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.

Staff Picks

‘Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible’

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.