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.

Simulacra and Simulations

ESSAY BY NextNature.net
September 1st 2007

The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.

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 (but where, with the decline of the Empire this map becomes frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts - the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing), this fable would then have come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra.…

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.

Space Station

Van Mensvoort
November 21st 2008

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.…

Birthmarks Tattoo

Van Mensvoort
May 20th 2011

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.…

Robotic Red Snapper

Van Mensvoort
July 29th 2008

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.…