Ideal Spaces / Artificial Natures

Artificial Natures Symposium & Exhibition - May 2018


An artificial nature is one made – an arte factum, something constructed by means of technical art, and not ‘naturally’ grown, neither by nature nor by history. And it shall serve for humans as an encompassing new environment, providing a second nature, some kind of artificial environment for humans. Enhanced by digital means, we are living in environments which become increasingly artificial. In a literal sense, they embody ideal spaces, at the same time: spaces constructed according to some inner images ('ideas') and then, as a construction, imposed in toto on an existing reality - e.g., functional networks, smart cities, or digital spaces of diverse kinds. In that sense, ideal spaces are not the exception, but the rule today, as reality.

On the other hand, there has always been a longing for an ideal space as utopia; to escape from an existing world with its spaces as they are, and to long for, via construction, spaces which we imagine as pleasant, peaceful, liberating, more suited to a true human condition. In this case, the 'Ideal' relates to intention: instead of just accepting the spaces we actually live in and are confronted with, merely reacting to them: It’s all about action. Intentional activity is the only means we have at hand, finally, as human beings, for shaping and changing our actual environments, to make the world a better place. An ideal space then is a space intentionally made, for the better, and an artificial nature a space which can serve as a new ‘natural’ environment for truly human beings. We have to act, not to react only. To propose spaces where one can really live again, and not just exist. Such spaces, although constructed, could be the new natural environments adapted to and in favor of humans.

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