Tag: Technorhetoric


Arne Hendriks – Incredible Shrinking Man

The human population is expected to grow to 9 billion within this century. As a result we need more energy, more food and more space. If we continue our current consumptive patterns we soon need three planets. But what if we could turn this trend around?

Artist Arne Hendriks explores the possibilities and implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth. Can we do it?


Man Flies Like a Bird

Some months ago we wrote about the dream of mechanical-engineer Jarno Smeets to fly like bird. Over the last few months Jarno worked steadily to materialize his dream. Today Jarno posted a video in which he actually takes off.

Filed under: magical, inspiring, unbelievable, humane technology.


Screw Technology

In this particular piece of video art, loyal readers of nextnature.net might recognise the building as Zeche Zollverein in Germany, where we organized the Biggest Visual Power Show in 2006. Others might see an antropomorphobic turn on the artistic genre of the tableau vivant baptised ‘The Humping Pact’ and made by artists Diego Agullo’s and Dmitry Paranyushkin’s. A dead industrial space is brought back to life by elementary  human interaction in quite a mechanical fashion, an artists fantasy that seems to merge notions of industrial-age cybersex with the idea of the conception of what German techno-pioneers Kraftwerk would call: the man-machine. The subtext: fuck technology?

More information about the artwork here.
Via Teun Castelein


The future of Assisted Living

Arjen Born, a Dutch Photographer, envisions the future of assisted living through hilarious and moving photographs.

Photography often reside in the realm of the nostalgic past, but Arjen dares to look forward. He does not question if robots will assist us in our daily life, he questions how robots will do this.


Back to the Tribe

Surviving Progress

Montreal filmmakers Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks’ documentary feature, Surviving Progress presents the story of human advancement and reveals the risk of running the 21st century’s software — our know-how — on the ancient hardware of our primate brain which hasn’t been upgraded in 50,000 years. It is up to us to prove that making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead-end.

Thanks Linda.

Food Technology

Raise Crops on the Moon with Plant-Growing Jelly

In dry areas like the desert, on mountain tops or on the moon it’s impossible to grow anything. Or is it? A rain in the desert sparks extreme plant growth from the moment the raindrops hit the ground. As long as the ground is irrigated and fertilized, plants will grow during the warm periods of the day. For some regions, the nights are another challenge. In the desert, temperatures drop drastically at night. For farmers, its a big challenge to keep the soil “livable” for plants, and to cope with the drastic temperature differences between day and night. Money is another problem. There needs to be a stable environment for plants to grow in, at low costs. That’s what the Plant-Growing Jelly project seeks to solve.

Conceived of by industrial design students Ruud van Reijmersdal, Tom Slijkhuis, Joppe Spaans and Jeroen Rood, this speculative project  consists of a gel which serves as an ideal growing environment for food crops. The gel contains all the vital nutrients for a plant to grow, and insulates it from extremes of temperatures. Isolated the plant from the outside world could enable plants to grow anywhere, even on the moon. This enriched environment would attractive for mass-production, as fruits and vegetables could grow faster, earlier, and take up less space than traditional methods.

Want to learn more about the inspiration and specifics for this project? Read the project report.


Thijs Zonneveld – Let’s build a Mountain

“God created the world, except for the Netherlands. That the Dutch created themselves”, Voltaire remarked in the eighteenth century already to describe the overly cultivated Dutch landscape. But when the Dutch built the Netherlands, they forgot to add any mountains. Former cyclist and visionary Thijs Zonneveld was annoyed by the lack of cyclable heights and proposed to build a 2000-meter high mountain in the Netherlands. Ridiculous idea or summit of Dutch Design?

Unlike the earlier purely theoretical proposal by Jacob Tigges in Berlin, the people behind Die Berg Komt Er (That Mountain will be There) are taking their landscape-building mandate seriously. Their ‘mountain’ should really be understood as a very large building with all kinds of functions ranging from housing, to recreation, to sustainable energy source.

Watch the presentation Tijs gave at the Next Nature Power Show last fall. If you feel the Dutch Mountain should be realized you can buy a 50 euro certificate to support their feasibility research.

Food Technology

Mark Post – Meet the New Meat

As we are moving towards 9 billion people living on our planet, it seems impossible to continue producing & consuming meat like we do today. Will we soon all be eating rice and beans? Perhaps. Yet professor Mark Post thinks otherwise.

At the Next Nature Power Show, Mark Post presented his plan to create the first lab-grown hamburger. He argues lab-grown meat could become the environmentally friendly alternative for breeding cows and pigs for meat consumption. It is relatively simple to take stem cells from an animal and grow them to produce new muscle tissue. Simply add sugar, proteins and fat and get it into shape with a bit of exercise to created edible meat. The only problem then is to find a new role for our livestock.

Food Technology

Tiny Amounts of Alcohol Might Extend Life

A new study on the effects of cholesterol on the life span of Caenorhabditiselegans, a tiny worm often used in experimentation, resulted in some surprising finds. The life span of the critters was doubled. Now it turned out it wasn’t the cholesterol after all. The cause of the effect was set in motion by the solvent used to deliver the cholesterol. The solvent used? Alcohol.

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