting a pop-up urban mushroom farm in the middle of Amsterdam. Rows and rows of shiitake, oyster, and the elusive almond-flavored Agaricus subrufescens are sprouting on metal shelves. With its experimental vibe, Paddestoelen Paradijs (Mushroom Paradise) proves that mushrooms might just be our best friends in the age of resource scarcity. They grow off dead, decaying, and often discarded organic matter, are low emission, and their roots can produce a material that’s stronger than wood, as light as packing foam, and completely biodegradable.

Click through to see a living wall, the Christian mushroom cult, and Philosopher’s Stones.

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Nextnature Event

Who Watches the Watchers?

In The Watchers, the creative geniuses at Studio Smack picture a world where surveillance systems don’t just watch us – they actively judge.  Are you a green-coded Conformist or a red-alert Intellectual?…

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pills small
Fitness Boosters

Next Nature Hands Out Performance-Enhancing Pills

Recently Google slapped our site with a warning that “something’s not right here!” It seems that the Drug Enforcement Agency has caught the Next Nature staff handing out baggies of performance-enhancing pills in Amsterdam. How else will our audience be able to handle the Power Show without an artificial boost?

Okay, so we’ve been joking: Google found a potential security leak in our website last week. We fixed it quickly, and a few more days elapsed before the Internet noticed. But we have been distributing these snappy pink flyers. Click through to learn more about the side effects of Next Nature.

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incredible shrinking man
Augmented-Bodies

Incredibly Shrinking Humanity

Arne Hendricks will be presenting The Incredible Shrinking Man at the Next Nature Power Show on November 5th.

Social erosion, fisheries depletion, deforestation- for the 7 billion people on earth, we’re not just approaching an era of resource scarcity, we’re already there. Except for the lucky few, food, shelter, and even water can be expensive and in short supply. We have tried to address global problems with bigger technologies and bigger laws, but what if we decided to go small? Really small. How would the world change if every human was only 50 centimeters tall?

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pigeon d'or
Dynamic-architecture

The Pigeon that Shat the Golden Soap

Ever wished you could take a shower with pigeon poop? Artist Tuur van Balen proposes changing pigeons from flying rats to cleaning agents. A speculative, specially engineered bacteria, as harmless to pigeons…

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dubai the globe sinking
Anthropocene

The Earth on Loan

Christian Schwägerl is a correspondent for Der Spiegel and the author of Menschenzeit (The Age of Man). He will be presenting his views on the Anthropocene at the Next Nature Power Show on November 5th. Learn more about the Anthropocene here.

We move mountainsmake islands, create life, and call up lolcats at whim from the greatest storehouse of human knowledge ever compiled. Yet we can’t seem to control the economy.

In a recent opinion piece at Yale Environment 360, journalist and author Christian Schwägerl argues that the financial collapse and the environmental collapse stem from the same mistakes of human foresight. The financial crisis was triggered by a pass-the-buck thinking, with blindly optimistic (or darkly cynical) reliance on proliferating loans that no one ever expected to pay back. The problem only became apparent when there were no more suckers left to exploit. We ran the economy down to its lowest trophic level, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with the global ecology as well.

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De Nederlandse Berg
Dynamic-architecture

Get Thee Up into a Fake Mountain

If you felt like building a 2,000 meter mountain in the Netherlands, which features would you like to add? Journalist and accidental landscape visionary Thijs Zonneveld wants to know. Suggestions have included …

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rhinos naturalis
Anthropocene

Poaching from the New Savannah

The Ipswich Museum, the Tring Museum, and around 30 other European cultural institutions and antiques dealers have experienced a rash of theft over the last few months. What turns an everyday crime…

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biolum bacteria
Designed-by-Evolution

City Planning with Bright Bacteria

Renegade architect and futurist Rachel Armstrong has proposed that our cities, currently constructed of dead trees, baked mud, and refined ore, need to be coated in a layer of glowing, hungry bio-goo.…

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pig nose
Food Technology

The Afterlife of PIG 05049

Christien Meindertsma spent three years tracking down every product made from a single pig. Pork made a showing, but the more strange goods were “ammunition, medicine, photo paper, heart valves, brakes, chewing…

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Fake-nature

Mastering Bambi

In the film Mastering Bambi, artists Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukacs have stripped the landscape of its cuddly, anthropomorphic characters. Over the course of the film, the camera pans across empty forest…

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wolly mammoth parka
Fake-for-Real

Occasionally Extinct and Virtually Alive

Japanese researchers are currently working on cloning a mammoth, and plan to produce a fluffy new prehistoric calf within four or five years. The bucardo, an extinct subspecies of the Spanish ibex, was resurrected for a few minutes in 2009 before the clone died. ‘Frozen zoos’ now keep the cryo-preserved tissues from dozens of endangered species to hedge their bets against future extinction.

Until we have the godlike knowledge to reconstruct a genome from the base pairs on up, our resurrected zoo will be limited to the animals that we have stored away for safe keeping. Sorry, no dinosaurs, but there are at least 500 stuffed and dried passenger pigeons, 731 thylacines, and one remaining dodo specimen with soft tissue remaining.

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Anthropomorphobia

German Robots Destroy a Living Room

Artistic duo Robococo, aka Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders, have embedded a group of autonomous robots in the walls of a gallery. Wielding hammers and creepy electronic eyes, the robots have been…

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baby with ipad
Back to the Tribe

Resizing Daddy

A little girl gets angry at her father, and uses her index finger and thumb to make a pinching motion. No, she’s not trying to hurt him. She’s using iPad sign language…

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Big-Bird
Fake-for-Real

A Rare Giant Crane in Manhattan

In this Petcha Kutcha presentation, Mike Dickison comes to a very funny conclusion: Although Big Bird might superficially resemble other ratites like the ostrich or emu, he is likely more closely related…

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froot loops
Biomimicmarketing

Who Owns the Rights to a Toucan?

Kellogg, the proud copyright holders of Toucan Sam, recently asked a the Mayan Archeology Initiative to reconsider their logo. Despite the fact that the two birds have entirely different colors, shapes, and…

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berg lumine plat
Fake-for-Real

Holland Gets an Unnatural High

When the Dutch built the Netherlands, they forgot to add any mountains. The highest point in Holland is a measly 323 meters, compared to 2,962 meters for the highest mountain in Germany.…

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