NATURE CHANGES ALONG WITH US

Edward Burtynsky › Nanpu Bridge Interchange, Shanghai, 2004 

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Today, this environment is completely governed by us. It has lost all originality.

How natural is it to have a nine-to-five job, and to go to the office with a suit and a tie? The roofs over our heads, the chairs we sit on, even the trees in the forest-they are all what we want them to be. Just take a look around, and try and find the most natural object present in the space you are in right now.

Most likely that will be you.

[…]

By definition, man is a creature of culture.

[…]

Let us look at it from our own perspective: nature as human experience. The associations that most people have with the notion of nature can be summed up in such terms as infinite, inaccessible, overwhelming in power, primal, wild and fearsome. But where can this kind of nature be found nowadays? In the park on the outskirts of the town? Or on the windowsill, where your cat is gently sleeping? Probably not. Our next nature arises from cultural products that have become so complex that the only way we can relate to them is in terms of a man-nature relationship.

[…]

Nature, or whatever we mean by it, is getting more and more governed by man.

Nature, in the sense of trees, plants, animals, atoms, or climate, has turned into some sort of cultural category. At the same time, products of culture, which we used to be in control of, tend to outgrow us more and more. Those “natural powers” seem to shift to another field. 


Koert Van Mensvoort › Next Nature, 2005

MANUFACTERED LANDSCAPES

À “nova natureza” é acrescido o papel do “novo homem”, aquele que transforma a paisagem que o envolve à sua medida. É este quem tem o poder de alterar a perspectiva sobre o seu ambiente, de manipular elementos e territórios. Este é o homem que celebra a era do sublime tecnológico, ele constrói cidades, transforma montanhas e altera correntes.

Chamamos-lhe o homem moderno, o designer do nosso mundo, o engenheiro do futuro, o ‘super’ homem.

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Manufactered Landscapes › Jennifer Baichwal, 2006
On the works of Edward Burtynsky 

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[…]

Yet our reactions will inevitably be more emotional than intellectual, and for this reason their work underscores as well the limits of photography as an instrument of education and catalyst for change. For while the formal beauty and strangeness of an image like Burtynsky’s Ferrous Bushling #18 might make us pause and reflect, and ask questions, we will need additional information to translate that moment of reflection into environmental insight — to answer those questions in meaningful terms. 

[…]

Mark Feldman › Design Observer, 2012

Edward Burtynsky › Nanpu Bridge Interchange, Shanghai, 2004 
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na·ture
Noun:The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.
The physical force regarded as causing and regulating these phenomena: “it is impossible to change the laws of nature”.

Edward Burtynsky › Nanpu Bridge Interchange, Shanghai, 2004 

na·ture

Noun:
  1. The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.
  2. The physical force regarded as causing and regulating these phenomena: “it is impossible to change the laws of nature”.