Cross-Species Appreciation

When people ask me why I’m interested in fake nature, I say it seems strange to me that we fetishize one of the kingdoms of life for their decorative qualities above all others. Instead of flowers and foliage, what if we decorated our homes and bodies with images of fungi? Or slime molds?

Or, what if plants wore clothes. Would they be patterned with human bodies?

I’ve seen two images online recently that might indicate that things are moving in that direction:

1. A human accessorizing herself with a necklace of fake human legs (via Vanessa Jackman)

2. A line of jewelry for plants (WSAKE,via Design*Sponge)

Fake Nature Roundup

Turtle habitat at Cheesequake State Park. Found in Jersey City This water tower in Wilmington is painted with a giant wetlands scene. Boardwalk on Asseteague Island An umbrella I bought at a thrift store in Nijmegen. It came with plastic tulips attached to the spokes. Cardboard boxes used by a grocery store in Nijmegen. In Simone’s neighborhood, fake leaves from decorative garlands mingle with real leaves on the street.

Fake Nature at Figment

I stupidly didn’t take any pictures of my piece yesterday because I was focused on its assembly, which took the whole day, rather than the hour or two i anticipated. Now it’s forecast to rain the rest of the weekend, so the sculpture will likely be living on a porch. Nevertheless, it was a great day — people seemed to enjoy seeing the thing in progress, and some took a seat on one side while I was working on the other side. Kids seemed to love it especially.

I saw several instances of fake nature on Governors Island that day, though I was probably more sensitized to it than usual. Ironically, I did stop to take pics of these:



And Doug & Mike Starn’s gorgeous installation in the Whitehall Station near the ferry. When I go back on Sunday I’ll have to spend more time with it. They juxtaposed a veiny leaf to the island of Manhattan, veined with roads.


Sometimes subway art seems forced into a mosaic format, but this is perfect.