Tag: Fake-nature


Natural Car Alarms

While hiking in Trinidad, artist Nina Katchadourian was struck by the similarity of bird calls to car alarms. One inspires us to poetry, the other makes us groan and pull the pillow over our ears at night, but they’re both forms of auditory pollution.

Back in New York, Katchadourian fitted a ‘flock’ of three cars with recorded bird calls to mimic to the six-tone siren that echoes constantly through the city.  Far from sounding like a bucolic forest, a ‘natural’ car alarm is just as rattling and irritating as the real thing.  Not only is real nature not green, it’s downright annoying.

power line trees

Electric Topiary

Has this tree gone Pac-Man on the power lines? In truth, the slice through the side of the tree is the work of ‘utility pruning.’  Topiary was once determined on entirely aesthetic lines, be it geometric shapes in formal gardens or more whimsical forms of animals or people. Now, the inadvertent topiaries of electricity are a common sight: the oak split down the middle, the pine with its top lopped off, the elm with an entire side of branches shaved away. It represents a curious compromise.  Rather than being cut down, the tree is permitted to coexist with the utility cables.  Along with insects, lightning strikes, and wind, power lines are now an important factor in how the landscape grows.

Image via The Small Wave 2

DIY levee

Negative Islands

Recent flooding along the Mississippi River has broken records first set 70 years ago. As always, it’s hard to attribute local weather to global patterns, but the heavier rainfall in the region is consistent with scientists’ predictions for global warming. While climate change may already be wiping out whole island nations in the South Pacific, it’s also indirectly responsible for a strange type of manmade atoll: the negative island. To greater or lesser success, some forward-thinking homeowners have constructed DIY levees to protect their houses from the overflowing Mississippi.

These tiny pieces of dry land are actually lower than the surrounding waters, going against the natural topographical order of higher-is-drier. Such single-serving levees can be seen as a sign of human hubris, the consequence of modernism’s belief that natural systems can be made rational, predictable, and safe. From another perspective, the anti-islands can be seen as a temporary river archipelago, an emerging next natural phenomenon. It’s a strange subversion of the modus operandi of suburban life: Don’t forget to stock the backyard feeder for the migrating fish, and remember to invite the neighborhood kids over for a stroll in the below-ground walking pool.

Images via Popsci.

Fake Nature

Birthmarks Tattoo

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

Nintendo DS used for sexy fun

Nintendo Portables Are Breeding Grounds For Sexy Fun

Sexuality and sensuality are phenomena which have been a nature for us as long as we humans exist. Not only humans experience these phenomena; also animals experience sexuality and, more or less, sensuality.

One of the things which make humans distinct from other animals when it comes to sex, is that humans make use of artificial artifacts to stimulate sexual feelings. Have you ever seen a lion which needed a vibrator to make things better?

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Google landscape

Microbic Landscapes

Beautiful Google Maps shots of housing projects in southwest Florida. Probably designed to look and feel more natural than your average straight street neighborhood, they remind me of microbes under a microscope.
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No lines on the horizon

A Clear Sky

Remember the beginning of 2010, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted, throwing huge amounts of ash into the air, thousands of flights have been canceled across Europe due to fears that ash could turn into molten glass within a hot jet engine, crippling the aircraft. This picture was taken during and after the flight ban at the same location. Via


Becoming female

A shot of a male body after a sex change by dutch artist and photographer Martin C. de Waal. De Waal tries to make people rethink their opinions by pushing the boundaries of self-alteration. With a fascination for plastic surgery and a strong drive to reinvent himself he underwent an eight and a half hour surgery to alter his face a few years ago. – mcdewaal.com


Nomadic Plants

Nomadic Plants are a species assembled from a group of robotic-electronic-biological organisms living in symbiosis in order to survive in habitats affected by human activity.

The nomadic plant automatically moves towards water when its bacteria require nourishment. It contains vegetation and microorganisms living symbiotically inside the body of the apparatus. The robot draws water from a contaminated river, decomposes its elements, helps to create energy to feed its brain circuits, and the surplus is then used to create life, maintaining plants that, at once, complete their own life cycle.

Gilberto Esparza created these Nomadic Plants as a metaphor for the supposed alienation of the human condition and the impact its activity has on its environment. By creating these plants nomadic plants, which obviously haven’t evolved by themselves, its creator hopes to instigate critical reflections on the ambiguity of the force wielded by technology.

Seen at HAIP Festival – New Nature.


Newspaper Wood

How to upcycle old newspapers? Mieke Meijer (a.o.) from Vij5 took a jar of glue and started imitating tree rings. “The product surprisingly mimics the quality of real wood” she states. Read more