koert_van_mensvoort_2008

Koert van Mensvoort

Creative Director
Artist and philosopher. The discovery of Next Nature has been the most profound experience in his life so far.
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rise and fall
Next Nature

The Rise and Fall or Rayfish Footwear

For almost three years, we worked on a sneaker company that we knew would go bankrupt on the day it was founded. This is our coming out.

The fictional company Rayfish.com offered personalized sneakers crafted from genetically modified stingray leather. The online storytelling project was created to catalyze a debate on emerging biotechnologies and the products it may bring us. It furthermore questioned our consumptive relationship with animals and products in general. While such discussions often remain abstract, we aimed to make them tangible in a concrete product you can love or hate.

The rise and fall of Rayfish Footwear took place within a period of seven months. The story began with the launch of the corporate website, commercial, CEO lecture and online design tool. The startup immediately received significant media attention and seemed bound for success, however, there were also critical petitions against the company’s instrumental use of animals.

While almost ten thousand people had designed their own fish sneaker, animal rights activists broke into the company and released all the fishes in the ocean. The CEO of the company, Dr. Raymond Ong, responded with a passionate video statement, which stirred further debate on our estranged relationship with products in a globalized world.

While Rayfish was struggling to find new investors, the escaped fishes where out in the open and started appearing into video’s of tourists and fishermen. The story ended with the bankruptcy of Rayfish, after which the true objective of the company was revealed and the ‘making of video’ was released.

Seven highly exclusive prototypes of Stingray leather sneakers were created. The leather of the shoes was dyed with paint, rather than genetically modified.

Further information on our motivations, collaborators and supporters can be found on the Rayfish Event webpage. We welcome comments on the Rayfish Facebook page or in the box below. Thanks for participating!

nature-deficit-disorder
Boomeranged Metaphors

Nature Deficit Disorder

Will this one day be public disease number one? For now, it’s our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Frits.

LIVING DOLL
Fitness Boosters

Human Barbie

Just when you thought the Second Life hype was long gone, meet Ukrainian body artist Valerie Lukyanova who aims to turn Second Life into First Life.

They call her the Human Barbie. She has been posting images & videos of her hypernatural beauty since November last year and her emergence on the internet erupted a virtual firestorm. Many have wondered if she was a hoax, however, her appearance in a television show seems to confirm she is a real lady.

Although we wholeheartedly grant Valerie the morphological freedom to alter her body like a Barbie, we also advise her to read the essay Anthropomorphobia – Exploring the Twilight Zone between Person and Product. It might help understand the uncanniness her fellow members of the human species experience with her appearance.

Via Vmagazine.com. Thanks Janine, Thanks Ronald.

woodhelmet_530
Back to the Tribe

Helmet Crafted from Wood and Cork is just as Safe as Your Plastic and Foam One

Back to the natural future? A startup company in Oregon is manufacturing bike helmets made of wood and cork that should meet or surpass the impact performance of plastic and foam helmets. The latest advancements in industrial technology such as computer aided designing and CNC machining make it possible to use traditional materials to replace high-tech synthetics, which can mean shortening, localizing, and decentralizing industrial supply chains. However, a speciality product like wooden bike helmets made from locally sourced materials is sure to be marketed and shipped worldwide, at least until the patent runs out.

Via Gizmodo, Thanks Jake Greear.

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Feed-Back

Architect Aims to Build House From Plastic Waste

Some years ago we wrote about the utterly nextnatural proposal by WHIM architects to create floating city composed of plastics from the great pacific garbage patch – a concentration of plastic litter in the central North Pacific about the size of France.

Although the proposal was highly speculative, they deserved kudos for perceiving the plastics in the Earths ecosystem as building material rather than waste. Now they want to get practical and construct the first floating villa of plastic waste material.

As we write, their Kickstarter project has gathered only $676, but that can quickly change if the billionaire readers of this website step in, no? Click here to get your unique villa from plastic material for only $70.000.

marjolein_kors
Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Rustic In Vitro

Many people still find in vitro meat too alien and artificial to put it in their mouths. With the Rustic In Vitro incubator, this outdated perception is about to change. Similar to old-fashioned sausages and hams hung to cure in the butcher’s or at home, Rustic In Vitro is grown in a familiar-looking incubator that reminds us of the good old days. Rustic In-Vitro incubators come in various shapes designed to simulate rabbit, boar or cattle. The more time it has to ripen, the more structure and character the replicating meat cells will develop. Progressive nostalgia ahoy!

