Some centuries ago landscape painters taught us to appreciate the quality of an untouched landscape. Ever since we have been doing everything to recreate it. We camouflage cell phone antenna mast to look like tries. We fly thousands of miles to experience a pristine landscape. Some countries even go so far to reconstruct prehistoric landscapes at obsolete industrial sites – revived extinct animals included.
For a long time in the history of painting, the landscape functioned merely as a backdrop for people, buildings or symbols. But in the 17th century, artists started making paintings using the landscape as the central subject. The one shown here is the work of Pieter Molijn. Landscape paintings taught…
Above: artist impression 2003 | below: Nasa January 2010 When developers launched the globe project just off Dubai’s coast in 2003, they hoped that the rich and famous would land there to populate the 300 islands. Within five years Nakheel Properties leveled up 11 billion cubic feet of sand and…
Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level. In May 2005, artist Xu Zhen led an ascent on Everest, and succeeded in removing the summit of the mountain, reducing its height by 186cm, Xu Zhen’s own height. The summit…
What happens when next nature dreams of old nature? Such is the case with extinct animals that have ever come in contact with humans, particularly the dinosaurs, our own postmodern dragons. Creatures that we layer with a fearful wonderment, dinosaurs are a fantastic lost fauna that emerge through hints and…
Observing old nature
Highlanders in the Lowlands: Re-enactment of an Extinct Cow
At the end of every cold winter there is a debate in the Netherlands on whether the forestry service should feed the oxes, horses and deers grazing the Dutch nature resorts. The official policy of the Dutch forestry service is to let the ecosystem manage itself, which causes the weaker animals – 24% of the population – to parish because of lack of food: a sight too natural for most ‘nature’ lovers.…Read more
'The regenerated prehistoric landscapes are best understood as theater. Like in a theater play or a movie, we are willing to suspend our disbelief and linger in the imaginary story portrayed before us'
Koert van Mensvoort
A Day in the Dutch Landscape
With Koert van Mensvoort in the dunes of Bloemendaal, the Netherlands. Cellphone masts disguised as trees and a walk ended up between a cattle of Scottish Highlanders.
Dog Modding in China
As a child, I already saw some great tiger potential in my cat and some shark-ish attitude in the behaviour of my goldfish. Personally, I think that since we started domesticating animals, man must have had fantasies about undomesticating them. The thrill of making ‘man’s best friend’ into his enemy again – if only it where for one day: Back to the tribe!…Read more
Come See the Berg!
German architect Jakob Tigges explores the outskirts of megalomania with his proposed a plan to construct a 1000-meter tall mountain at the site of the recently closed Tempelhof airport in Berlin, which was originally constructed by the Nazi’s as part of their megalomaniac Germania plan.…Read more
Under the Beach Lies the Pavement
During the riots of 1968, as students in Paris ripped up paving stones and threw them at the police, one of the rallying cries was “sous le pave: la plage” (under the pavement: the beach). The beach – the incarnation of a natural, undesignated and non-utilitarian space – was the opposite of the street, a historic relic of a designated, oppressive environment based on private property.…Read more