"NEXT NATURE," Lecture by Mieke Gerritzen and Koert van Mensvoort

Mieke Gerritzen and Koert van Mensvoort, VISIONARIES IN RESIDENCE at Art Center college of Design in Pasadena, speak at UCSD on February 27.

DATE: February 27, 2008
TIME: 6pm -
LOCATION: Center Hall, room 214 (second floor), UCSD campus

Software Theory Lab at UCSD: softwaretheory.net
Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA): crca.ucsd.edu
Visual Arts Department, UCSD: visarts.ucsd.edu
Calit2, UCSD: calit2.net

Our established view on 'nature' needs reconsideration. Nature, in the sense of trees, plants, animals, atoms, or climate, is getting increasingly controlled and governed by man. It has turned into a cultural category. At the same time, products of culture, which we used to be in control of man, tend to outgrow us and become autonomous.

We seem to be living in a time in which the Œmade and the Œborn are fusing. The hypoallergenic cats are already on the market. Plants are used as sensors, information displays and chemical factories. Animals are being augmented and branded. Young girls are provided with hypernatural vaginas, modeled after the photoshopped vaginas seen in playboy magazine. In response to donor organ shortage, researchers are working on a 3D organ printer. Real nature is not green. It is out of control. Our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own. Games have become jobs. Second life is not sustainable. Digital world metaphors are boomeranged into our physical environment. Everyday robots give massages and take care of the children. RFID chips open doors, they might be infected, but nonetheless are edible.

The 'natural powers' seem to shift to another field. Nature changes along with us. Wild systems, genetic surprises, calm technology, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers.

MIEKE and KOERT are currently VISIONARIES IN RESIDENCE at the Media Design Program of Art Center college of Design in Pasadena. In Spring 2008 they will organize a Biggest Visual Power Show - an intellectual show that blends a conference and a pop concert - in Los Angeles.

Mieke Gerritzen was born in Amsterdam. In the early 1990s Gerritzen was one of the first designers involved in the development of digital media in the Netherlands. She makes designs for all media and works with many different designers, writers and artists. Her highly acclaimed books include Catalogue of Strategies, Everyone is a Designer, Mobile Minded, Style First, and Next Nature. Gerritzen is head of the design department of Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam where she runs a graduate program in design. She is also a co-director of All Media Foundation. Mieke Gerritzen received many prizes and gives lectures and presentations worldwide.

Much or Koert van Mensvoort's work investigates the relations between people, media and technology. Among his works are the Datafountain (an internet enabled water fountain connected to money currency rates), the TV documentary 'The Woods smell of Shampoo' (about the tensed relation between reality and simulation) and the 'Fake for Real' memory game. He is a co-organizer of the Visual Power Show, a co-director of the All Media Foundation, and a visiting Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Industrial Design Department)

Mieke's books
Next Nature
Mieke + Koert projects
Visual Power Show