GOLDSMITHS  //  BA Design
2020



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Some Sort of Alien Nature

Francine Chan + Yijun Xiong

Ecology
Anthroposcene
Colonisation

We live in an artificial reality where ecology is dissected and reformed, in the likeness of humans - repurposed for humans. We find ourselves in a world of human design. Design and over-design.

The urban landscape - romanticised.

Cities firstly of bricks
then plaster then marble ––
Of marble - of monument
Its body dressed
In painted walls,
Lacquered doors,
Cobbled streets,
The pinnacle of a new civilization
Floating above the natural world.

A fabricated civilisation, the waking dream.

Where time rules over, a measurement of labour, of value.

Techno natures are designed in the likeness of humanity’s goals of civilisation through the re-appropriation of natural beings and organic spaces. Moulding the natural world to meet humans’ material needs, the mass generation of resources to advance their social evolution, civilization.

In the changing of the tides as the moon began to rise,
As the water creeps from the ground —
The fevered dream of twin cities, reflected in its own demise.

Materials of unnatural permanence
Clogged pores under glaze
Impervious to its surroundings
Fabricated for Fabrication
each step further away from its nature
Independent monuments -
enslaved all the same.

Built atop this world; the refusal to accept the natural state as an inevitability. Cities built from the abstract images of the anthropocentric mind; borne out of the minds of men and plagues this world with the beliefs of its overriding humanity.

Ecology becomes artifice,
Tendrils flowing through iron cages
Roots gasping under engulfing ground
Their bodies stagnant, sterile,
Life support,
Its mechanical veins constructed above
Tabula rasa —
The geology of a blank slate
A wasteland.

There is impurity within the artificial and the natural, a dialogical narrative of cross-contamination.

“Contamination”
The term, spoken like a plague

Mutating,
Artificial Lifeforms,
Artificial Life.


Pollution,
Filtration,
Desperate
Sanitation,
Disinfection.

Preserving
Some form of Alien Nature.

The essence of this ruthless pursuit. Working frantically, feverishly towards an exponential quest, to make things more human, more accommodating, more convenient, more comfortable.

Stop.

Stop and think.

Have you ever questioned humans’ control over nature?

Do you ever notice the inconsistencies within our ideals; of what we assume we are capable of?

The power to organize, to turn the natural world into one that is man-made.
//the urban environment.

Do you ever notice the inconsistencies within our ideals? The security in the artificial.
//Are we artificial?

Black boxes; the entanglement of human networks; beyond the individual’s surmounting delirium lost within this “Ecological Colonisation”.


Ecology – the relation between organisms and the natural world.
Colonization - humans’ instigated, organized control over the natural world. Replacing the Earth’s alterity with a techno nature moulded to human needs.

A qualified world of materials and materiality - the human creation of some form, of alien nature.