Designed by Marjolein Kors for the Eating in Vitro series.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

Food Technology

Mainstream Perceptions on In Vitro Meat

Nothing wrong with a bit of juicy television on ‘In Vitro’ meat. We propose to lock this video in a time capsule so that our kids can watch it and be horrified in 30 years or so.

fruit_meat_nextnature_lab
Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Meat-Fruit

La Pâte Meat Fruit aims to seduce and inspire diners with an entirely new eating experience that balances eating meat and fruit. In vitro technology is used to grow meat structures that precisely mimic those of various existing fruits such as berries, oranges, and mangoes. The result is used to create La Pâte, a sweet-savory amuse-bouche ideal for Michelin-starred restaurants. Besides the joy of fusing fruit and meat into one exclusive hypernatural dining experience, meat-fruit is also a celebration of our unisex culture. In contrast to our prehistoric past where men hunted and women gathered, we now live in a post-masculine, post-feminist society where gender doesn’t matter like before. Meat-fruit exemplifies the perfect blend between male and female.

Designed by Aylin Groenewoud for the Eating in Vitro series.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

Food Technology

First tasting of Printed Meat

Biological physicist Gabor Forgacs normally works on the “printing” of new organs for use in clinical trials, however, his technology could also be used to bioprint meat. In the first demonstration of its kind, Forgacs heats and eats a tasty morsel on stage.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

1331845652458_ORIGINAL
Food Technology

Let the Robotic Farmers feed the World

The future of farming is not to be found in further mass-industrialization nor in the return to traditional farming with man and horse power, but rather in swarms of smart, cheap robotic farmers that patiently seed, tend and harvest fields one plant at a time without the need for damaging pesticides.

Read more

meat_powder_530
Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Instant Meat Powder

The number one argument for eating meat: it provides nutritious proteins that cannot be entirely supplied by vegetarian alternatives. Like it or not, humans are omnivores. Meat is a nutritious source of proteins and vitamins that vegetarian alternatives struggle to supply. Thanks to Meat Powder, we can transcend our barbaric impulses and history of animal cruelty. Meat Powder is a straightforward form of in vitro meat that provides the proteins you need – no more, no less. Meat Powder can be used in soups, pies and salads, but is best used in a creamy meat fondue. Like the traditional cheese fondue, the meat fondue is a social dish best served at special occasions. Pure, fun, and 100% victimless.

Designed by Costanza Giuffrida for the Eating in Vitro series.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

windows_8_boomeranged
Boomeranged Metaphors

Old Window

With the arrival of Windows 8 these are historical images. Peculiar image of the week. Thanks Ehsan.

knitted_meat_(nextnature_lab)
Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Knitted Meat

Rather than growing whole steaks in bio-reactors, Knitted Meat assumes that it is more feasible to create thin threads of protein. Supermarkets sell balls of meat fiber seasoned with various spices and vegetable flavors. New kitchen appliances enable consumers to weave meat according to preset preferences. Texture, taste and tenderness can be controlled to create a personal, multisensory eating experience. Groups of diners can even knit their own sections of a protein scarf, enabling multiple people to share a unique moment.

Designed by Alberto Gruarin for the Eating in Vitro series.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

Nextnature Event

Next Nature Night in Rotterdam

Here’s a video for the tiny niche of Dutch-speaking-long-attention-span-visitors of this website. Some months ago the Rotterdam Think Café organized a Next Nature night featuring your dearest long-standing nextnature connoisseur. Rather than a lecture, the event was an improvised conversation on next nature in response to images selected by the organizers. Slow video alert!

converse-shoe-tattoo
Anthropomorphobia

Converse Sneaker Tattoo

Today, shoes have been naturalized to the extend that we hardly can imagine life without them. Yet, shoes didn’t exist in old nature, hence there must have been a day when footwear was a radical new technology people had to get attuned to. At that time, some ten-thousand of years ago, one had to decide whether to embrace or decline the emerging footwear technology, similar to mobile technology in our time.

Over the years, footwear moved from being an unfamiliar to an accepted phenomenon, from a second nature to a first nature. Like the mobile phones we carry only more recently, we can still decide to take off our shoes and experience life without them today. Indeed almost no one ever does that for a longer period, but at least we can.

The unidentified wearer of the Converse Sneaker Tattoo apparently decided he didn’t want to experience any shoe-less moments in life anymore? Or he just wanted to get his feet on a blog? In any case, he got what he wanted. Peculiar image of the week. Via BoingBong.

Anthropomorphobia

Close Personal Friend

Here’s one for the retro-trendwatchers. This 24-minute self-directed film was made in 1996 by artist-writer Douglas Coupland as a portrait of postmodern culture. Soon after it was abandoned and forgotten, yet if you watch it now it is striking how the film anticipates contemporary phenomena like social media and self-branding. You may want to spend 24-minutes on this Close Personal Friend.

Kitchen-meat-incubator-Daniel-Ong_nextnature_lab
Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Kitchen Meat Incubator

The Kitchen Meat Incubator does for home cooking what the electronic synthesizer did for the home musician. It provides its users with a set of pre-programmed samples that can be remixed and combined to their liking. Besides the preparation of traditional styles like steak, sausage or meatballs, consumers can bring their own imagination to the meat preparation process. The handy sliders on the device control size, shape and texture. More expensive models of the Kitchen Meat Incubator also come with a wireless link that allows you to download meat recipes from the internet or share them with friends.

Designed by Daniel Ong for the Eating in Vitro series.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.