Fake Nature

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.

Essay by Jean Baudrillard

Simulacra and Simulations

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 …

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'Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible'

Jean Baudrillard

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.

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Space Station

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.…

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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.…

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Robotic Red Snapper

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.

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