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Situated Ümwelt


16 digital prints
8.8x5 inches
Situated Ümwelt is a collection of scenarios.




The concept of Anthropocene, a recent formulation of the geological epoch in which we live, based on the comprehensive human transformation of the environment, continues to blur the seam between nature and humanity. Calling upon a lacking species-consciousness ostensibly uniting all humans, a term like anthropocene may promote the dilution between the human and the natural realm by an ill-defined idea of a “paralyzed humanity”. In it, humans are not just part ofone nature that is constituted by the biospheric frame, but humanity is deterministically set. Thus, in works that contend the Anthropocene by arguing quantitatively, physically, technically, a conjured-up socio-natural whole seems to be implicitly and unwithspokeny fixed: Humanity is so mighty that it can change the whole biosphere, while at the same time it is entirely powerless to stop the planet from burning.



Artificial x Nature
With these premises in mind, I come to the presentation at hand: I deliberate and imagine the human-natural relationship on gradients, described by the amount of artificiality in the image of nature versus the extent to which it is controlled. The y-axis delineates the way in which the environment is situated on a shifting spectrum between what is perceived as authentic, original, untouched on one end, and reproduced, remodelled, discarded nature on the other end, depending on who or what is the agent, the more active part in the trope, the perceived relation of humanity and nature.















Control x Chaos
Both ideas can be employed as mediated fantasies of nature as an oasis—nature, tamed or untamed, as an environment accommodating humans, a refuge matching human needs, come upon or designed by them, a reconciled part of human culture even though it may need to be actively preserved as such. The opposite of this notion of nature as Oasis is what I call Post-oasis; they each form an opposite pole on the x-axis.
Post-oasis constitutes a nature which is not threatened by culture but rather threatening to it or, at least, its self-understanding. Here, access to nature is withdrawn or has slipped away. The notion of
nature always comprises forces which are beyond human grasp and imagination. The evolution of technology to a global scale in the course of capitalist socialization bears the irony that these forces may be caused or at least facilitated by human action. The dialectic of the domination of nature: the very means of control veer back to becoming wayward. Because the means of taming nature need to become so intense they become the threat that nature used to be. Can we even rely on technology being so dependent on it?


Nature - Nature | (The Grid)
In its first instance nature is not real but an abstraction, the way it is employed reveals an ideological want. Through the spectra defined above, the grid discusses 16 positions, or coordinates, on nature from a human perspective, unfolding their relationship.

The topos encountered is constituted by the competition between nature and humans versus their consonance, defined by its degree of human control, i.e human intent. This corresponds to the spectrum of oasis opposite post-oasis forming the x-axis of the diagram, while the y-axis describes an increasing artificiality. The scenarios/positions presented here are situated on a translocal and transhistorical gradient.
Each scenario describes a coordinate of the relationship xn:yn, a degree of chaos/control to authenticity/artificiality. It is clear that all of these conceptualizations of nature exist only theoretically, and only from a human perspective.