Do we still have genuine experiences of nature? Or are we living in a postcard of it?

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.

Essay by Koert van Mensvoort

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.…

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'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!

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Come See the Berg!

So you’ve seen the peak of the Mount Everest on tour? Descended the bobsled ride of the Matterhorn in a Disneyland? Think you’ve seen it all? Now come and see The Berg in Berlin!

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.…

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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.…

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